Sixteen-year-old Alina Starkov seems ordinary in every way, no different than any of the others orphaned from the Fold and drafted into the Ravkan army. But when she discovers that she possesses an unbelievable power, one heard of only in legend, everything changes. She is brought to the royal court, leaving her best friend Mal and the only world she has ever known behind as she trains with the strange and powerful Darkling, who believes she is key to winning the war and destroying an evil which has haunted Ravka for generations.
This is one of those books which I just couldn’t stop reading. Alina is a great character, and the world she is part of is incredibly well developed and interesting. This is the first book in the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, all of which are complex, engrossing, and really, really good. An excellent read for fans of high fantasy and vivid characters, I would recommend Shadow and Bone for ages 13+.
Note: After reading Shadow and Bone, we read some of Leigh Bardugo's other books set in the same world, which include Six of Crows and The Language of Thorns.