Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Reading level: Young Adult
Size: 368 pages
Release Date: June 5th 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Stand Alone or Series: The Grisha Trilogy #1
Summary (from GoodReads):
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 by Leigh Bardugo is sure to satisfy readers of fantasy and paranormal young adult alike. The world building is unparalleled-by the time I finished reading the novel I was convinced that Ravka existed with all of it’s intrigue and all it’s inhabitants. The Russian flavor, the volcra hiding in the darkness of the Shadow Fold, the rival countries and court intrigue all meshed together to form an amazing backdrop for this story.
The character development was likewise impeccable. Alina: The strong yet believable heroine. The orphan girl made good in the army who suddenly finds herself on a dangerous precipice….trying to master new powers while figuring out who her true allies really are… The Darkling: powerfully dangerous yet mesmerizing…what are his true motivations? Mal: The best friend…seemingly always out of reach yet faithfully always there when needed.
The plot and the pacing keep the reader enthralled and loathe to put this one down until the world tilts upside down, left becomes right…and we’re all left wondering where that twist came from.
Shadow and Bone has it all: a wonderfully unique setting, a strong and likable heroine, a dangerous “villain”, mystery, intrigue, love and friendship. It ticked all the boxes for me and I believe that it just might for you as well.
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