Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA Fantasy
Synopsis: 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
I didn’t know what to expect from this book. I’d seen it around tumblr in beautiful graphics and decided to give it a try. I’m very glad that I did.
I’ve never been much of a high fantasy reader, but I was able to get swept up into this world. Everything about the Grisha world is beautiful and intricate, and I loved being able to get lost in the details of it all.
I liked Alina right away, even with her being a typical YA protagonist. She didn’t find herself pretty, and was in love with the typical “bad boy.” But I was happy to see that it had significance in a way that most “ugly” protagonists do not. It was because of the suppression of her powers that she looked tired and plain. When she was finally able to use them, her entire persona changed.
The Darkling and Mal were also great characters. I shipped the Darkling and Alina very early on, which gave me a rude awakening towards the end that I’ll refrain from ranting about just in case anyone reading this review hasn’t read the book.
Ms. Bardugo gave each of the characters great character arcs, and I don’t think I found one flat character in the mix, even amongst the static ones.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I’m excited to read the next two. I gave it five stars because of the terrific characters and the vivid descriptions.