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.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Review: I was sitting in the library and this book caught my eye. I recognized the cover, because I had seen it before, and I decided to read the first page. The words were so well placed and well written that I felt I had no choice but to take it out. I knew just from reading the first page that this book would be one of the best I have ever read.
When I read a book, it is not the mental images, or the plot line that compels me to read more. It is the quality of words. I do not appreciate poorly written novels, even if the story line is captivating or interesting. Leigh Bardugo, however, used her words in such a beautiful way, that it was impossible to resist.
There were so many surprises that I was incapable of keeping a steady reading pace. As soon as I settled into reading comfortably, something big would happen and it was difficult not to skip forward to see the result. I was constantly on the edge of my seat. This is another attribute that attracts me.
Bardugo has a wonderful way of opening up her characters for us to read (no pun intended) while keeping a certain mystery about them. The main character, Alina, is very amiable and understandable, but also has many secrets that she doesn’t reveal until near the end of the book. For example, Alina has a scar on her hand that she always touches out of habit. The readers never find out how it was procured until the very end. I find this a fascinating technique to get the readers to connect with the character more. To make us feel as if we all have small things that comfort us but we dont want to share.
In Alina’s struggle to control her ability, Bardugo does an amazing job at showing her inner struggle and frustration. Alina experiences a lot of self-doubt at the beginning because she never knew she had a power. She believes that it will disappear inside her again and she will be viewed as a fraud. This is another way I felt connected to the character.
Another thing I loved about this book was the surplus in obstacles. There wasn’t just one goal that had to be fulfilled, there several, one after the other. Of course Alina wanted to control and develop her ability throughout the entire book, but this was contradicted with many problems and blockades.
I did not give this book a five out of five for one reason. There were tiny moments where I was slightly confused as to what to believe. This is a personal preference because I prefer to know everything that is happening and to not contradict myself. I realize that Bardugo was confusing the reader intentionally as to include the reader to the storyand link them to Alina, but that tactic is not to my liking.
Besides this, Shadow and Bone is by far, one of the best books I have read. I’m 100% glad I took the risk to read the first page. 🙂
review by: dharmaayla