Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #1
Genre: High Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Publication date: June 5th, 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.
He slumped back in his chair. “Fine,” he said with a weary shrug. “Make me your villain.”
I feel like I was one of those people who is super late on this train, but oh well. The important thing is that I’ve started with The Grisha already! And even though it wasn’t as good as Six of Crows, it still was super enjoyable and I really liked it.
This was Leigh Bardugo’s debut novel, and I could see a lot of changes in her writing on SoC, but I loved being in that world again and learning about other parts of the Grisha World (more especifically, Ravka). I already knew the places and terminology so it wasn’t difficult at all to follow the story. In fact, I wasn’t as lost as I was while reading her other duology. So, that’s something I apreciated, because let me tell you there were a lot of names I had no idea the first time I dove into the Grisha world. And I was more familiar with the characters (blame my friends for making me adore the Darkling even before knowing anything about him!).
“When the leaves change color, do you call it magic? What about when you cut your hand andit heals? And when you put a pot of water on the stove and it boils, is it magic then?”
The story had some well-known YA tropes, buuut besides that I have to say I actually really enjoyed it. It was fast, quick and the characters were amazing.
I loved Alina so much. Despite being your tipical main character, there was something about her I couldn’t point out that made me empathise with her. She’s a very tortured character (even the side characters from the book said so LOL). But she’s very loyal and brave, and has that kindness and je n’ai sais quoi. I can’t wait to see more about her and the evolution in the next two books!
And well, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the Darkling. I KNOW, I KNOW. Boy, I just love villains so much. And he was very good at being one. I knew I was going to love him since the very first moment I heard about him. He’s incredibly ambicious and intelligent, and I loved the goodness veil he had at first when he was first introduced.
“This isn’t fair,” I whispered angrily. “I don’t know what the King thinks I can do, but it isn’t fair to throw me out there and expect me to just… make things happen.”
“I hope you don’t expect fairness from me, Alina. It isn’t one of my especialties.”
I also really enjoyed that we got to see more about Ravka’s society, and how the court worked and the different grishas and their imporance on the palace and everywhere else. I didn’t get to see that in SoC and it was something that interesting.
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