Introducing Leigh Bardugo!

Today we have another fantabulous 2012 debut author to introduce…

Leigh Bardugo!

Leigh was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. As a makeup artist, she creates glamour and ghouls under the name L.B. Benson. Her debut novel, Shadow & Bone, a YA fantasy set in a world inspired by Tsarist Russia, will be published in June of 2012 by Holt Children’s/Macmillan. She is repped by Joanna Stampfel-Volpe of Nancy Coffey Literary. To learn more about Leigh and the Grisha Trilogy, please visit her blog or follow her antics on Twitter.

Shadow & Bone:

Inspired by Tsarist Russia, Shadow & Bone brings to life a fantasy world of superstition and science, saints and samovars, in which a lonely refugee must leave behind her best friend- and first love- to save her country from the growing darkness of the Unsea. But first she must contend with the dangerous and decadent world of the kingdom’s magical elite and their powerful leader, a creature of dark charm and deadly ambition.

1. So Leigh, we’d like to know what the biggest challenge in writing Shadow & Bone was.

The doubt. I’d never written a book before and periodically, this very convincing voice would blast over the loudspeaker in my head and say, “Who the hell are you kidding?” or “Everything you’re doing is wrong!” or “Those reruns of ANTM aren’t just going to watch themselves!”

2. Oh wow…I think we ALL know what doubt feels like. And it’s always  so motivational to see people who managed to conquer it. 🙂 Do you have a critique partner or beta reader who helped you get where you are now?

Before I queried agents, Shadow & Bone went to Michelle Chihara and Josh Kamensky. Neither writes YA, but they’re both wonderful writers and, maybe more importantly, they’re fantastic readers. I think it’s important to choose your beta readers with great care. Some people don’t know how to give feedback without getting their egos involved. Both Michi and Josh know how to ask the right questions; they locate the weak spots without disturbing the integrity of the work. That’s a really remarkable skill and I’m lucky to have benefited from it.

3. And we, as readers, are lucky too! We get a great book to read because of those crit partners. Now tell us: if you were transported into your book, which scene would you most want to reenact?

I’m a sucker for great clothes and great food so I’d choose the Winter Fete at the Grand Palace. This is the

Ravkan court at its most decadent– choirs singing in the trees, men covered in gold leaf riding zebras, jeweled party favors, and lots of champagne. I’d love to walk the grounds, see the onion domes of the Little Palace, catch a glimpse of the Darkling or Alina.

4. Wow, Winter Fete? Can’t WAIT to read that!! Tell us about your typical writing day–what’s it involve?

When I’m in the early drafts, I like to write at LA Mill or a cafe close to home. In the evenings, I research. When the deadline looms, I go into the bunker and I don’t come out. I write from morning until late at night, and I rarely leave the house.

5. Hahaha–a bunker sounds about right. Do you have any final words of advice or inspiration–something you learned in your experiences on the front lines ;)?

Don’t let fear of the odds defeat you. Yes, it’s tough to get published and it’s important to understand the realities of the marketplace. Now forget all of that and just go write the best book you can.

 6. AMEN! But…uh-oh! Pub Brawl! What weapon are you wielding?

A jeweled walking stick, but really, my bare hands will suffice. In fact, let’s keep this challenging– I’ll just use my thumbs.

7. Kapow–thumb war challenge it is! Okay final question: what would you name your literary Pub?

The Stag & Saint. Our specialty cocktail list includes the Dark Heart (made with muddled plums), the slightly medicinal Benediction, and of course, our take on a White Russian. We feature live music on Thursday nights, fortunetellers on Fridays, and black-eyed bartenders who get maudlin when the fiddle plays. Drop by, won’t you?

Um yes, we will definitely drop by! Black-eyed bartenders and fortunetellers are always a WIN in our books!

Now, since Leigh’s book is a wild ride of epic, EPIC fantasy (dark fantasy…and um, delicious romance), she wants to get you all excited about high fantasy and strong heroines–especially high fantasy and strong heroines in YA. As such, Leigh is giving away a copy of the wonderful (and very popular) The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.

You heard right–Leigh is giving away a copy of this epic fantasy, and she’s gonna pass it along to one of YOU. All you have to do is fill out the little raffle form below, and we’ll announce the winner NEXT WEEK (on Thursday)!

And, be sure to tune in tomorrow, when we introduce our next new member (and offer more fun swag!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway


131 Responses to Introducing Leigh Bardugo!

  1. Sally L Jan 12 2012 at 4:31 am #

    Ooh, Tsarist Russia! After learning about it in school last year, I’ve been absolutely fascinated by both the country and the period of time 🙂

    Ok. Favourite epic fantasy? I don’t think I’ll ever be able to pick out an absolute favourite, but I have a couple. So, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ (by J.R.R. Tolkien – the world he created is stunning, and the effort he took to detail cultures, races, places, languages, etc. is absolutely incredible!) and ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ (by C.S. Lewis) are the big two that I can think of at the moment. I’m also in the process of reading the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series (George R.R. Martin), upon which the TV show ‘Game of Thrones’ is based. I’m so emotionally invested in his characters, so I’d say it’ll be one of my favourites by the time I’ve finished the series.

  2. Michelle Jan 12 2012 at 5:25 am #

    Hi Leigh! It’s great to see you on Pub Crawl! I’ve always had a fixation on Tsarist Russia so I can’t wait to read your book!

  3. Nhi Jan 12 2012 at 6:05 am #

    Favourite epic fantasy novel? I think that’s pretty hard, seeing as I have yet to read the classics like Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, etc. But I think the closest thing would be the Lioness Quartet series by Tamora Pierce. Is that still held accountable? *puppy dog eyes*

    • Nhi Jan 12 2012 at 6:21 am #

      Oh yeah, also – your book sound bloody amazing Leigh Bardugo. So putting it on my most anticipated reads for this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

      • Leigh Bardugo Jan 12 2012 at 8:07 am #

        Thank you! Oh and the day Tamora Pierce doesn’t count in high fantasy is the day I take a broadsword to my neighbor’s Camry. LOVE the Lioness Quartet!

        • Vanessa Di Gregorio Jan 12 2012 at 11:21 am #

          SAME HERE! I adore everything Tamora Pierce has written! ESPECIALLY The Lioness Quartet!

  4. Chantal Jan 12 2012 at 6:44 am #

    Shadow and Bone sounds awesome! I don’t see many books set in Tsarist Russia, it makes me think of Anastasia :p Can’t wait to read it!!! My favorite epic fantasy novel has got to be The Hobbit, and I’m so excited for the movie to come out!!! Welcome to PC Leigh!!!

    • Vanessa Di Gregorio Jan 12 2012 at 11:22 am #

      I think I jumped up and down in giddy excitement the first time I saw the trailer!

  5. Nimue Jan 12 2012 at 7:02 am #

    I love epic fantasy. I guess a have to mention the father of all fantasy lit: Tolkien with his Lord of the Rings.
    But I also love newer fantasy such as The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett and the Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind.

  6. Emy Shin Jan 12 2012 at 8:01 am #

    Hi Leigh! So glad to see you here!

    SHADOW & BONE is one of my most anticipated books this year, because it just sounds so amazing! I love YA fantasy (and just fantasy in general) — and this sounds like just the perfect combination of intrigue and awesomeness.

    I’m not certain this counts, but my favorite YA fantasy series is THE QUEEN’S THIEF series by Megan Whalen Turner.

  7. Leigh Bardugo Jan 12 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Hello all! I am SO excited to be here. My favorite epic/high fantasy of all time? Easy. GAME OF THRONES and the entire A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE SERIES. The first three books positively wrecked me.

  8. Meredith Anderson Jan 12 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Wow. Welcome, Leigh! Your book sounds downright delicious and enticing. I can’t wait for June! It’s always good to hear about authors overcoming their doubts because it is definitely a common fear, I’m sure. I’m experiencing it right now so thanks for the reminder that it is possible to make it through!

    As for my favorite epic fantasy, I’ve already mentioned that I’m an enormous fan of Finnikin of the Rock. It is a new book, but I still can’t get the story out of my head. But the first epic fantasy I read when I was little was the Song of the Lioness Series by Tamora Pierce. That series will always always always have a place in my heart!

    Welcome to Pub Crawl, Leigh! It’s good to have you here. 🙂

    • savannahjfoley Jan 12 2012 at 8:33 am #

      Don’t worry Mer; I’m pretty sure Finnikin is the answer to most questions involving the words ‘favorite’ and ‘books’ 😉

    • Vanessa Di Gregorio Jan 12 2012 at 11:25 am #

      It’s true. I’m making everyone I can read it! FINNIKIN just has that THING to it, doesn’t it? Pure brilliance!

  9. Brandi O'Bannon Jan 12 2012 at 9:04 am #

    My favorite fantasy novel would have to be J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. I’m a sucker for battle scenes.

  10. Gina Rinelli Jan 12 2012 at 9:05 am #

    Welcome, Leigh! (PS. I loved your blog post the other day about writing crap.) =]

    I always loved Russian history in school, and even as a young kid I was always devouring picture books about Anastasia Romanov, so I’m excited for Shadow and Bone!

    Favorite epic fantasy… but there are so many! The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett, and I’m about to finish Dawnthief in the Chronicles of the Raven by James Barclay and it’s awesome, too. This list is lacking in YA, though…

    • Leigh Bardugo Jan 12 2012 at 5:49 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed the post. And, yes, I have a long-running obsession with Russia, too! GREAT high fantasy picks.

  11. Alyssa Jan 12 2012 at 9:24 am #

    Hello, Leigh! *waves* Shadow & Bone sounds amazing and wonderfully unique. I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

    Favorite epic fantasy? Of course, I’m a big fan of everything Tolkien. I also really loved Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind. Kvothe is one of the coolest heroes around. As for YA, I absolutely LOVED the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix.

  12. Sooz Jan 12 2012 at 9:28 am #

    YAAAAY LEIGH!!! WELCOME!!!!! <3 <3 <3

    My fave epic fantasy (ASIDE from SHADOW & BONE ;)) would have to be the SONG OF ICE & FIRE series OOORRR Robin Hobb's LIVESHIP TRADERS series.

  13. Vivien Jan 12 2012 at 9:31 am #

    Mine is Kristen Cashore series. Graceling and Fire….I’m absolutely drooling for have no idea 😀

  14. Kat Zhang Jan 12 2012 at 9:35 am #

    YAY!! Welcome, Leigh!! So glad to have you as part of Pub Crawl, and so glad we got a chance to meet in person 😀 Can’t wait for SHADOW AND BONE!

  15. Zara Alexis Jan 12 2012 at 9:44 am #

    It’s got to be “The Lord of the Rings,” what else? Arwen Evenstar is a personal favourite of mine. So much so, I want to learn to speak Elvish!

    On Twitter: @ZaraAlexis

  16. Erin Bowman Jan 12 2012 at 10:05 am #

    Yay, Leigh!!! So happy you’ve shed your “secret member” status. I am positively psyched for SHADOW & BONE. Can’t wait to read!

    I’m a huge GRACELING fan as well (can’t wait for BITTERBLUE) but I think THE HOBBIT takes the cake in my book. It was the first epic fantasy I read as a child, and the one that made me fall in love with the genre.

    • RachelSeigel Jan 12 2012 at 1:04 pm #

      I loved GRACELING and FIRE! I have an ARC of BITTERBLUE on my desk that I will read as soon as I finish my obligatory reading for upcoming review and presentation committments!

      • Kat Zhang Jan 12 2012 at 5:17 pm #

        Ah! So jealous that you have BITTERBLUE already!!

      • Vanessa Di Gregorio Jan 12 2012 at 10:10 pm #

        SO JEALOUS!

        That’s it – I’m stealing it off your desk when I come see you!

  17. Emilyy Jan 12 2012 at 10:11 am #

    I am glad to see more epic fantasy for YA. Looks great.

  18. Dot Hutchison Jan 12 2012 at 10:12 am #

    Congrats, congrats! The book sounds amazing! *adds to tottering TBR pile* I think my favorite epic fantasy would have to be The Elenium Cycle by David Eddings; technically cheating, as it’s a trilogy, but they’re fantastic books with compelling characters and a warped, hysterical sense of humor.

  19. Stephanie Leroux Jan 12 2012 at 10:21 am #

    Fantasy + romance = Sounds good to me. I love reading and learning about different regions of the world. Can’t wait to read this book!

    • Stephanie Leroux Jan 12 2012 at 10:23 am #

      And my favorite Epic Fantasy would have to be the Song of Ice and Fire series.

  20. elena Jan 12 2012 at 10:32 am #

    I think my favourite epic fantasy series would be a Game of Thrones and His Dark Materials!

  21. Abby Jan 12 2012 at 10:56 am #

    Welcome Leigh! Can’t wait for your book. Sign me up for a White Russian…

  22. Lori M. Lee Jan 12 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Favorite epic fantasy is still the Lord of the Rings 🙂 But I’m really looking forward to reading The Girl of Fire and Thorns and, of course, Shadow and Bone.

  23. Kaye M. Jan 12 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Thanks, Leigh! You are a total inspiration for me, since I’ve forgone the option of going for an MFA in favor of a (more practical) Library Science degree. Something I’ve been wanting to know is, exactly how do you research another culture? Did you get to go to Russia?

    Also, my favorite epic fantasy is anything by J.R.R. Tolkein. The master <3

    • Leigh Bardugo Jan 12 2012 at 5:54 pm #

      Kaye, I’ve never been to Russia (alas). I read A LOT. I picked up books on history– particularly cultural history, folklore, art and even food. I wasn’t writing historical fiction so I got to pick and choose what I wanted to use. The trick is not to get so deep into the research that you forget the thread of your own work. I allotted myself a certain period of time to indulge in delicious nerdery and then I put my nose back to the writing grindstone! (btw, I forwent the MFA, too.)

  24. Vanessa Di Gregorio Jan 12 2012 at 11:30 am #

    I have too many fave epic fantasies to name!
    – His Dark Materials trilogy
    – Abhorsen trilogy
    – Game of Thrones
    – Graceling and Fire
    – ANYTHING by Tamora Pierce (especially SONG OF THE LIONESS QUARTET)

    … and I THINK that’s it. But knowing me, I’m totally forgetting something. Honestly, I can NEVER pin down one fave!

    • Vanessa Di Gregorio Jan 12 2012 at 11:31 am #

      AH! And I forget to say, WELCOME TO THE GROUP LEIGH!!!!!!

      I’m currently reading SHADOW & BONE, and you have NO idea how much I’m loving it right now! I’m planning on making ALL my coworkers read it! And all my bookstores, too!

      • Leigh Bardugo Jan 12 2012 at 1:00 pm #

        I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! (And thank you for the welcome 🙂

        Confession… I haven’t read FINNIKIN because I’m afraid it will be so good that I’ll freeze up. That’s what happened when I read ASoIaF. I didn’t write for two months! (And now that I have, um, deadlines, that’s a big nono.)

  25. Phoebe Jan 12 2012 at 11:57 am #

    My eye’s still missing from a thumb atttack! Dangerous business LOL! So excited to read your book–i almost did russian studies in uni and I bet this takes me right back!

  26. Chele Jan 12 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    Heeeey, Leigh! Tsarist Russia sounds pretty freakin’ awesome, yet another mark on my calendar for 2012 woo! Also, sign me up for Friday fortunetelling at the pub, ahaha.


    Ahem. Because I love fantasy best there's absolutely no possible way I can even begin to pick like, my top TEN favourite novels, so I'm just gonna list my favourite authors. IT'S NOT CHEATING, RAWR. So:
    – Garth Nix
    – Robin Hobb
    – David Eddings
    – Tamora Pierce
    – Mercedes Lackey

    Aaand I know I'm forgetting a ton of others. JK Rowling isn't on there because I don't think of HP as 'epic fantasy' really, and neither is Tolkien because I fail and haven't read the books (it's on the TBR list, honest!). But yes, there you go!

    • Chele Jan 12 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      AHH and one novel I thought of that HAS to be included: CROWN DUEL, COURT DUEL by Sherwood Smith. So, so good! <3

      • Leigh Bardugo Jan 12 2012 at 1:01 pm #

        ALL awesome choices! And I know, “favorites” lists kill me.

      • Vanessa Di Gregorio Jan 12 2012 at 10:12 pm #

        HOW DID I FORGET CROWN DUEL?!?! I’ve reread that book so many times I can’t even count!

  27. Chen Chang Jan 12 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Hmm…I rarely read epic fantasy novels, but I did love Graceling! That was such an awesome book!

  28. Hannah Jan 12 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    Hey Leigh!
    Your book sounds awesome.
    I would have to say my favourite epic fantasy novel is Game of Thrones. It is just so very EPIC.

  29. Erica Jan 12 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    My favorite epic fantasy is definitely the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind! Though, picking just one favorite it hard as fantasy is my favorite all around genre.

  30. Michelle Chihara Jan 12 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    My favorite epic fantasy is Shadow & Bone, clearly (is that against the rules? It’s true!!). I am so very honored to be mentioned here!! It was such a highlight of my year to read an early copy of your book, Leigh, and every time I think about seeing it in print in the bookstore, I do a little dance. Can I bartend at the Stag & Saint? You know I make a mean Dark Heart.

  31. Jennifer Bosworth Jan 12 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    I’ve heard nothing but epic praise for SHADOW AND BONE. Cannot wait to read it! And Leigh’s bar . . . wow. I need to go to there.

    • Leigh Bardugo Jan 12 2012 at 5:56 pm #

      You can read tarot there, Jenn. Michelle will clearly be working the bar 😉

  32. Athena Franco Jan 12 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    It’s got to be the Mistborn series, by Brandon Sanderson. There’s a reason he was chosen to continue Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series: The man is a writing genius!

  33. Elana K. Arnold Jan 12 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    I’m excited to read this book! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Leigh in person, and she’s rad. Thanks for the interview!

  34. Ellen Jan 12 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    Hello Leigh!

    My favorite epic fantasy novel is probably The Lord of the Rings. Although I have to say, the Kingkiller Chronicles are a close second.

  35. SarahJMaas Jan 12 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    1) YAY for joining Pub Crawl!!!!

    2) Favorite epic fantasy novels….Jeez louise. Definitely Sabriel by Garth Nix, The Lord of the Rings (and the Hobbit), Terry Brooks’ Shannara series, Alphabet of Thorn–as well as The Forgotten Beasts of Eld–by Patricia A. McKillip, The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley, the Alanna series by Tamora Pierce, Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith, Black Swan by Mercedes Lackey, Wit’ch Fire by James Clemends, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, AND…Shadow & Bone by YOU.

    I seriously think your book is up there with all the greats, Leigh. People are going to go NUTS over it. <3

  36. Bee Jan 12 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Wow. That scene Leigh said she’d like to re-enact? That sounds magical. And I’m sold where anything with magic is concerned! Shadow and Bones sounds so original and amazing. *WANTS*

    • Bee Jan 12 2012 at 2:26 pm #

      Also, favourite epic fantasy? The Chronicle of Narnia and Game of Thrones (although for the latter, it’s more the tv show than the books).

      • Leigh Bardugo Jan 12 2012 at 5:58 pm #

        But the books are soooooo good. And, yes, Narnia is one of the granddaddies of them all.

        Thanks Elana and Sarah for the kind words. You are both just delightful. (Especially when you’re flattering me 😉

  37. Sydney Jan 12 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    I CANNOT wait to read Shadow & Bone! It’s actually one of my most anticipated upcoming novels. 😀 Welcome to the group, Leigh!

  38. Schneider Jan 12 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    my favorite epic fantasy would have to be Pullman’s His Dark Materials, second to none.

    also: oh wow, your novel sounds fantastic, Leigh! I read epic fantasy almost exclusively in the YA market, so I’ll definitely be keeping a look out for this one! incidentally, am I the only one who see fantasy as a sort of dichotomy, either epic or high? I tend to think of the latter (high) as strictly the dragon/medieval/towers type, in contrast to the former (epic), which I see as much more free in form in terms of genre tropes and secondary world setting–sort of like SHADOW & BONE, from the sound of that scene!

    • Leigh Bardugo Jan 12 2012 at 6:02 pm #

      Sydney, thank you!! I really hope you enjoy it.

      Schneider, His Dark Materials is definitely in my top ten.

      Interesting question re high vs. epic. It’s a distinction I struggle with. I’ve had people suggest that “epic” really pertains to length or span of time. Others say that high refers to the specifics you suggested. My work is more muskets and sabers than broadswords and dragons (though there *are* some magical creatures) and I just like the sound of EPIC so that’s what I’m sticking with.

  39. rachael Jan 12 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    I haven’t read a lot of fantasy in the past few years, but I CANNOT WAIT to read Shadow & Bones! And if there’s a way to visit the Stag & Saint, I’d be the first person there.

  40. Morgan Jan 12 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    You know I’m already obsessed with those drinks. Do the plums might need to be roasted first?

    Oh, and I’m obsessed with the book, too. When do we get to see Book Two? 😉

  41. Timothy Jan 12 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    My favourite fantasy has to be a tie between the Liveship Traders trilogy and the song of Ice and Fire. I’m a sucker for characters:P

    And OMFG! Leigh Bardugo, your book sounds AMAZING! I was always curious what Tsarist Russia would be like…actually any Fantasy in Russia would be kick ass. I have to go to Russia sometime. I swear I’ve heard shadow and bone before. Maybe I stumbled on your website or something.

    Ahhh A girl of Fire and Thrones. I’ve seen that book and I’ve been wanting it for a while.

    Now to watch the Big Bang TheoryXD

  42. Janelle Jan 12 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    Gah! This book sounds so amazing… and Czarist Russia! I cannot wait to buy this book.

  43. Sarah Jan 12 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    All I want is to drink in a fantasy bar with fantasy lovers and squeal about *Fire and Bone* for hours. Huzzah, Leigh! Huzzah, magical drinking!

    I am shocked–Shocked!–that no one in this discussion thread (ahem, Leigh, ahem) has ‘fessed up to an undying affection for DragonLance. On this same list of “not good but still awesome” I would throw in Melanie Rawn’s “Sunrunner”/”Dragon Prince” series (hot!) and also that one series by that wiccan lady who wrote about elves curing sexual abuse through music, back in the early nineties. I may or may not have just googled “guitar pagan elf novel.”

    anyway, back on point: love love love, and so excited for the future of the Grisha.

    • Morgan Jan 12 2012 at 5:26 pm #

      Wait… I didn’t read it, but was that novel the one that was written by one of Jim Morrison’s crazy exes?

    • Leigh Bardugo Jan 12 2012 at 6:05 pm #

      Oh dear. I’ve been called out. YES. I read a ton of Dragonlance books. In fact, they were my gateway drug into the EPIC. Um, and someone needs to write “The Year of Magical Drinking.”

      • Sarah Jan 12 2012 at 6:58 pm #

        it is killing me that I cannot remember that author, morgan, though it is not that pamela morrison lady, i just double checked. I can picture the covers SO VIVIDLY. they were very celtic. there was also one, not a part of the main series, in which some serious celtic harper was magically preserved through the ages while her true lesbian love was imprisoned in some time warp, until she discovered heavy metal and took to guitar instead of harping so as to better harness the power of music and free the true love. it was super awesome, and it also taught me who Yngwie Malmsteen was.

  44. domynoe Jan 12 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Fave epic fantasy novel? Hrm….there really are too many to choose. Mists of Avalon, the first 3 or 4 Shannarah books, Patricia McKillip’s high fantasy novels, so many more.

  45. Lisa Jan 12 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Haha. This was excellent. Number 6 made me LOL.


  46. Lisa Jan 12 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Hmm. I know it’s older, but The Lord of the Rings would have to be my favorite epic fantasy novel. All of them.

  47. Gretchen McNeil Jan 12 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    I’m so ridiculously excited about this book you have NO IDEA!!!!!

  48. Yahong Jan 12 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    Your thumbs? Man. You are one talented brawler. Also — men riding zebras?! You got me. I’m won over. *moons over zebras*

    My favourite epic fantasy… hmm, I can’t think of any off the top of my head that deserve the “favourite” status (the word can be so ambiguous) but Kristin Cashore’s Graceling was one I read lately that was brilliant. OOH. How about Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, Jonathan Auxier? MG fantasy has always been my soft spot. <3

    • Leigh Bardugo Jan 13 2012 at 1:15 am #

      Who doesn’t love a good zebra?

      I haven’t read Peter Nimble yet but Jonathan is a local author and I’m dying to get to it. Oh, TBR pile, will you never dwindle?

  49. Marina Jan 12 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    Yes!! A book set in Russia!!! Love it! And welcome to the club! Can’t wait to see your future posts!

  50. Grace Radford Jan 12 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    What counts as an epic fantasy novel? Do the Mortal Instruments count as one? Cause I love those books… 😀

    • Caitlin Vanasse Jan 13 2012 at 1:12 am #

      I think the mortal instruments are – what is it called? – Urban fantasy? There’s a glossary somewhere back on LTWF but if they’re using Epic fantasy in the same way they’ve used high fantasy it’s basically fantasy that’s set in another world (not Earth as we know it.) Of course now that I’ve looked at my goodreads list I’m realizing how little high fantasy I actually read. Of course I could be wrong about all of this, and I’m never going to deny someone the chance to shower The Mortal Instruments with live!

  51. Adriana Marachlian Jan 12 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    OMGIAFJGDIUSDLHFKJ I am NOT even going to pretend I didn’t just spend yesterday going to Leigh’s blog and going through the goodreads page for Shadow & Bone!!!

    Ok, I’m calm. I’m calm lol Shadow & Bone popped on my Goodreads Recs and I was like, “Hmm. This sounds interesting. Click click. *INSTANT LOVE*” Can’t wait to read it 😀 How can I get an ARC of it? Can I? Yeeees? *winkwinknudgenudge*

    And, answering the question: I think my favoriteS would be The Chronicles of Narnia and His Dark Materials… lol

    I forgot! WELCOME, LEIGH!! 😀


    • Leigh Bardugo Jan 13 2012 at 1:20 am #

      Um, YAY!! I’m so thrilled that you’re psyched for S&B. Sigh, June feels so far away.

  52. Kell Andrews Jan 12 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    Favorite epic fantasies? Robin McKinley’s Pegasus and Cashore’s Fire maybe…

    Excited for this book! Nice to see a different and unfamiliar setting.

  53. Hannah Jan 12 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    This sounds amazing! I am a history major and have a special place in my heart for Russia!

    Okay, epic fantasies. Oh geez. I particularly love every book by Tamora Pierce. (I have read them all so many times!) And the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner. Definitely my favorites.

  54. Katelyn Larson Jan 12 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    Hi, Leigh!!! I can’t wait to get my hands on SHADOW AND BONE. I’ve been hearing awesome things about it for awhile. How can I possibly wait until June?

    I think my favorite epic fantasy novels are probably all of Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books. My personal favorite is LADY KNIGHT from the Protector of the Small quartet. But I’ve heard amazing things about FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK and can’t wait to read it. Same goes for THE GAME OF THRONES.

    • Leigh Bardugo Jan 13 2012 at 1:21 am #

      I’m so happy to see so much Tamora Pierce and George R.R. Martin love on here! You are definitely my peoples 😀

  55. Kelly Mills Jan 12 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    My favorite epic fantasy novel is The Mists of Avalon. Everyone should read it!

    • Elana K. Arnold Jan 13 2012 at 11:16 am #

      I love this novel, too. Have you read The Red Tent? Somewhat in the same genre, also excellent!

  56. Petra @ Safari Poet Jan 12 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    I love the sound of the Winter Fete and that the book is set in Russia. All books have unknowns and setting it somewhere from the usual just gives it another great layer of unknowns to discover. I can’t wait to hear more about Shadow & Bone and see the illustrations Leigh mentioned on her blog.

    I don’t think I’ve read any book that would be in the subgenre epic fantasy, which I know is a crime. I have Philip Pullman’s first book in his Dark Materials series, which I hope to get to soon.

  57. Lesley Jan 12 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    favorite epic fantasy would be sharon shinn’s angel seeker series. amazing, beautiful, and i reread every year!

  58. Nina Jan 12 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    My favorite epic fantasy is without question The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Never before has “epic” been a more fitting description!

    • Elana K. Arnold Jan 13 2012 at 11:17 am #

      SO amazing! One of the best ending lines ever, don’t you think?

  59. Lauren Goff Jan 12 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia, definitely. <3

  60. Angie Jan 12 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    EPIC fantasy- The Drizzt series by RA Salvatore!!!! EPIC!

  61. Sara Wilson Etienne Jan 12 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    I’ve had the AMAZING pleasure of reading SHADOW AND BONE and it is incredible! You sink right into the story which is told lushly and with such confidence that you want to stay in the world forever. Leigh’s book isn’t even out yet and I already want the second one!!!!

    • Leigh Bardugo Jan 13 2012 at 1:24 am #

      Aw, thank you so much Sara!! You’re gonna make me cry again.

      LOVE the Stephen King shout out above. Remember EYES OF THE DRAGON, too?? Adored that book.

      Petra, you’re going to love THE GOLDEN COMPASS.

  62. Melissa Jan 12 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    I’m really loving Maggie L. Wood’s The Dark Realms series. The first two books are out now – Captured and The Darkening and the next book, Auralict should be out in April or May of 2012. Can’t wait.

  63. Orchid Jan 12 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    Just one favorite epic fantasy book-talk about tough question.

    But if I HAD to choose one it would have to be The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. It was one of teh best fantasy series I have read.

    Really, really hope I win The Girl of Fire and Thorns, it sounds like a great read. =)

  64. Sammy Jan 12 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    It’s still Thursday, it’s still Thursday! So happy welcome-to-Pub-Crawl day, love!

  65. Stephanie Allen Jan 13 2012 at 12:42 am #

    Ooh, I’m going to have to go with Lord of the Rings for my favorite epic fantasy novel(s). I read the trilogy for the first time in 8th grade and I’ve reread them every couple years since. They’re the reason I write fantasy.

    Nice to meet you! And thanks for the giveaway =)

  66. Diyana Wan Jan 13 2012 at 1:05 am #

    HI LEIGH!!!!!

    I think this is the first time I’ve said hi, even though I was stalking your blog all of last year 😛 (So much love for Delicious Cringe posts!)

    I honestly CANNOT CANNOT WAIT for SHADOW & BONE! I love the premise, I love the dark glamour of Russia, and saints, samovars — Oh, the magic!!! It’s like the most decadent book I’ve ever heard! The Winter Fete affirms it 😉

    As for favourite epic fantasy…I’d have to say SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series by George RR Martin, WARDED MAN by Peter V Brett and MISTBORN series by Brandon Sanderson. Also, also, HIS DARK MATERIALS. And THE HOBBIT. Can I count DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE? Augh, this is a tough question!!

    • Leigh Bardugo Jan 13 2012 at 1:30 am #

      Thanks for the welcome, Sammy!

      So many LOTR fans. It’s amazing that people still thing girls don’t read epic/high fantasy. RIDICULOUS.

      Ooooh, Diyana, I still cringe over Delicious Cringe. I’ll have to go digging in the diaries again soon 🙂

  67. Caitlin Vanasse Jan 13 2012 at 1:15 am #

    Leight your pub sounds awesome, sign me up for sure! As for favorite epic fantasy, although I’m not obsessed with the series like I used to be I think The Lord of the Rings will always occupy a place of special reverence in my mind. I also have so much love for Megan Whalen Turner’s work. I’m always shoving The Thief at people and telling them not to read any descriptions (which all ruin it IMHO), just read the book.

    • Caitlin Vanasse Jan 13 2012 at 1:16 am #

      of course I meant Leigh *headesk*

      • Leigh Bardugo Jan 13 2012 at 1:31 am #

        I’ve been called worse 😉

        Just wanted to thank everyone for the warm welcome and for all of the enthusiasm for SHADOW & BONE. I LOVED seeing all of the high/epic fantasy favorites.

        Yay PubCrawl!

  68. Yvette Jan 13 2012 at 2:52 am #

    I love Diana Wynne Jones and her Chrestomanci and Howl books. The Belgariad by David Eddings also has a special place in my heart as it was the first major series that I read. Thanks for having this contest! Your book sounds great.

  69. Jenelle R. Jan 13 2012 at 4:20 am #

    Epic fantasy novel? Err, I liked Graceling by Kristin Cashore, and i think that counts. 🙂 It’s really good!

  70. Yael Itamar Jan 13 2012 at 11:07 am #

    What’s your favorite epic fantasy novel?

    His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. So much love!

    • Elana K. Arnold Jan 13 2012 at 11:18 am #

      HDM gets my vote for best epic fantasy too. I love Will.

  71. Rika Ashton Jan 13 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    I adore epic fantasy! Dragons, assassins and thieves, oh my! My favourites would have to be the LOTR series, the Abhorsen trilogy, Game of Thrones and His Dark Materials.

  72. Amie Kaufman Jan 14 2012 at 12:24 am #

    I am SO dying to read Leigh’s book. I did Russian history at high school and at Uni (mostly the revolution, but there were Tzarist folks around there… at the start, anyway) and it’s such an incredible world. Can’t wait to read and hear more from her!

    • Leigh Bardugo Jan 14 2012 at 4:00 am #

      Thanks, Amie! I’ve been surprised by how many people took Russian history in high school or college. I’ll be posting some of the historical inspiration for SHADOW & BONE on my blog soon. btw, I love your avatar– there’s a privateer in Book 2 😉

  73. April X Jan 14 2012 at 10:36 am #

    I really wish I read more epic fantasy! I do love Graceling by Kristin Cashore 🙂 I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read or watched LoTR…

  74. Ella Jan 14 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Your book sounds absolutely amazing – I’m a sucker for fantasy series based on mythologies a little different from the norm. Can’t wait to get my hands on it when it comes out!

    I’m not sure exactly what distinguishes epic fantasy from other forms in terms of the industry terms, but I’m totally going to go for the Gentleman Bastard sequence by Scott Lynch. Fantastically written and I adore the characters against my good sense.

  75. Meagan Spooner Jan 15 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Um, that Winter Fete sounds am-aaaaaa-zing. I would read a whole book just for that. I absolutely love Russian history–it’s about the only history these days that I make time to read about, for no reason other than that it’s interesting. Your book sounds fantastic, and I can’t wait to read it!

    Welcome to Pub(lishing) Crawl 😀

    • Leigh Bardugo Jan 16 2012 at 1:48 am #

      Thanks, Meagan! (btw, I was just reading about your recent sale! Congratulations!!)

      And Ella, I’d never heard of the Gentleman Bastard Sequence. It looks kind of AWESOME. The title alone sent me to my Kindle. Thanks!

  76. Joan Jan 16 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    I remember reading this book against my will because my brother bought it, threw it to a side, and it looked kind of lonely… not to mention he wasted money. So I took it up, read it and…. wow.
    OMG! I loved it. The characters, the plot, the humor!, the politics, the world-building… it was all incredible. The dialogue was interesting, the main characters were noble and lovable.
    Karen Miller’s THE INNOCENT MAGE is a must-read, guys!! I loved it! I think I’m in love with Prince Gar 🙂

  77. Emily Brill-Holland Jan 17 2012 at 1:21 am #

    Favourite epic fantasy would have to be the series that were my first love. Y’know. The one you can never ever forget. The first time you met thieves and kings in the same company as sorcerers and that one kickass sorceress: yes, it has to be the Mallorean by David and Leigh Eddings.
    Currently, I’m enjoying the Game of Thrones. Isn’t everyone? 🙂

  78. Cassie Jan 17 2012 at 9:08 am #

    Tsarist Russia?!?!?! How neat! And I love the simplicity of the cover. EPIC.

  79. Small Review Jan 18 2012 at 12:46 am #

    Yay I’m glad you’re here!

    “Don’t let fear of the odds defeat you.”

    SUCH good advice! For everyone. I’m very happy you pushed through your doubt 🙂

    Favorite epic fantasy? I don’t think I’ve met an epic fantasy I didn’t love on at least some level. How about HIS DARK MATERIALS series, or the BANNED AND THE BANISHED series, or, well, I could really just go on and on. Questing with a rag tag band of fantasy warriors is my bread and butter.

  80. Asia M Jan 18 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Wow, the summary and what Leigh had to say about her book really made me want to read it!! I can’t wait till all you Pub Crawl ladies have your novels out! 😀

    As for my favourite epic fantasy novel, hmm, let’s see… I’m not exactly a specialist (there’s just too much to read!). Does Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire count? ‘Cause that’s really good. (Gotta start the third book, btw.)

  81. Atheena C. Jan 18 2012 at 10:05 am #

    Lord of the Rings i guess:) but this book sounds real interesting too:)

  82. Sarah S Jan 18 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    Hi, Leigh, thanks for the interview! Your description of the Winter Fete scene has me intrigued and wanting to know more!
    It’s hard to pick a favorite fantasy novel, but I’ll list two that got me started in this genre: Tolkein’s The Hobbit, and McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown.

  83. Katie Jan 18 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    I’ve been dying to read THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS! Thanks for the giveaway!! PS: LOVE Pub Crawl. I just found your blog, and this might be the most creative fun concept behind a book blog that I’ve seen!

    • Vanessa Di Gregorio Jan 19 2012 at 9:30 pm #

      Awww wow – thanks so much Katie!!!!

      We had SO much fun coming up with a name, and just getting the whole blog together 🙂 I hope you still like the blog even AFTER all the introductions are over!

  84. Hayley G Jan 18 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    Wow talk about coming in right under the gun here haha. My favourite epic fantasy would have to be The Mortal Instruments series. I just love the world that Cassie has imagined! 🙂

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