Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA (Fantasy)
In a Snapshot: After Alina Starkov saves her best friend’s life by releasing a coveted power, she trains as a magical Grisha and becomes the favorite of the mysterious Darkling. But a dangerous secret is waiting in the shadows–threatening to control Alina.
Why I picked it up and couldn’t put it down:
I ran across this title when looking for comparables to the YA novel Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. I really enjoyed the prologue told in 3rd person and was surprised when the narration switched at chapter one. But like the many YA novels told in 1st person, it served to heighten the main character’s emotions when dealing with self-doubt, love-unrequited, and temptation. Otherwise, the novel was well conceived with a compelling hook, an intriguing middle, and a fast paced third act. It also has an interesting love triangle–complete with an atypical spin at the end.
Who will like this?
Fans of Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Fans of darker or medium fantasy.
A Favorite Passage:
“She’s an ugly little thing. No child should look like that. Pale and sour, like a glass of milk that’s turned.”
“And so skinny!” the cook replied. “Never finishes her supper.”
Crouched besides the girl, the boy turned to her and whispered, “Why don’t you eat?”
“Because everything she cooks tastes like mud.”
“Tastes fine to me.”
“You’ll eat anything.”
They bent their ears back to the crack in the cupboard doors.
A moment later the boy whispered, “I don’t think you’re ugly.”
“Shhhh!” the girl hissed. But hidden by the deep shadows of the cupboard, she smiled.