Shadow and Bone
The once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a lightless void populated with monsters that feast on human flesh. Surrounded by enemies, Ravka’s last hope lies in the hands of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov is an apprentice cartographer for the First Army and has never been incredibly skilled at anything. But when Alina’s regiment falls under attack while crossing the Fold, a dormant power she didn’t know existed reveals itself. Suddenly, Alina is ripped from her average life and sent away to train as a Grisha, a group of magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
With the power to create and manipulate shadows, the Darkling is the stark opposite of our protagonist, whose power lies in summoning the light. He claims that Alina is Ravka’s savior, destined to destroy the Shadow Fold. Unfortunately, not everything in Alina’s new world is as it seems.
Leigh Bardugo accomplished something incredible when she sat down to create the Grishaverse. In the Shadow and Bone trilogy, Bardugo introduces a world of vivid landscapes and fabled creatures. Reminiscent of a Russian fairy tale, the kingdom of Ravka is “something carved from an enchanted forest, a cluster of dark wood walls and golden domes.” The powerful Grisha that this literary universe is named after are a complex breed of magicians, their powers an extension of the natural world. In addition to the elaborate settings and the intricate magic system, the world’s politics are well fleshed out and easy to follow, allowing the reader to immerse themselves fully in the Grishaverse.
The Grishaverse Dark N’ Stormy
1 Ginger Beer (Fever Tree is my favorite)
2oz Dark Rum
Food Dye (If you want the Shadow and Bone effect)
- Fill your glass with ice.
- Pour the ginger beer over the ice, leaving an inch of space at the top. 3. Squeeze juice from half of a lime into the glass.
- Pour 2oz of dark rum into a separate glass
- Add food dye to the rum and stir. (4 drops blue, 3 drops red, 2 drops green). 6. Slowly pour the rum over the back of a spoon, layering it on top of the ginger beer and ice.
- Garnish with a lime slice and enjoy!
This effect can easily be used in a classic Arnold Palmer! Just add food dye to the black tea before layering it on top of the lemonade.
If all of that wasn’t enough to interest you in this fantasy read, don’t worry; there’s also a steamy love triangle. At one corner, we have the Darkling. A brooding, magnetic, and tragically handsome Grisha. At the other, there’s Mal, an incredibly talented tracker, and Alina’s lifelong friend. Will the attention of the most powerful man in Ravka prove to be irresistible? Or will childhood friendship-turned-love win out in the end? I guess you’ll have to pick up the book to find out.
If you’ve already read the book or just prefer a good Netflix binge, the Shadow and Bone Netflix series aired on April 23rd! I’ll be watching the entire show in one night while drinking our Alina/Darkling-inspired cocktail. If you want to do the same, make sure to tag us on Instagram (@beniciamagazine) so we can see!
SPOILER WARNING! The show includes scenes from Six of Crows, the first book in a duology also based in the Grishaverse (and a must-read, in my opinion). Proceed with caution.