Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha trilogy
Published June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Company
Genre: fantasy, young adult, romance, adventure, magic
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.
The first 100 pages of Shadow and Bone kind of threw me off balance a little bit because information were just dumped on me without warning. It was hard at first to understand the world since there were so many terms of the Grisha world. But, after the 100 pages, I was slowly but surely disgesting and found it easier to absorb newer information.
The world building lacked a little for me in Shadow and Bone. It focused more on the people which undermined the characteristics of the Grisha world for me. I love what I found out about the world in the book but I wished there was more. I want to know the history, the culture, how people lived and where they put their beliefs at.
Leigh Bardugo’s writing style was beautiful and captivating. Though the story moves at a slower pace as compared to typical Young Adult books, her writing kept me fully immerse with it.
The Darkling wasn’t the kind of villian I was expecting. He wasn’t hostile or unfriendly to Alina, he was constantly on the lookout for her and always trying to make this journey easier for her. However, this made it even more dangerous for Alina, and it showed that the Darkling is a much more formidable opponent than expected because he can so easily deceive others and gather resources quickly.
Alina’s adventure to find herself is definitely a tough one. She gets thrusted into the world as soon as we do, and she didn’t exactly have time to get used to anything before every one is pinning their hope on her to get rid of the Shadow Fold. Alina is not exactly skilled in combat fighting and she has no control of her power. I’m hoping we will see more of her personality in the next two books, to see her grow into a stronger and more powerful Summoner and kick some butts.
I didn’t like Mal when he was first introduced but as I read on, Mal became a worthy ally and a loyal friend to Alina.
Oh! and the romance between Alina and the Darkling is so freaking weird and adrupt that makes no sense at all. I felt uncomfortable about it even though I like his character…
Overall, I enjoyed Shadow and Bone. It was such a fantastic and magical read. I can’t wait to read Siege and Storm and continue this fantasy journey with Alina!
what are your thoughts on shadow and bone? let me know it in the comments!! are you supporting mal or the darkling as alina’s partner?
(my aesthetic for shadow and bone)