Title: Shadow and Bone (Goodreads)
Author: Leigh Bardugo (Website)
Series: The Grisha #1
Genre: (high) fantasy, magic
Published by: Henry Holt and Co. in June 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.
After seeing this book on literally every site I visited the last weeks I had to give in and get this book myself. I feel like Shadow and Bone was definitely one of THE books of summer 2013 along with a few other ones and I couldn’t miss out on this hype. At first I was a little hesitant and thought this would be some sort of history of Russia but it is absolutely not. The world is based on Russia but has little similarities (only a few here and there). I’m not that familiar with Russia’s history so this story was a little different for me but not less entertaining to read.
I wasn’t that invested in the characters of this book because I feel like we know little about them. I’m not saying they aren’t formed correctly, I mean that we don’t have much insight in their characters. We don’t know these characters that well. Especially the Darkling but I’m guessing it was meant to be that way. Gosh, in the beginning he’s one big mystery, then all of a sudden you think you’re getting to know him and then BOOM he’s a mystery again. Throughout the book I couldn’t exactly like him. I wanted to in the beginning because how many ‘villains’ turn out to be good guys in the end these days…? Yeah, not in this book.
Shadow and Bone is very fast-paced. In some scenes it’s okay for it happen quickly but in others I felt like it happened too quickly. It’s not that big of a problem for me but I’m just warning you.
The magical aspect of this book was great, unique and refreshing. It’s nothing like anything I’ve read about before and therefore it was really interesting.
I’m definitely reading the sequel as soon as I can and I encourage you to pick this book up if you haven’t already.