Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
The Grisha Trilogy #1
Release Date: June 5th, 2012
Number of Pages: 358
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BFY)
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.
Wow. Simply Wow. This book was simply much more than I expected.
I’m always a little scared when starting a book that have a lot of hype, but I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed with Shadow and Bone. I don’t usually read that much fantasy, as I often don’t fall in love with those. When it comes down to Shadow and Bone, it was love at first sight. The world was amazing. It was well build and easy to follow after a couple of chapters. Not once did I feel like the world stopped me, or slowed me down while I was reading.
I have to say that I was happy that romance wasn’t one of the main aspects of this book. This book isn’t romance-free (we get to see some little things with the Darkling and Alina, and of course, Alina and Mal). Alina’s character isn’t perfect, but that’s one of the thing I liked about her. She grows during the book, as she learns about her power, and realized that not everything is what it seems. There is something so strong about her, but yet she seems so weak. I love this contrast in her personality. It would have felt fake if she suddenly ended up being all-powerful when she had never trained her power. Of course, of all the characters present in the book, I can’t not talk about Mal. *Sigh* He is definitely swoon worthy. There is simply something amazingly interesting about him.
Leigh Bardugo created a world that was simply breathtaking. Her description really made the world come to life. I could easily visualize the world described. The Russian influence was clearly visible, even though it wasn’t a 100% Russian setting. It doesn’t matter. The world stands as an original and amazing creation full of darkness and mystery. If you’re looking for an addicting fantasy, this is the book for you. It is the kind of book you won’t want to put down once you start. It was simply excellent, and I’m already dying to read the sequel.