30 September 2012


Earlier this week I had the great privilege of meeting Leigh Bardugo as part of her tour for her first YA fantasy The Gathering Dark (aka Shadow and Bone). Not only is Leigh an amazingly lovely person, but as Leigh described how she came up with the idea for her debut book, I literally got goosebumps...

Previously Leigh worked as a makeup artist. And as Halloween was always a time when everyone wanted spooky makeup done for free, Leigh decided to go out of town and escape from work. Her getaway with friends included a Halloween party for which she kindly offered to give the hosts a makeover as a goodwill gesture. Unfortunately they offered the entire party a free makeover courtesy of Leigh. So after several hours of slaving away at the party, Leigh wasn't best pleased. As a show of her feelings, the next night she decided to stay in and read when everyone else went out partying. But after falling asleep, she awoke in the strange country house to pitch blackness. As she panicked trying to find the light switch, she started thinking about a place where the dark was permanent and couldn't be turned off by the flick of a switch. This is turn made Leigh think about where this dark place would be and who might create such a terrible place. And thus, with some research which included Russian post-war stories, Shadow and Bone was born.

Having read the book, I can truly say it is beautifully written and enchanting. I loved the Russian elements, and now having heard of Leigh's background some of the characters and their roles in the book make perfect sense. In case you are intrigued, here is the blurb for the book:

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.
Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free? 
The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.
But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

There seems to have been a spate of YA books being bought recently for film, and The Gathering Dark is no different. Dreamworks have picked up Leigh's book for future film production and I can't wait to see who is cast for it. A few months back before this news was known, Casey at Dark Readers also saw the book's potential and decided we needed to make a trailer for the book.

So here is the video trailer the fab Casey and Amina put together for The Gathering Dark.

You can check out Leigh and The Gathering Dark here:


1 comment:

Ellie Warren said...

Glad you had a good time, I skipped on this event as had lots of other stuff going on and I felt the book tried to do too much in a short space. Love the world though and will be waiting to see how it evolves.