Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo: review

Goodreads rating: 4.30
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Source: e-ARC/bought; signed

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.
I actually didn't know very much about this book when I requested it on Netgalley. I mean, if you read the synopsis, there's so much going on that can't really relate to our current world at all. And it really is crazy and weird. But like I told Leigh at the Fierce Reads tour stop: it's a good kind of crazy. In fact, it's a great kind of crazy. It really is nothing like I've ever read before. There aren't a lot of books out there that are sort of Russian-based. But this book is more like a fantasy than anything else, and that's what I loved about it. The world-building was superb and the storyline was very unique. But I think what really made me love this book was the unknown, and the romance. If you want to know more about what Leigh had to say about her debut novel, check out my recap of the Fierce Reads event here.

This world Leigh has created is again like nothing I have ever read before. There's just so much to learn about this place, but she gives us enough time to get acclimated to every surprise. The Shadow fold was just pure chaos. They need this channel to get to the other side of their nation, but it's not just pure darkness. There are also unmerciful monsters that attack in this dark. And Alina, our main character, ends up having a power that could save her country by keeping a light in this darkness. But not everyone's intentions are for good as she originally thought. I loved the bits of action in this book. There was so much going on, but fighting ends up being just the same in any world, no matter what weapons you're using. I think the author really got down to basic human instincts, and that's what made this great.

I adored the romance. It's made obvious in the beginning that Alina is in love with Mal, who's the best friend that she ends up saving. But she doesn't think that he feels the same. And in the beginning, I honestly don't think he did. He always wants to be around her, but there are always girls falling at his feet because he's gorgeous and kind too. But then we meet the Darkling, and he's kind of like the bad boy of the novel. You know you shouldn't trust him, but you kind of can't help falling him a little. Don't worry, Mal is given his chance to realize that he does love Alina. But who will she choose. The Darkling wants something from Alina and her new-found power, and she's not sure where Mal is exactly. You can tell there's something fishy going on, but it's a mystery as to who's behind it all and what they really want from her.

You should definitely consider picking up this novel. Leigh's writing flows easily, and you can't help falling in love with her characters. Definitely a must-read debut novel for this year!

1 comment:

  1. I loved the world in this one too! She did such a good job at revealing the world. I love how unique the Russian influence was. The romance between a childhood friend isn't done very much, and I thought Leigh did such a good job with it. Great review! And thank you so much for the nice comment on my blog :)


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