Published: June 5, 2012
Buy: Amazon, B&N
Source: Courtesy of Macmillan
Goodreads Blurb: 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 haven’t read a ton of fantasy since high school when I decided to tackle Lord of the Rings. Well that’s not completely true, I have read the first two books in A Song of Ice and Fire. But seriously, these are the only books I’ve read until Shadow and Bone. I absolutely LOVED this book. It was everything I hoped for and more. I was up late because I couldn’t put it down.
Bardugo does an amazing job creating this world and the characters. Throughout the book I felt Alina’s loneliness and need to be a part of a group. She never fit in with her troop, and still doesn’t really belong with Grisha. She goes through so many emotions, including heart ache, in order to find who she is. The only person she has ever felt understood by is Mal, her childhood best friend. He is the one constant in her life, or was, until she was swept off to join the Grisha.
The Darkling is someone many people fear. He is the only Grisha with black robes, and is extremely mysterious. He has secrets that he means to keep hidden. I was so back and forth on him and his intentions during most of the book. But after certain events, and I’m not a fan. Or maybe that will change later. 😛
I kept getting choked up on the some of the words. They can be a little hard to pronounce. But I did the best I could and moved on. It’s mostly just titles that are difficult.
The world she built is still so vivid in my mind, even a week after putting the book down. I’m sure I’ll be doing a re-read soon. I highly recommend this for fans of fantasy. It is an epic story that will leave you wanting more!