Shadow and bone
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Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protegé of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold.
I was caught off guard by how much I loved this book. The world Bardugo creates is at once reminiscent of tsarist Russia while incorporating fascinating and mysterious magic that makes the story all her own.
This is by far one of my favorite recent YA books. So many YA books revolve around dystopian futures, and it just gets old after a while. Shadow and Bone takes place in another world, in what is basically tsarist Russia. It's beautifully written, and defies expectations. No characters are simply one dimensional, and you really get invested into the story. I can't wait for the rest of the series. Really recommend it.
It's been a while since I've read a good YA fantasy and this hit me right in my hopes and dreams. It's very creative with a world that's based on Russian folktales (if you find Leigh Bardugo's Pinterest you'll get a better idea) but above all it's engaging and hard to put down. Of course there's romance in it (but that's expected for a YA book) but the book isn't based around that romance. I recommend reading it to get the full idea of the whole thing. It's definitely not a book that will leave you disappointed. This is the FIRST book of the series. The next book is called Siege and Storm.
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