Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Review by Katie
June 2012 by Henry Holt & Co.
"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."
I'm always hesitant to read fantasy, I'm not sure why because I always end up really enjoying the book, but I wish I hadn't waited so long to read this book. Shadow and Bone is filled with magic, mystery, action, and love. We follow Alina as she strives to figure out what she is, her place in the world and exactly who is the Darkling and what does he want with her?
I loved Alina as our main character. She was sensible, humble, and smart. Though she was naive at times, I was naive right along with her. I felt that she came alive off the page and was living her adventures out with her. I was constantly rooting for things to go right for her and not once did I question her thoughts or decisions. I can't wait to continue on her journey.
The romance in this story was unique. I wouldn't call it a love triangle but there are two love interests and they are close to being complete opposites. The Darkling is the mysterious and powerful while Mal is realistic and passionate. While the story ends with Alina clearly with one of these guys, I hope to see more of the other in the next book.
Bardugo did an amazing job of world building in this book. I was enthralled with the Grisha and their powers. The range and representation of the different abilities are fascinating. From those that could alter other's appearances to those that could summon elements, it was all awesome! I loved seeing their powers at work and the magic of their world. I'm excited to learn more about this world in the next book!
This book moved itself up my list of favorites page by page. I would recommend this one to everyone - even if you don't particularly enjoy fantasy. This book holds something for everyone and once you start it, you will have a hard time putting it down.
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