Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, # 1)
By: Leigh Bardugo
Published: June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Source: Borrowed from my SNL, Holly @ Words Fueled by Love
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Goodreads description--The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.
Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?
The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.
But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?
Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.
First thing I have to say is that I completely agree with Holly when she said that this book needed a glossary. I don't mind when books have words that are unfamiliar to me in the mix, but Shadow and Bone has such a large amount of these types of words that it's a bit annoying not to have any clue what they're talking about or the pronunciations for each. You do pick up on some meanings here and there, but a glossary would have been helpful.
Despite my frustrations with the terminology, the world that Leigh Bardugo has created is both terrifying and beautiful. The Grisha are the same way. Most people are in awe of them yet utterly terrified and despise them at the same time. The entire world and the entire book has a love/hate theme going on. I just dare you to try not to get captivated in this unique creation.
Guys...sometimes I like to trick myself into thinking that I can predict the future. It's really quite hilarious. A lot of times I'm spot on in my predictions for books--what's to come and all of that jazz. Not really because I'm anything special, but just because I try to keep my eyes out for foreshadowing placed strategically by the author. But Shadow and Bone through me for an absolute loop and pretty much made a fool out of me. I was all taking notes, writing down page numbers and quotes because I had a prediction about what was going to happen...and um yeah....not even close. Leigh Bardugo totally played me. But if anything, it makes me like this book even more.
Alina is a character I couldn't help but get wrapped up in. Every aspect of her life. From being orphaned, to being in love with her best friend who she doesn't think even sees her. Not fitting in anywhere. Being only mildly talented at her job of mapmaking. Finding out that she has this ability that she can't control. Falling for the charm of someone she's not sure she can trust. All of it. Her entire package was easy to connect to, to feel her pain, longing, and desires. To understand her thoughts and feelings.
The Darkling had me wrapped up in the process as well. I was charmed and intoxicated with his power. Of course there was the battle with me from the beginning about where Alina's feelings truly lie--with Mal or with The Darkling. But I picked a side and then had to jump ship. Mal was another character that I couldn't help but get wrapped up in, and I'm pretty sure that there is much more to come from him--can't wait to see that unfold.
I'm not sure what else to say without spoiling the entire experience for someone who hasn't read it. Shadow and Bone is not a book you're likely to forget. Fans of world building, fantasy, and villains will love Shadow and Bone. I'm giving it 4 Stars. Have you read Shadow and Bone? What did you think? Let me know!