Cynthia Frazier


Excellent, Young Adult, Leigh Bardugo, Magic, Monsters, Orphans, Friendship, Secrets, War, Good And Evil

Document Type

Book Review


The first book in Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy introduces the story of Alina and Malyen, orphans and friends since childhood. As teenagers they are conscripted into the King’s First Army whose mission is to cross the Shadow Fold, a magical dark chasm that bisects their homeland of Ravka. The journey is perilous because huge flying creatures called Volcra prey on those attempting to cross. Protecting the travelers are teams of the King’s Grisha, sorcerers skilled in the manipulation of matter to control the elements. The greatest of the Grisha, the Darkling, is leading the travelers. When Malyen is seized by one of the hideous Volcra, something happened inside Alina and a strong light bursts forth from her, holding back the dark and allowing Malyen to be saved and the journey completed safely. Alina is taken to Court where her skills and abilities are honed and trained. The Darkling believes her to be a Sun Summoner, a very rare type of Grisha. Alina learns about her newly found abilities, her relationship with Malyen, and the Darkling’s true motives.