SHADOW AND BONE
A well-drawn world, full of deceit and mythology, populated by entirely believable characters. Full of truly surprising twists and turns, beautiful imagery and a protagonist it’s impossible not to root for, this is a great choice for teenage fans of George R.R. Martin and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Alina Starkov is totally average: in love with her best friend who’ll never see her as more than a fellow orphan, too skinny and weak to be much of a soldier, not pretty, smart or exceptional in any way. That is, until a long-dormant power awakens in her, and she discovers she might be the first sun summoner in centuries, the key to ending the dangerous tyranny of the magical darkness that has kept her kingdom living in fear for ages. But she’s as naive and unprotected as she is valuable, and each new person she meets is as likely to be an ally as an enemy. (HENRY HOLT, Jul., 368 pp., $17.99, ISBN: 9780805094596, HC, 12 & Up)