We predict “Tsarpunk” will become all the rage after readers get a taste of Leigh’s Grisha trilogy, based in Russian and Slavic myth. Junior cartographer’s assistant Alina Starkov’s regiment’s first encounter with the Shadow Fold that divides her country, Ravka, has mortal consequences for most of her companions. But Alina’s heretofore unknown power to summon light to banish the flesh-devouring monsters that dwell in the Shadow Fold brings her the unanticipated honor of being trained as a member of the elite Grisha, and the attention of the nation’s most prominent “master of the small sciences,” the Darkling. Lush, romantic, and filled with the small conflicts of coming of age against the larger conflicts of a nation in turmoil. Highly recommended.
“This debut fantasy riffs on Russian history and folklore. The orphan, Alina, doesn't know that she controls powers beyond her mapmaker trade and is thrust into royalty and the Darkling's inner circle, the magical, elite Grishas. With vivid characters, exciting and twisty plots, monsters, romance, and a fully developed otherworld, this is a high fantasy thriller of the first order. I look forward to more from this talented author!”
— Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life--a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.