Title: Shadow and Bone
Release Date: May 7th, 2013
Publisher: Square Fish
Format Read: Paperback
Synopsis from 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. Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo follows Alina Starkov who is discovering a newfound ability within the Small Science. She is whisked away to the royal court to collaborate with the Darkling in trying to save Ravka.
I really enjoyed the whole concept of this, it was super unique! It was quite slow at times, but it was all worth it in the end. I have to admit, I was really confused or the first part of the book. We were being introduced to this new world/magic system and things were being thrown at us with not too much explanation. We were getting all of these different Grisha with different powers, kefta (robe) colours, and different embroidered cuffs. I actually found myself having to refer to the Grishaverse wikia to try and sort things out. Don’t let that put you off though, as you go on, things fall into place.
This trilogy is inspired by Tsarist Russia of the early 1800s, which was something I’d never read about before! I really loved the play on Russian language and culture. It was such a unique world that I didn’t find it too hard to immerse myself in the world.
Now, onto the characters. I really found our main character Alina to be relatable. She wasn’t over-confident, and she was pretty chill. Malyen is a little cinnamon roll and he’s not a real jerk to Alina. I don’t really like the Darkling, like, at all. I’m not sure why so many people are obsessed with him, maybe I’ll find out in the next books?
I really love Alina and Mal’s relationship. They’ve been close friends since they were kids, and their relationship didn’t feel insta-lovey. I love how Mal isn’t controlling, he gives her space when needed, protects her but isn’t overprotective, and he truly admires her *heart eyes*.
The ending of this was really good! Alina really surprised me, and my jaw literally dropped a few times. Speaking of jaw-dropping moments, PLOT TWISTS MAN. I did not see any of them coming, and they blew me away!
Id’ recommend this if you want something unique (and Russian inspired) to read!
As always, I’d love feedback on my blog, reviews, etc. I’m always looking to improve!
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