- Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
- Release date: June 5, 2012
- Series/Stand-alone: The Grisha, Book 1
- Number of pages: 356
- Format: Paperback
- Source: Bought
- Rating: 4.5 cookies
- Swoon spoon: Shovelful after shovelful (75-100%)
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.
Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.
Can we just take a moment and celebrate my very first book review? Cue the confetti! Thank you all for the cyber-pats on the back!
Leigh Bardugo is very cruel. Genius in epic proportions, but cruel all the same. I am head over heels in love with the setting. The Russian feel is so beautifully captured, I can actually imagine myself walking down the streets of Ravka, kvas in hand ('Sup, Darkling?). The culture is absolutely rich and the characters are not one-sided, which I also love. They've become relatable because of a lot of their flaws and ambitions. It makes them much more human.
The story itself has been brilliantly brought to life by Leigh. Though there were many foreign words (which I will obviously, obviously use in my daily life from now on), I am so glad that I didn't get lost. The addition of the map illustrated in the first part of the book was a nice touch. It's a very good way to make the story more tangible even before the storytelling began. High five, Leigh! There was a perfect balance between science and magic, leaving my mind reeling the whole time.
Alina has started from being this timid little girl and was pushed into the world of being a Grisha. Her growth was unfurled before our eyes and, of course this is the part of every book where we draw inspiration from and use it in our lives (because come on, we all need inspiration cupcakes now and then).
I am a sucker for romance and the tearing apart--not tugging--of my heartstrings. At this point, I could not pinpoint who Alina is going to end up with and it's killing me. KILLING ME. Because I'm shipping the Darkling and Alina, and I'm not sorry.
I have fallen in love with the dark and mysterious side of the story that he brings. He is so DELICIOUSLY EVIL. He's got this pull on all the characters, and he certainly has this pull on me too. He's reached into the dark recesses of my heart and stamped his own black brand on it. Sigh. Swoon. Sigh. The Darkling's won me over.
I'm hoping Mal proves himself a lot more in the second book. He came off as really boyish, though very adorable. Mal seems like the boy-next-door type to me if you'd put him in the present world and I can totally see why Alina has this huge-arse crush on him. But I think his realizations came a little too late and he's just a little to safe for my taste. No worries. You can have him, Alina.
Honestly, I could not put the book down. I have devoured it like the volcra feasting on the flesh of men. If the second book was in the bottom of the Shadow Fold, there's a huge chance I'd jump in and find it. Hopefully, volcras aren't smart enough to differentiate sunlight from a flashlight.
*COVER IMAGE AND SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS*