Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Square Fish on May 7th 2013
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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.
Before starting my full review, let me answer some questions most readers want to know.
What audience would enjoy reading this book? Fan of the Hunger Games Trilogy or the Divergent Series will love these books. This has a similar formula and feel of those young adult fiction novels.
What genre of book is this? Unlike the Hunger Games Trilogy and the Divergent Series, Shadow and Bone is a young adult fantasy, not a dystopian. Leigh Bardugo created this amazing dark world for you to enjoy.
What tense is this book written in? This book is written in the first person. This can be a make or break for some readers. The issue with first person novels is that you are only witness to that person’s experiences, and a part of the story is missing from the reader’s view. It didn’t hinder this book at all.
And now…for the review:
There comes a time when you read a book so perfect, that every other book you read seems…boring. I was in that situation before I read this book. I had read “The Hunger Games” trilogy, and nothing…NOTHING seemed to be as good as that series. My friend clearly knew I was in such a rut, that she sent me this series to read with just one word to describe it…Darkling. At the time I had no idea what that meant, but I understand now.
“Shadow and Bone” takes you on an adventure and transports you into the dark and exciting world of the Grisha. Boy, what an adventure.
When I picked up the book, I thought that this was going to be your “run of the mill” young adult fantasy book, but the more I read the book, the more I enjoyed it. It wasn’t until halfway when I realized that something was different…something was wrong…something was too perfect. I believe most people will agree with me that the book didn’t get really good until the surprise “twist.” I shall leave that open ended so I don’t get blamed for spoiling such a great twist. All I will have to say is, damn you Leigh Bardugo for tricking us. Well played.
Overall, this was an amazing book with some great twists and turns. About halfway through the book, I was on the edge of my seat. Every page seemed to reveal a new twist. Such an exciting read!