Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha Trilogy #1
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Find it here: Amazon, 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.
There’s a map in this book! Whenever there are maps, I try to get a good feel for where cities and countries are so that I don’t have to flip back and forth but I always end up flipping back and forth! Which it didn’t mind at all because I wanted to know everything about this world that Bardugo created!
Alina is such a great heroine and an awesome well-rounded character! She’s strong, grounded, loyal, she knows who she is and when the story beings, she has accepted her lot in life. She fights in the King’s army and she knows she’ll probably die doing it. But her whole world changes when her undiscovered magical talent is revealed during a near fatal attack. This is when Alina struggles to put her trust in those around her because she doesn’t feel like she really belongs.
The Darkling is also one of my favorite characters! I was drawn to him from the beginning (maybe for the sheer fact that he’s called The Darkling) and I rooted for him throughout the story! Even after finishing it I still hope that he’s going to turn out to be good and that he isn’t evil! I also loved him because he was always encouraging Alina and supporting her when most of the Grisha snubbed their noses at her. He knew she was going to be great even when she was having trouble summoning her powers.
I was able to attend a book signing and an author panel in which Leigh Bardugo was a part of. I just love listening to authors talk about how they create their worlds and invent their characters. Bardugo mentioned that she wanted take the intangible concept of darkness in a country or nation and put it into reality. Ravka is literally divided by an impenetrable darkness which is filled with terrify monsters. I think that hearing tidbits from authors gives me a better understanding of the book and a greater appreciation!
Shadow and Bone is such a great book that sucked me in during the first chapter, making it impossible to put down! I give Shadow and Bone 5 hearts for being one of the best fantasy novels I’ve ever read!