Sunday, September 2, 2012

Jen Reads: Russian Fascination

I have a slight obsession with reading about and books set in Russia. This week I finished on book on Russia and started another about traveling across Siberia.

I finished Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.

While it is based on Russian folklore and not specifically set in Russia, the world created is certainly Russia based.

Alina Starkov is an orphan serving in that Ravkan army as a map making assistant.  In the orphanage, which was a in a duke’s house, she became friends with Mal, who is also in the Ravkan army as a tracker. They were always together and they are serving close to each other in the army as well.

Ravka is under attack from a dark force, called The Dark Fold. The Dark Fold has taken over a lot land and Ravka is fighting to free itself from the hold that the darkness has. As Alina and other soldiers are crossing the darkness, they are attacked by  flying creatures called volcra. In an effort to save Mal from one of the volcra, Alina unleashes a power to summon the sun to fight the volcra.

She is then whisked off to the Darkling, a nobleman who can fight the Dark Fold. She is whisked into the world of the Grisha, magical soldiers that work for the Darkling. She feels out of place as an orphan.  She is torn by her love of Mal and the handsome Darkling. She uncovers things during her training that cause her to question where she is.

I liked this book. I have become really interested in books that are takes on old folklore. I love the TV series Grimm and it is a modern take on the Grimm fairy tales. I am really looking forward to the second book in this series, called The Grisha Trilogy. It seems like a lot more books are part of series that suck you in than there used to be.

I also started to Travels In Siberia by Ian Frazier. This book is a true account of his trips to Siberia and Alaska. The write is funny and part of it makes me wonder how the Soviet Union was ever a super power. More on this book when I finish it.

I have been totally avoiding the computer and I have been pretty much alone for the last two days. I can’t say that it is good for me. I have been feeling sort of blah but the laughs from Travels in Siberia has helped.

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