I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.
Alina and Mal, best friends since childhood, they grew up together under the care of an orphanage. Their parents long gone, they only had each other for comfort. Now older they take up positions in the First Army, Alina as a mapmaker and Mal as a tracker. Their new assignment is to cross the Fold. A place where volcra live, creatures of the dark and vast plains. When there are suddenly attacked by a flock of volcra, Alina saves Mal, blinding him in a bath of pure light. What she doesn’t realize is that she is a Grisha, and a very important one, a sun summoner. Set in a medieval like era, Alina’s world is under the ruling of the King, and the Grisha’s leader, the Darkling. What happens when she realizes she has powers that can help her country Ravka? A war torn teenage girl finds put she is stronger than she thinks and goes on a journey to find out.
The whole world that Leigh has built was astounding. Throw in a group of people who have powers that seem like magic, and add in a tyrannical leader and you get a book that will leave you wanting more. Seriously, I had to stay up and finish this book. It was that good. You can get lost in this world, and rightfully so. The writing is fluid, so easy to pick up that the scenes just meld together in one continuous journey.
I love the growth of the characters. I love Alina. Her confidence already shaken by being plain and scrawny. She thinks she’s not worthy of Mal’s attention, but is she ever wrong. Their relationship felt right. Not rushed and corny as most of the YA romances I have read.
There’s enough fantasy, adventure, action and romance in here to keep any reader busy.