by Leigh Bardugo
In the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, Leigh Bardugo introduces us to the GrishaVerse in which conflict between races is the reality which threatens all. Dividing these nations, which sound Slavic and Asian in name, is a dark barrier called the Shadow Fold where giant ravenous creatures attack and only light disable.
A magical military elite—Grisha—are endowed with powers to heal, heartrend, fabricate, or control wind or fire or tide. The strongest and leader of these masters of the small science is the Darkling, a man capable of calling up darkness.
Into this realm, our orphan Alaina Starkov finds herself gifted with the power to summon sunlight. As the Sun Summoner, Alaina is expected to save the world and destroy the Shadow Fold—but what is expected is rarely the outcome.
Bardugo captures attention from the first page and keeps readers engaged in the thrilling action. I enjoyed these books but caution Christian parents that alternative lifestyles are presented albeit secondary to the plot.
The trilogy resolves skillfully and I found myself wanting more. I recommend these books for high school readers and above. There is a series available on a streaming network which loosely follows Shadow and Bone but adds characters and sub-plots I do not recognize.
Bardugo, Leigh. Shadow and Bone. Thorndike Press, a Part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2022.