"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week's WoW is . . .
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, all she’s ever been able to rely on is her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’ve been sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.
When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. She is torn from everything she knows and whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes that she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the Sun Summoner. Only her power can destroy the Fold.
Overwhelmed by luxury, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to keep her wits about her without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her mastery of her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha—and the secrets of her heart.
On the 24th of February, the cover to Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo was revealed; now, almost two weeks later, I still hear people talking about it. I'm not surprised. This cover may be my favorite of 2012. Everything about it is lovely. The color scheme; the shadowy tendrils; the dark, scrolling font; the beautiful castle, black and blood red, with a distinct Russian influence. Everything works perfectly, and it manages to do so without the typical staple of YA covers today: a girl. In a dress.
But the cover lust is not why I want this so very badly. I want it because I fully expect it be utterly incredible.
The pitch sounds absolutely marvelous. Dark, magical, and utterly fantastical. I have mixed feelings on the fantasy genre, so the fact that this pulled me in so completely is testament to its sheer awesomeness. I'd be expecting great things from the pitch and the cover alone, but that's not it; of every person that I know of who's read this book, not a single one has given it less than five stars. Not a single one. Even some notorious for their strictness have fallen utterly in love with this.
And, as if that's not already reason enough . . . there's going to be a map in the finished copy. A gorgeous, beautifully crafted map that I enjoy staring at almost as much as the cover. I'm going to be straight with you guys, I'm a sucker for maps in fantasy books. Not only can they be more than a little bit helpful, I've always found them so very fascinating to look at. I've probably spent many hours of my life gazing at maps in my favorite books.
In summary, this book seems like it will be everything I wish for and more and I absolutely cannot wait for it to be released. (I may or may not be camping out at B&N on June 4th . . . )
What's your WoW this week?