Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
*Warning: This review may contain spoilers.*
"I've been waiting for you a long time, Alina," he said. "You and I are going to change the world."
This book was a brilliant read taking me just over a day to smash my way through it. After being in a reading slump for months now this was a great way for me get back into it.
Shadow and Bone is the first installment to Leigh Bardugo's fantasy series The Grisha, Shadow and Bone has the series off to a thrilling start, the plots full of unexpected twisted and an excellent set of characters.
The country of Ravka suffers a terrible plague, The Shadow Fold a swathe of impenetrable darkness slowly destroys the once great nation cutting the people off for their trading ports and holding the citizens of Ravka in a state of fear and despair, the country has been at war for a hundred years and has two armies protecting its starving population.
The First Army, the King's army formed of Ravka's citizens and The Second Army formed of the Grisha, the Kingdom's magical elite, people who study "the small science" who are lead by The Darkling, a being of immeasurable power and has the unfaltering loyalty of the Grisha.
Children are tested at a young age to see if they have the gift of the small science and those who are lucky do, swept from their homes and taken to the Little Palace a safe haven for Grisha where they live a life of luxury, honing their gifts and learning the way of the Grisha. But two orphans do not have such luck, raised in an orphanage Alina and Mal form an unbreakable friendship from a young age, when the pair are old enough they sign up for The First Army, Mal to be a tracker and Alina a map maker. Their regiments are to travel to The Shadow Fold to cross the Unsea. But their trip is not to be the succsess they hope, on their way across the fold their skiff is attacked by herd of Volcra, creature of the shadow fold who thrive in the darkness feasting on human flesh and shy away from the light. During the attack they Alina and Mal are attacked the pair think their time has come to an end, theres no way out, until a brilliant light scares off the Volcra and saves the skiff!
The Sun Summoner, after living her life as a pale, sickly clumsy orphan Alina discovers she's apart of the mystical Grisha, but not just any member, she's the one they've all been waiting for, the one to destroy The Shadow Fold. She is taken to the Little Palace to learn the way of the Grisha and under the Darkling's protection. Whilst there Alina finds herself, becomes comfotable in her own skin find friends and an attraction for the Darkling that that leaves her full of questions. But Alina cant forget her best friend, the one she fell for and has loved for years.
During her stay at the Little Palace Alnia learns lots, she has friends and someone who she may love. But it all comes to an end when she finds out she is being betrayed, and if those who work against her have their way her will and new found power will no longer will be her own she will be a slave to the darkness that haunts the nation.
Reunited with Mal, Alina and Mal go on the run to find the one thing that can assure Alina's freedom and help her destroy The Shadow Fold once and for all.
I really enjoyed this book, I enjoyed the world though not overly developed i enjoyed it all the same I loved the Russia feel to it all and the the twists ohh that twist make me a un-happy lady! I actually liked Alina, i know quite a few who have read this book had problems with her, because she based too much on her looks but i enjoyed reading about her and her point of view. Mal, Alina's childhood best friend and first love i also liked, he's charming and funny and at the beginning of the book i was smiling like a creep because of him but that was all to change when The Darkling hit the pages, he's dark, he's sexy, hes oh so charming and delicious and has so many layers he's a mystery all in himself, i was so excited by his character but had the irritating niggling feeling that it would all go tits up. Yes *gasp* there is a love triangle BUT it's really quite well done, i loathe love triangles but i really rather enjoyed this one, guess there's some hope for them yet. Haha. Mal is the safe option but The Darkling is the sexier more exciting option (the best choice) and well that just sums up my taste in men..
I'm excited to read the rest of this series and look forward to re-joining the world of the Grisha.
"I wont kill you, Alina."
"You may have to."
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