If you like: magic * war * YA
Shadow and Bone is the first book of the Grisha trilogy. We follow Alina into the Shadow Fold, a dangerous place create by dark magic and filled with violent beasts. When her regimen is attacked inside the Fold, Alina discovers she is a Sun Summoner, which gives her the power to destroy the monsters within. She then studies with the alongside the other Grisha, under special direction of the Darkling. As she becomes more powerful, she learns that not everyone intends to help her use her powers to save the kingdom.
The world that Bardugo has created contains the perfect amount of detail to let your imagination run wild. It is recommended for ages 12 and up, which means adults will find it to be an easy read, but it will be an enjoyable one at that. Bardugo seems to understand that the ability to manipulate wind, water, or fire is not a new concept, and doesn’t waste the reader’s time being overly descriptive in what the Grisha with these abilities can do. Alina has just the right amount of passion for her lifelong companion, Mal. The beauty that the Grisha create at the winter fete inspires awe, but isn’t overly showy.
In Shadow and Bone, people cannot hide who they truly are. Alina has spent her life restlessly until the point at which she realizes the full potential of her power. The Grisha are all beautiful, strong and confident. Alina learns that this is not a coincidence. Embracing their internal strength and putting their summoning abilities to use enhances each of their radiance. The notion that we cannot deny our true passion, the core of our being, is empowering. Unsatisfied in your situation? Listen to what your body is trying to tell you. If you start to take care of yourself and embrace your own needs, you will thrive.
If you would manipulate the sunshine to create rainbows, read Shadow and Bone.
Bardugo, Leigh. Shadow and Bone. New York: Henry Holt, 2012. Kindle edition.