Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
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 read this book because it sounded decent enough and was a debut, so I was pleasantly surprised when I really enjoyed it. I don’t know if it’s an amazing book or my new favorite, but it was definitely an enjoyable way to pass a few days reading.
I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into with this book. I thought it sounded fairly fantasy-esque, but I wasn’t quite sure. I feel like I was thrown into this world almost as soon as I began reading, but at times that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. For example, all the different magical people with different powers and titles and colors, it was just so difficult to keep track of who was what and such. I got lost a little.
It didn’t really matter too much in the end, though. I really enjoyed reading along with Alina’s adventure. There were interesting characters, many of whom I can’t wait to read more about in the sequel. The romantic exploits of Alina were also quite interesting. It was kind of nice how it originally seemed like it was going to be a love triangle, but has since transformed into a love line (don’t know what else to call the regular two people while still talking about shapes) with another person on the outside. It’ll definitely be an interesting dynamic going into the second book.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised about this book and am now looking forward to the second book. I think it’s a good fantasy book that should keep you entertained for the most part, whether you like fantasy or not.