Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardvgo
Everyone fears the blackness that is the Unsea, created long ago by the Black Heretic it separates the kingdoms from the true sea. There are people on the other side that are as well separated from the other villages and towns. It's been that way for as long as Alina knows.
Alina and Mal are best friends who live in the Dukes palace, orphaned by the Unsea. All the children are tested when they are young to see if they possess the power of a Grisha. The Grisha are powerful people some can create fire, water, wind, even heal, but they can also hurt others by stopping your heart. The most power of the Grisha, the darkling as he is known can create darkness like the Unsea which was created by his family before him...
Alina and Mal's turn to be tested arrived and the two amplifiers who are also Grisha come to the palace to try and coax out the power that could be hidden within the two children. The amplifiers find nothing though and they end up leaving the palace empty handed. If the power showed in the children they would be taken away to be trained as Grisha.
Years pass and Alina and Mal grow up and join the army, they have a mission to get things across to the other towns by the true sea. To get to the true sea they must get across the Unsea with makeshift boats that can glide across the sand like boats do on water. There are always many losses when entering the Unsea due to the fact that it is full of Volcra which are large dark flying creatures with sharp claws and teeth, the eat people. The military try to keep as many people alive as they can with the help of the Grisha that ride through the Unsea with them but death is always expected...
Alina and Mal grew up together but she is scrawny and weak where Mal is a strong tracker and very handsome. Alina can't shake that rising feelings she has for Mal but she knows that he couldn't possibly love her the way she loves him when he could get someone better...
The day finally comes when the military cross the Unsea, soldiers including Alina and Mal step onto a ship and disappear into the darkness. Minutes go by before the soldiers and Grisha begin to hear the flapping sounds of large wings as the Volcra come closer and closer to the ship. Within seconds battle begins as the Volcra start to snatch their victims from the boats. Screams and shouts are all Alina hears as a soldier standing beside her is snatched up and carried off in the darkness to his death. The Volcra come back for Alina when Mal steps infront of letting a shot go from his rifle before he has time to reload the Volcra with the injured wing from Mal's gun stand and comes at them. Mal becomes injured and as Alina cries over him and they say their goodbyes fearing that this is the end. A Volcra latches onto Alina's back and she lets out a scream the most beautiful light emits from her body covering the whole ship in warm sun light. Alina passed out and she wakes up to her new life as the Sun summoner and is separated from Mal and all the people she knows to be trained. Alina learns that she could be the one person who could save them all by destroying the Unsea once and for all.
A hunt starts for a white stag to amplify Alina's powers and lies begin to surface, things aren't what they seem and Alina begins to fear that stopping the Unsea isn't as easy as she may have thought before.
Thoughts: This book kept me on the edge of my seat with action and romance. When I thought I figured out the story I was proven wrong as the plot twisted and thickened. I loved the characters of this book as well as the plot and ending. I will continue on with this series because I just have to know WHAT HAPPENS! This book has found a permanent home on my shelf!
Quotes: "Once it is done, there can be no other."
Songs that remind me of the story: