Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. BYR
Series: #1 in The Grisha
Page Count: 358
Author Website: Leigh Bardugo
Buy the Book: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Summary from 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.
“ The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest, and because they haunted the Duke’s house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches.”
After blogging for a year, I have learned some things. One of them is to never believe the hype and go open-mindedly into books. From this perspective, Shadow and Bone was a thrilling and mysterious read! I really loved the world of the Grisha and Alina. Also, Mal, but I’ll get into that later. I know that there is a lot of hype for this book, saying that it is the best fantasy you’ve ever read or will read, etc. For me, it wasn’t that, but it was still the start to a surely amazing series and I can’t wait until the next book!
Alina Starkov is a soldier in the First Army. The book starts out with her and her best friend Mal having to travel through the abyss that is the Shadow Fold. During their crossing, something amazing and impossible happens, which then causes the course of Alina’s life to change forever. I love character journey’s and I think Alina’s was no exception. She was emotionally thwarted and tested in every way. She is resilient, which is always a wonderful thing in my opinion. She also has lots of flaws, which made me believe in her even more.
Mal is probably my favorite protagonist in Shadow and Bone. He was so real and honest with Alina and willing to sacrifice so much for her. I love guys in YA like this. There are the brooding aloof guys, the bad boys, the overprotective ones, and then there is Mal. He is sort of in that best friend turned love interest category, but very uniquely so.
The setting in Shadow and Bone was one that I liked very much. It is set in the world of Ravka. There is a long waged war going on and stakes are very high.
There are a lot of surprises in this book. A lot of twists and jaw-dropping moments, let me tell you. Every moment of Shadow and Bone was intriguing. There were heartwarming moments to devastating moments, and it was just a good time to read.