Series: The Grisha Trilogy #1
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (Macmillan)
First published: June 5th, 2012
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.
My Rating: 4.5 / 5
Living up to the hype surrounding it, Shadow and Bone turned out to be a captivating novel, set in an imaginative world of magic, darkness and a young girl's journey to find out where she truly belongs. Despite a somewhat slow start, I couldn't help but fall in love with this story and can't wait to find out what Alina will experience in the second novel of this really intriguing series.
When it comes to books which are being hyped a lot, I'm always quite skeptical. Often they can't live up to my expectations and I end up being disappointed. Luckily Shadow and Bone doesn't fall into that category and surprised me with its uniqueness and magical world-building. If you are just as afraid as I had been that you might be disappointed, give this book a chance - it lived up to its reputation.
At first though, I needed some time to get into the story, which is probably the reason why I didn't feel like giving this five stars. I often have that problem with fantasy and / or historical settings, because the world the characters live in is so different from what I'm used to. But after a few chapters I felt more comfortable in this world and was sucked into it.
Shadow and Bone's protagonist Alina is a feisty but relatable young girl who's leading a not-so-perfect life, but seems to be able to deal with it nonetheless. An unrequited crush and the fear of the Shadow Fold plague her, but nonetheless she's "normal." At least until she realizes that there's more to her and that she possesses a power many people will be interested in.
I completely adore the Grisha mythology, which builds the foundation for Shadow and Bone. Adding Alina's experiences in their world, Leigh Bardugo has weaved an addicting tale of political intrigues and magic, making it hard to guess what might happen next and therefore difficult to put this first book of a trilogy down.
All in all, Shadow and Bone ended up being just as awesome as I expected it to be. With a bittersweet love story, which frustrated me just as much as it made me want to swoon, and a unique world-building, I'm sure that the Grisha trilogy will be on my favorite-lists. Personally, I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel and I'm hoping that Leigh Bardugo will continue to surprise me with her ideas.
Debut Author Challenge 2012
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