Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
So this post is a two-in-one. It's a Waiting on Wednesday for one of my most anticipated reads of 2012... AND a review of the book that precedes it.
So I'm impatiently waiting for:
Length: 8 hours, 55 minutes
Narrator: Lauren Fortgang
My summary: Many years ago, The Dark Heretic sliced the nation of Ravka in half. The so-called Shadow Fold is a no man's land, the domain of fearsome, carnivorous beasts called Volkra. Supported by the largesse of a duke, Alina and fellow orphan Mal join the military, Alina as a mapmaker and Mal as a tracker. One day, they are both on an expedition across the Shadow Fold when their party is attacked by Volkra. To Alina's astonishment, she is suddenly able to conjure up the power to save Mal. She's told that she is a Sun Summoner and whisked to live among the elite Grisha and trained to fight and use her magic. Alina becomes the protégé of the handsome, mysterious Darkling, who tells her that together, the two of them they can eradicate the Shadow Fold and liberate Ravka. That is, if Alina can survive the pressure of court life, her insecurities and the Darkling's seductive pull.
Alina, the orphan, discovers she is the Sun Summoner. Whisked into a new life, she encounters mentor figures and training sequences and magical objects and scheming rivals and difficult trials -- all the usual fantasy stuff. She starts out weak and self-pitying, and has to grow tremendously as a character by the end, facing impossible choices. She's also pretty snarky, which I find hard to resist.
Then there's The Darkling. I imagined him as sort of the hot younger brother of your favorite bad boy of choice: Darth Vadar, Voldemort, etc. He's ruthless, charismatic, fearsome, and yet seems utterly alone.
As if that weren't enough, there's also court intrigue, the creepy flesh-eating Volkra, and a scene in the dark winter woods that made me gasp out loud. All of this is mixed together and infused with a Russian-inspired atmosphere. It's flat-out addictive. By the end of the prologue, I was hooked.
If you love audiobooks, this is a great one. If you have already read Shadow and Bone and need a refresher for Siege and Storm, I highly recommend the audiobook.
And let's hope that my Waiting on Wednesday good luck holds out, because I am DYING to find out what happens next in this story!