Series: The Grisha #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on June 5, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance
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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?
PEOPLE. I have no idea why I took so long to read Shadow and Bone. Maybe it’s because I’m not a huge fan of fantasy, but I AM NOW! This book was chock full of awesomeness and excitement and mystery. I just can’t contain my love for this book, and for Leigh Bardugo, who I am now a fan of for life. As always, my main points are bolded. :)
1. This WORLD. Oh wow. My absolute favorite thing about Shadow and Bone is the world Leigh created for us. I love all of it, from its setting in futuristic Russia, to the elaborate keftas, to the mysterious Shadow Fold (a dark and barren wasteland filled with volcra, which I swear are some kind of dragon on steroids), and all the awesome talents of the Grisha. This world is complicated and complex with its own language. It’s amazing.
2. Leigh’s writing is out of this world. OH man. Have you seen that episode of Friends with Ross’s wedding in London, and Joey is having a hard time figuring out how to read his map, so he puts it on the ground and stands on it, putting himself INTO the map so it made more sense? That’s what Leigh did to me! I was IN the book, and I could picture and see everything. It all made so much sense, and I absolutely loved everything. Had the writing not been so amazing, this book would have flopped.
3. Alina. Oh, Alina. Talk about an amazingly bad-a heroine. I love her! She’s just a run of the mill girl one day, and then all of a sudden she’s Ravka’s everything. She gets swept up into the magic and excitement of the lavish castle, and gets to wear fancy clothes, dine on yummy foods, and be the topic of every conversation. But through it all, she stays humble, really just wanting to become a part of the wall or the floor rather than shine. She’s timid and scared and confused, and she feels inadequate. But as the story progresses, she grows into this brave, confident young woman who will sacrifice and cause problems and fight for herself.
4. Oh, the Darkling. MAN. I’d heard stories about him floating around the blogosphere, and now finally understand what everyone has been talking about! He’s dark and sexy and charming and dangerous, and people are just drawn to him for some mysterious reason. Reading about him was rather intoxicating. I was drawn to him too! But like I said, he’s dangerous… and I swear, I always love the dangerous character!
5. MAL. Can I have Mal for myself? Mal is Alina’s childhood friend, who she has never really been able to live without. But when she is taken to the castle, and he is made a tracker for the kingdom, they lose each other. What a beautiful friendship they have. He’s brave and protective and SO full of secrets and depth.
6. The romance is perfection. There’s not too much, not too little, nothing really insta-love… it all makes sense for the circumstances. I loved it. And that’s all I will say, because it’s too good to even come close to spoiling.
7. I feel like everything happens! Shadow and Bone is chock full of adventure, mystery, action, emotion, romance, opulence, relationships, and questions. The ending is just… urg.se.rgusheg;sghus.ergisjherg!
Clearly, I loved Shadow and Bone. I have nothing bad to say about it, and can’t stop thinking about it at ALL. I read this one really fast, and when I was not reading I was thinking about it. If you love fantastic world-building, strong characters, mystery, intrigue, romance of extreme proportions, and beautiful writing, you will love Shadow and Bone.