Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

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Quick Facts:
Leigh Bardugo was born in Jerusalem, raised in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. She is fond of glamour, ghouls, and costuming, and gets to indulge all of these fancies in her other life as a makeup artist. She can occasionally be heard singing with her band, Captain Automatic.

Celebrity Lookalike: I get Ashley Tisdale all the time. I'm like her frumpier older sister.
Motto: I've always loved that bit from Yeats: "Be secret and exult." That or "Treat yo' self."
5 Must Reads:
1. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. One of my comfort reads and all time favorites.
2. Dune by Frank Herbert. If you're not used to sci-fi, those first few chapters may be off putting, but stick with it. It's intense and challenging and it will stay with you forever.
3. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. Gorgeous, wholly original fantasy packed with surprising characters.
4. Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold. A perfect, lovely puzzle of a book. Every time I talk about it, I want to read it again.
5. The Princess Bride by William Goldman. SKIP THE PROLOGUE. The movie was a romance. This is a comedy.
The one thing your author can’t live without: Can pen and paper count as one thing?
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