Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
First Published: 2012
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 358 pages
Buy on: Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★★

‘Continue reading’ for review | Read review on 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.

     Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy.

     Although it took me a chapter or two to really get into it, I can now say that I am absolutely in love! Leigh Bardugo has created this magical world, unlike any other that I’ve ever read about. I am truly upset with myself for not reading it sooner!

     Since there were so many good things about Shadow and Bone, I don’t even know where to start. It was perfect. Honestly, I can’t even imagine reading anything else until I am finished with this trilogy. The plot is captivating. To see two different worlds come to life is enough to leave you glued to this book for hours. There is a sort of mysterious element to it that leaves you wanting more.

     The characters are written very well, and they each have their own memorable qualities. The protagonist, Alina, is the perfect ‘underdog.’ Through the entire book, you can’t help but root for her. You get to see her go from an orphan, to a cartographer/soldier, to a Grisha. You just want her to succeed in everything she does. The Darkling is very alluring. I don’t know if it’s his power, or if it’s just the way he is presented in this book. There is something so attractive about him. (Maybe even more so after the plot twist.) Alina’s best friend, Mal, was a fellow orphan, and soldier. You sort of want to smack the back of his head, and say, “YOUR BEST FRIEND IS IN LOVE WITH YOU, YOU BIG DUMBY!” Maybe that was just me. There are so many quality characters in Shadow and Bone, it’s hard to choose a favorite.

     Leigh Bardugo is an artist. The fact that she can present such a vivid picture using just words is amazing. From the Winter fete, to the scene with the white stag – it was all beautifully written. She created this world with only so many words, and yet it is burned into my brain.
If you’re a lover of fantasy, and want to read a refreshing book – this is it! Go pick up a copy as soon as possible, you will not regret it!

     Have a great day!


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