Publisher: Indigo Books
Summary: 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? (Via Goodreads.)
Review: Shadow and Bone is a book that feels like it should be a spectacular, sweeping epic but it doesn’t quite manage it. However, that doesn’t stop the book from being a brilliant read.
The plot starts out much like any other YA fantasy. Young girl, not many friends, doesn’t quite fit in, discovers she is a super powerful being, in this case a Grisha, and may be the only answer to saving her world from destruction. She is then taken away from her old life by a power, enigmatic man who she may or may not be in love with it – then Bardugo pulls the rug out from under you and it’s simply stunning.
This is Bardugo’s first published novel and and at times that is pretty obvious as sometimes the writing is a little bit clunky but I found the plot and the characters so intriguing that it didn’t really matter to me and as the book went on her writing did improve. Bardugo creates a fascinating world in Shadow and Bone, I can’t really fault her world building and I really enjoyed the inclusion of Russian Culture in the world – even though I’m sure I’m butchering most of pronunciations!
The world is rich, the world building is excellent and the characters are intriguing and engaging. I actually picked up the remaining two books in the trilogy before I even had Shadow and Bone completely finished and I’m really glad I did that because I wanted the second one as soon asI finished Shadow and Bone’s last page.
Not a perfect book, but a very enjoyable book and one I would recommend to people who enjoy YA Fantasy.