Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Reviewed by: Cassie and partly Rafia
Rate: Five glass slippers
Summary from www.leighbardugo.com
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 unlikely 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.
My achilles heel when it comes to books is judging the cover...and I really wasn't a big fan of this cover, before I read the book. Shadow and Bone...where do I start? It was mindblowing, amazing, and possibly the best book I ever read. Leigh Bardugo is a new author but she definitely proved herself with this book. It was unlike any other YA book with a new and interesting storyline. Alina was a deep and strong character and Mal...oh dear god, where do I start? Leigh Bardugo developed the story enough to leave me dying for the sequel.
Unlike my pal Rafia here, I don't judge a book by its cover. I judge a book based on its female protagonist, which usually makes me exceedingly frustrated 50% of the time, if not 75%. Alina is not the kind of girl who would make me cringe or want to punch something multiple times. While of course I did question her actions once or twice, I overall really liked her. Or perhaps I just loved the world and all the characters so much that I overlooked some minor issues of Alina.
Ravka, which is the only kingdom in the land that embraces the Grisha, is a dream-like world. Just read the book and you will fall in love with it over and over again. The Grisha, magical elite as they are, are quite fascinating. I haven't read a book in a long time that fascinated me with the powers the characters could wield. What book has its character controlling shadows? If there are any, there aren't any like this. You'll see.
The Darkling. Mysterious. Powerful. Enticing. What else could you want in a smexy let-me-daydream-and-dream-about-you kind of guy? Here's his description:
"He had a sharp, beautiful face, a shock of thick black hair, and clear gray eyes that glimmered like quartz." pg 41
Not only is he extremely attractive in a scarily delicious way, but... He is extremely seductive and bad-boy. Now tell me, what is not to like?
Most books I read do not inspire me to reread or even give it a second or third glance. This bad boy made me want to swap lives with Alina, however dangerous that might prove to be, and just dance and hoot and be glorious. Because let me tell you a little something, I could be totally glorious in Ravka with the Darkling and Mal by my side.
Not only that, but it is in a trilogy! Awesomesauce much? The thing to do is to read this amazing book, reread it, then reread it again, and love it to smithereens. And feverishly wait away for the sequel, squeal and fangirl about it when it finally releases, and then wither away when you find out there's the next one. I figure that by the time comes for the sequel to be released, I will have withered away into a walnut in the corner of my bedroom. Yeah. So read it!