Shadow and Bone ~ Leigh Bardugo

  • Title: Shadow and Bone
  • Author: Leigh Bardugo
  • Series: The Grisha #1
  • Genre: Fantasy, YA
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  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.

Review:  A fun, light read to devour in a few hours and while away time in candle light as snow falls haphazardly down from the skies.

Alina is a skinny girl with dark shadows beneath her eyes, dull hair and no skills whatsoever. Until she saves her best friend with a burst of power, and she’s taken away by the most powerful magic user, Darkling. At the little palace, Alina transforms from an ugly duckling and awkwardly embraces beauty and flagrant luxuries of a court life. Just when she thinks she has things figured out, Alina finds herself running away from everything she knows in order to save the world from darkness.

I like all the characters in this book, and it sucked that Alexei died right at the beginning of the tale. Kudos to Leigh Bardugo for making me like a minor character with only a handful of words and evoking emotions when he dies rather early in the game.

My inner vision of the world is a mismatch of old Russian and middle eastern. It makes for a very weird visual in my mind.

The emotional conflict of wishing for being accepted & loved verse doing what’s right is poignant. Alina and Darkling both believe they are doing the right thing but who is really right? All viewpoints are in Alina’s favor and you don’t really know what Darkling is thinking or why he’s doing what he does.

Mal’s realization and confession is totally sweet–and a tad bit of gag-reflex. I’m okay with Alina being sorta in love with two men, but will she be okay with that?

I feel the story would have been stronger if it was a little more messy and unclear about a few things. A little less of being told what to think or feel by the author and more of how the reader feels because of the story unfolding.

Looking forward to the next book!

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