Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Author:Leigh Bardugo [Bardugo, Leigh]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Publisher: Macmillan
Published: 2012-06-05T06:00:00+00:00


THAT VERY AFTERNOON, I joined the other Etherealki by the lake and called my power for them for the first time. I sent a sheet of light shimmering out over the water, letting it roll over the waves that Ivo had summoned. I didn’t have the others’ control yet, but I managed. In fact, it was easy.

Suddenly, lots of things seemed easy. I wasn’t tired all the time or winded when I climbed the stairs. I slept deeply and dreamlessly every night and woke refreshed. Food was a revelation: bowls of porridge heaped with sugar and cream, plates of skate fried in butter, fat plums and hothouse peaches, the clear and bitter taste of kvas. It was as if that moment in Baghra’s cottage was my first full breath and I had awakened into a new life.

Since none of the other Grisha knew that I’d had so much trouble summoning, they were all a little baffled by the change in me. I didn’t offer any explanations, and Genya let me in on some of the more hilarious rumors.

“Marie and Ivo were speculating that the Fjerdans had infected you with some disease.”

“I thought Grisha didn’t get sick.”

“Exactly!” she said. “That’s why it was so very sinister. But apparently the Darkling cured you by feeding you his own blood and an extract of diamonds.”

“That’s disgusting,” I said, laughing.

“Oh that’s nothing. Zoya actually tried to put it around that you were possessed.”

I laughed even harder.

My lessons with Baghra were still difficult and I never actually enjoyed them. But I did relish any chance to use my power, and I felt like I was making progress. At first, I’d been frightened every time I got ready to call the light, afraid that it just wouldn’t be there and I’d be back to where I started.

“It isn’t something separate from you,” Baghra snapped. “It isn’t an animal that shies away from you or chooses whether or not to come when you call it. Do you ask your heart to beat or your lungs to breathe? Your power serves you because that is its purpose, because it cannot help but serve you.”

Sometimes I felt like there was a shadow in Baghra’s words, a second meaning she wanted me to understand. But the work I was doing was hard enough without guessing at the secrets of a bitter old woman.

She drove me hard, pushing me to expand my reach and my control. She taught me to focus my power in short bright bursts, piercing beams that burned with heat, and long sustained cascades. She forced me to call the light again, and again, and again, until I barely had to reach for it. She made me trek to her cottage at night to practice when it was nearly impossible for me to find any light to summon. When I finally, proudly produced a weak thread of sunlight, she slammed her cane down on the ground and shouted, “Not good enough!”

“I’m doing my best,” I muttered in exasperation.


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