Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo

Enjoyed this fantasy set in a world resembling czarist Russia. It’s an uncommon location and the story is uncommon as well. Our heroine, Alina, who seems to be 18-20, is a simple mapmaker until extremity reveals she may be much, much more. The worldbuilding is terrific, there is romance, interesting magic, and a heroine with a serious character arc. It’s sensual without being sexual, but the violence is intense and Alina is haunted by it. Recommended for 16 and up.


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