Friday, 21 March 2014

REVIEW: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

REVIEW: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Grisha Trilogy #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Release Date: May 7th 2013
Stars: Five fat stars

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?

Shadow and Bone has been sat on my shelf so long it was actually starting to collect dust. The first time I attempted this book, it was not to my taste at all. 
But now, a year later, I have opened my arms and embraced the majesty that is Shadow and Bone. 
This book sounded a little odd from the back cover, but still strangely appealing.  Obviously high-fantasy from the blurb. 
Alina Starkov is an orphan. There doesn’t seem to be anything remotely special about her until a crossing through the Shadow Fold, a slice of impenetrable darkness through the land of Ravka. She and the rest of the group are attacked by a group of monstrous winged Volcra. Alina discovers a power beyond her imagination and finds herself thrust into the world of the Grisha. The magical elite with the Darkling at the top. While Alina is now known as the Sun Summoner, the Darkling is the complete opposite. A being of darkness, deception and for Alina, attraction. 
I adored Alina. She never once annoyed me, which is very rare in a YA book. She reminds me of Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass. There is an air about Alina that you also see around Celaena. 
The beginning of the book was slow, but within the slightly sluggish pages, there was a lot of important information. There is a method to the speed, one where you get to know the characters better and learn more about Alina’s home, Ravka. 
I was instantly swallowed up by Alina’s world. Once you get over the complexity of the different kind of Grisha, you really start to get into the book. Beautiful imagery too. At times during Shadow and Bone, I almost felt like I was there in Ravka. Could see the Volcra and imagine their screeching. Fascinating imagery. Really fascinating.
The characters were vibrant, alive and unforgettable. Mal we do not see much of in Shadow and Bone, but even he left his mark. Especially during the climatic ending. Wow, that was one hell of a ride.
Yes. He is next. The Darkling.  
Wow. Can I say hot? As soon as we met him, BAM! That was it. All that insta-love cheesiness. I love the Darkling’s character. He’s exceedingly intricate, mysterious and more than a little bit scary. With powers that far surpass any other Grisha in the world, he’s lethal. And he’s certainly demonstrated the extent of his powers numerous times, which horrifies Alina.
Alina cannot help her attraction to him. And I must admit, even with what happened in the end, I still ship them hardcore. But I ship Mal and Alina too.  Oh well, I will carry on shipping both ships to my hearts content. Even if one ship is named Titanic.
This book was a mass of feels and sexy strange boys and men. Quite easily one of the best high-fantasy books in this kind of style since Throne of Glass. 
Five superfat stars with a naked Darkling on top. I’m plowing through Siege and Storm at the moment, and it is not disappointing.

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