Book: Shadow and Bone (Grishaverse #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Square Fish
Genre: YA Fantasy
Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, she is sure of only one thing: her best friend, Mal–and her inconvenient crush on him. Until the day their army regiment enters the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. When their convoy is attacked and Mal is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power not even she knew existed.
Ripped from everything she knows, Alina is taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With Alina’s extraordinary power in his arsenal, he believes they can finally destory the Fold. Now Alina must find a way to master her untamed gift and somehow fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. As the threat to the kingdom mounts and her dangerous attraction to the Darkling grows, Alina will uncover a secret that could tear her heart–and her country–in two. (Goodreads)
My rating: 4 stars
It was lovely. Definitely recommend.
I nabbed this book on a super sale because I read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom earlier this year and was entranced by the Grisha and the world that Leigh Bardugo has created. I wanted to see where it all began.
And then I saw Shadow and Bone on sale and couldn’t resist.
This book started strong and stayed that way. I loved the relationship between Alina and Mal. Their history, their present, and their future are so interesting. And Alina herself – she’s pretty great too. She felt relatable, authentic, and honest. Alina’s power manifesting is crazy and so, so, so interesting. Her whole world gets turned upside down and backwards and sideways when she is discovered to be Grisha. And it messes with her head. The story works really well in first person from her perspective. She’s young and she’s just had a huge life change thrown at her, she’s in a whole new environment, and oh goodness, this powerful man seems to maybe, for some reason, like her.
Alina’s adventure is just that, an adventure. A crazy one.
Bardugo kept throwing more twists and turns and surprises at me and I loved it. This book doesn’t stop. It pauses, briefly, here and there to let you catch your breath, but then speeds ahead again. Between revelations and relationships, fears and accomplishments, Alina learns a lot and grows a lot. And, she makes some really tough decisions.
Although it is a story set in a fantasy world amongst people with and without magical powers, this book really is a story about friendship, loneliness, fitting in (or not), and figuring out where you fit and what you believe and stand for.
I’m going to try and be good and pick up the rest of this series from the library…but we’ll see how long the wait is. I want to know what happens next!