Shadow and Bone (Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Published: June 5, 2012
Source/Edition: Bought at Books-A-Million, Hardcover
Summary Provided by Goodreads:
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! Okay, first let me apologize for taking so long to get to this book. So many people have been telling me to read this but I kept pushing it back. Why? I don’t really know. Taking a break from Contemporary Conversations, I finally decided to read this. I was so excited because it’s such a popular book and I hadn’t been spoiled … until I was halfway into the book! Haha, safe to say I will now be avoiding Goodreads reviews in the future, just in case. Anyway, back to the book. Magnificent world building. Amazing writing. Dynamic characters. What else is there to say? You see the map in the beginning of the book and you know that the world building will be on point.
One of my favorite things about this book was the relationship between Alina and Mal. Their friendship and love for each other was so beautiful and palpable that I actually cried … 32 pages into the book! I don’t think I’ve ever done that before, so early into the book. Alina is a great character and very relatable. You see her grow into a confident Grisha and it is really awe-inspiring. Mal is another fantastic character, full of laughter and strength! The Darkling is on a whole other level here! He’s definitely intriguing, I’ll say.
The prologue pulls you right into the world and then switches point of view for a better introduction to the fantasy world. It takes a little while to get a hang of, especially with the new terminology but you’ll get used to it. I am so lucky that I bought the entire trilogy because I think I’d be going crazy right now if I didn’t have the second book. This trilogy, I’m sure, is a new favorite! It truly is a beautifully written story. Shadow and Bone does not disappoint. Bardugo delivers a fantastic first installment of the trilogy, filled with shocking twists and turns and incredible writing!