Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Series: The Grisha #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars
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“People, particularly big men carrying big rifles, don't expect lip from a scrawny thing like me. They always look a bit dazed when they get it.” ― Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone
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. (Goodreads)
Shadow and Bone was amazing! I don't know what hooked me. I guess the premise is what really lured me in, but there was just so much to this book that I loved.
I loved the Grisha in this story. Their different colored robes and ranks were neat, and I thought their different callings were interesting, like the Inferni and the Tidemakers. I really would love to hear more about the history of the Grisha. Is there any explanation for their existence? But I figure we will learn more about them in later books.
The characters were very well-developed. I loved Alina. It was nice to have a heroine that didn't annoy me for once. She was a very strong character, even with her flaws. I also really loved Mal. Mal could be so adorable at times, and he was a loyal friend. Who doesn't love a friendship formed between two orphans who had no one else? It's so sweet and it is wonderful to see how strong their friendship is when it is tested by change. The Darkling was very persuasive and alluring. I found myself loving him, and I thought he was sexy. How could he not be? He was so powerful and seductive. You will fall for him too if you haven't read this yet.
The setting is dark and yet so alluring in its dark beauty. Bardugo does such a great job with the world building. I especially thought the use of foreign words like kefta and such was a nice touch. The names were also creative and unique. Everything had a distinct Russian influence, making the book so original in setting. The only complaint I had was with the one name, David, which kind of stuck out like a sore thumb.
So, I was looking at Leigh Bardugo's site. It's just amazing. Not only was she born in Jerusalem, but she also moved to Los Angeles and attended Yale University. She's also the singer of the band Captain Automatic, and she's a talented makeup artist fascinated with glamour and ghouls.
This book is a new favorite! Definitely my favorite so far for the year! I cannot wait until Siege and Storm in 2013!