Title: Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Shadow and Bone is based loosely on Russian fairytales, and IT IS SO GOOD YOU GUYS GO READ IT NOW.
When you open the book, you see a map of Ravka that includes a dark slash labelled as the "Unsea," and there's a monster in it with giant teeth and YOU ARE ONLY AT THE MAP AND IT'S ALREADY AWESOME.
The Unsea is also called the Shadow Fold - it divides Ravka, it's always dark, and monsters eat you there. Basically, it sucks.
Some people in Ravka are Grisha, which means they have magic powers like controlling wind or killing people without touching them. The guy in charge of the Grisha is the Darkling. He controls - you guessed it - darkness. Oh and he can chop people in half by waving his arm around like a conductor.
Alina Starkov is a lowly mapmaker, but when her friend Mal is attacked on the Fold, she discovers that she's also the Sun Summoner. She can literally summon light, which is a BIG DEAL because of the aforementioned dark place with monsters.
Alina is awesome. She's funny and tough, but still vulnerable enough to be relatable. I love her and I love the Darkling and I love all the Russian-sounding words in this book. Dear Hollywood, please make this a movie because it would be SO PRETTY.
You can read the first five chapters for free here, or buy it now (links are to Amazon).
Full disclosure: I borrowed this book, and now I have to buy it in hardcover because I love it SO MUCH.