Finished reading on 17th November 2015.
Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series Status: The 1st book in The Grisha Trilogy
Number of Pages: 305 + 11 pages of bonus content
(Found on Goodreads)
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 unraveling 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?
I finally started this series! It’s been on my TBR for over a year now, it was about time I delved into this world.
It took me quite a while to get used to the terminology. Before I even started the book I knew from looking at the nicely drawn map that I would have to look up the pronunciations of the words. I do think these books would benefit from a pronunciation guide in the front, as well as the map (which I really like) since I had to Google it to find out.
There’s a website created for this purpose, so if you’d like to know the pronunciations, click here. It was quite helpful.
So – let’s talk about few of the characters. I really liked the main character, Alina. She was sarcastic and always curious about the world she lived in. She seemed realistic, and I had no issue believing her reactions were appropriate. The Darkling was mysterious and a lot like a puzzle. He ended up being one of those characters I should have hated, but actually loved. Genya – Alina’s friend through the majority of the book – ended up becoming a favourite of mine. She was just so genuine and supportive. I wish we learnt more about her. Maybe in the next books?
Within a couple of chapters, action was already taking place. It did feel a tad overwhelming at first, since I was still trying to get used to the terminology, but then I ended up loving how fast-paced it was. Without realizing, I was soon halfway through the book and really getting into it. There was one event that seemed quite randomly placed around the halfway point, but I think it was meant to be written that way as a sort of plot twist. It definitely made me think “Oh my god did that really just happen?!?” which was probably the intended effect.
The writing style was alright, but it didn’t blow me away. There wasn’t much world building, so most of my imagining came from the map at the front of the book. There was a HUGE emphasis on beauty though. At first I didn’t mind it, since it sort of helped me imagine the world, but then it just carried on throughout and there seemed to be a pressure for everyone and everything to look stunning. I did love the dialogue. Bardugo has this effortless way of creating conversations that flow easily with no struggle or awkwardness involved. Plus it really built up the character’s personalities.
I definitely didn’t see the plot twist happening. It kept me speeding through the second half of the book, wanting to find out more. Towards the end I wasn’t too bothered about the romance, but it didn’t bug me either. It was just there. The book had a well rounded ending, but you could tell there was more to come.
This is only the beginning of an amazing story.
Rated 4//5 stars!
If any of you have read this book, let me know what you thought in the comments below! If not, is it on your TBR?