Rating: ***** Suggested Age: 13
Summary: “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.” (Summary found on Goodreads).
Shadow and Bone was really good. Really good. I just finished it about an hour or so ago and I really want to read the next book (Siege and Storm). I actually really liked the Darkling and hated Mal. I liked Mal’s friendship with Alina and thought it was sweet that he would do literally anything for her, but I don’t want them to be anything more than friends. I’m trying to figure out if it’s good that I like the Darkling (those who have read this book will understand what I mean). I also liked Genya a lot, despite her being a secondary character with little affect on the plot.
Leigh Bardugo writes really well and descriptively. From the instant I started it, I noticed how quick the pacing was. Last week was finals week for me, so I didn’t get as much time to read as I wanted. However, on Friday when I finished both my finals and had free time in class, I read and got to page one-hundred and something. I read for a while today as well, realizing that this book is pretty hard to put down.
There are some clichés in this book, like Alina being “plain” and discovering this power she never realized she had, but I didn’t really mind it. I’m generally not fond of clichés, but everything else great in this book made up for it.
I definitely recommend Shadow and Bone! I can’t wait to read the next two books and at some point read Six of Crows. If I’m right, Six of Crows takes place in the same world, just with different characters!
Also, I know I’m not the only one who loved it when the Darkling said, “Fine, make me your villain”.
*Note: I wrote this a few days ago, so I didn’t finish this book on the date it was published*