Title/Author: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher/Year: Henry Holt and Co. on June 5, 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Yes! (The Grisha Trilogy)
Other Books by Author: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2)
How I got this Book: Purchased
Summary From Goodreads: The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.
Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?
The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.
But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?
Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.
THIS BOOK ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ That is all.
Is that an acceptable review? No? Fine. Let my try to elaborate:
Shadow and Bone by the fabulous Leigh Bardugo is a fantasy book that follows the life of Alina Starkov. Alina is an orphan, and she works with her best friend Mal for the Second Army as mapmakers. They live in the world of Ravka, which is a fictional, fantasy world. The reader is given a brief breakdown of the state of things in Ravka, and what exactly is happening with Alina and Mal, and then thrusts you right into the story by marching you into The Fold with Alina and the Second Army!!! I think that Leigh was smart to do this, because she wastes no time with the big exciting THINGS THAT HAPPEN, which completely entices the reader!
After some things that shall remain undisclosed happen, Alina finds herself living in a castle and reporting to the Darkling, who believes that Alina holds the power to save Ravka from the Fold! But does she? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
Now, let me break it down a little.
The world building in this book is exquisite. Although Ravka is a fantasy world, it has a very Russian-esque feeling to it, and draws on some 20th century Russian influences. There is even the aspect of the language, which has a Russin-like sound to it, yet was created entirely by Bardugo herself. She constructed every part of this wondrous world, down to the clothes they wore, and the class system that was in place. Well done Leigh!
Secondly, the character development present in Shadow and Bone is unbelievable. We see the main characters, like Alina and the Darkling, develop quite a bit throughout the book, but we also get to see immense character development from the supporting characters too, like Genya. Leigh must have a detailed background story and/or history in mind for almost every character in this book, because she pulled it off so well!
Next up, THE SWOONS! Yes, there is a bit of a love triangle in this book. Mal is so sweet and is Alina’s best friend and in the beginning I just wanted them to get together because it was obvious how much she liked him and I wanted them both to be happyyyyyyy. But, then along comes the Darkling. OH DARKLING, WHY MUST YOU BE SO ATTRACTIVE?!
Finally, the plot twist!!!! I didn’t see that coming, AT ALL! So kudos to Leigh on that one. And the ending!!! I have no words for it, except for that it was fantastic!!! :D
If you haven’t read Shadow and Bone yet, GET ON IT! You will not be disappointed, I assure you. And as for me, I need to read SEige and Storm, ASAP!
(SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!) “I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I’d catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I’d seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I’d realize that you weren’t there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I’ve risked my life for you. I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don’t tell me why we don’t belong together.” – Mal to Alina
Book Rock Betty (a non-fantasy lover) said it was awesome and didn’t want to put it down!
Judith from Paper Riot gave it 5 stars!
Yasmine from The Yasmine Public Library liked it a lot!
Have you read Shadow and Bone? Did you love it? Do you usually like fantasy books, or was this a new genre for you? Who did you swoon for – Darkling or Mal? If you haven’t read Shadow and Bone yet, think you might be adding it to your list?