July 5, 2012
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.
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Publish Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
** This book was provided to us by the publisher for an honest review. We were in no way paid for our opinion **
I have absolutely no clue how to begin this review! So, I’m going to begin it like that! Take a moment to look at the cover of Shadow & Bone by author Leigh Bardugo and now come back to this review, it’s okay, we’ll wait *tick tock, tick tock* Oh! You’re back! How great, now that you’ve seen the cover you may or may not agree with me, but I was a snob to this story before I read it because I did something a reader shouldn’t do; I judged a book by its cover. Terrible, I know. But I have to admit, that when the story began I wasn’t sure what to expect. I only briefly skimmed the synopsis, so I practically went into the story blind….
But, oh my sweet goodness this story was good.
Nay, it wasn’t good… it was great. It was every variant of every word that means “good” thrown into one story. I’ve always been meaning to read a good fantasy story, but lately, I’ve found it hard to find one that is actually original and one that can keep my attention for more than the first hundred pages. Yet somehow, Shadow & Bone kept me on my toes and on the edge of my seat for the entirety of the story.
Shadow & Bone is set in the fantasy land of Ravka (which, surprisingly, holds a ton of similarities to Russia and Russian culture #facts). Ravka, the place is ruled by a monarchy, has certain citizens called Grisha who have magical abilities and live lives full of luxury and running along the length of Ravka is the Shadow Fold. The Shadow Fold, I personally find, to be a place straight out of your worst nightmares. It’s this terrible area that consists only of darkness and within it, holds the vicious, terrifying, flesh-eating creatures called the Volcra. Spooky I know and what makes the story even scarier is that after being introduced to the main character, Alina Starkov, and her childhood friend, Mal, we end up being thrown straight into a very detailed Volcra attack. Though somehow, Alina ends up shooting light out from her body and is revealed to be the Sun Summoner (which in Ravka, is a really big deal, guys).
The rest of the story revolves around Alina’s adjustment to being the Sun Summoner who is a symbol of hope to the citizens of Ravka. For some reason the Darkling, who is the most badass Grisha you will ever find, has taken a serious liking in Alina. The one thing that I liked about what Bardugo did in the story was show us the different classes in Ravka, you have peasants and then soldiers and then the most elite citizens which include the Grisha. From what I’ve learned from Alina, the Grisha lifestyle is one that all citizens would die for.
I don’t want to give too much away, but I did enjoy the romance in the story. Who doesn’t like romance? Be honest. The fact that the Darkling started to get very romantic with Alina was a shocker, but he gave me the feeling that Alina was his favorite Grisha, despite what Zoya (another Grisha) thinks. Personally, out of the two romantic characters that we got introduced to, I was falling in love with Mal. Even though he was cut out from the story for most of the “middle” portion, I found him very romantic especially since he seemed so willing to do everything he could to keep Alina safe.
Can I add in that Shadow & Bone had a bucket full of twists that I did not see coming?
A story that I personally hope to see a film adaption for, I would recommend Shadow & Bone to readers who want a unique read, fans of Fantasy or if your just somebody who wants to get lost in a good book. Shadow & Bone is a story that I would tell anybody to read and lucky for us it’s a trilogy! Let the wild series of YAY ensue!!
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