The once great nation of Ravka is surrounded by enemies and cut off from other parts of the world by the Fold- an enveloping darkness in which flesh-eating monsters hide in waiting for ships that try to pass through it, making any attempts fruitless.
Alina Starkov grew up an orphan and with no other prospects, joined the army . When her regiment is attacked while trying to cross the Fold, her dormant power emerges in time to save her friend from imminent harm. Once her power reveals itself, Alina is whisked off to court to train with the Grisha, other magically gifted warriors. But not everything in the Grishaverse is as it seems and with great power, comes even greater responsibility.
Without going too much into detail about this book for fear of spoiling details, I really enjoyed Shadow and Bone. Bardudo quickly pulls readers into the world of the Grishaverse and leaves you on the hook at the end of the novel, setting the scene for the sequel in a way that has similar elements to other dystopian novels but is also unique to Shadow and Bone. As a bonus, if you like this book and its sequels, Leigh Bardugo has other series set in the Grishaverse and Netflix recently made Shadow and Bone into a t.v. series on their site.