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.
I’m doing these reviews a little out of order. I actually read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo before reading Shadow and Bone. Not that they are apart of the same series but from what I read (while reading Six of Crows) there are some small spoilers in the duology for the Shadow and Bone trilogy. Whoops! But I was already halfway through the book when I realized this so I finished reading it and then picked up Shadow and Bone before buying Crooked Kingdoms.
I read Shadow and Bone within 3 days. It was actually 4 but one day doesn’t count because my husband stole it away from me and decided to start reading it himself! Needless to say, we both loved the book and we’re fighting over it when we were on vacation in Oklahoma for New Years. Anytime one of us would set it down or go take a shower the other would steal the book! That’s how good this book was.
I think Leigh Bardugo is one of my new favorite authors! I think her world building skills are pretty close to those of Sarah J. Maas. I love the whole old-Russian feel to the plot. The names and places are very interesting. Most YA historical fiction stories take place in Europe like London or Scotland. I appreciated the change of scenery.
I also love fantasy so the Grisha concept intrigues me. I like how certain people are born with special abilities. Their abilities are really unique like summoning the sun, and being able to change the way people look, control of different elements such as wind, water, and fire. I think if I was born a Grisha I would want to be an inferni because it sounds really bad-ass to be able to control fire.
Alina and Mal are the main characters in the beginning. They’re orphans in Ravka who go live in a children’s home. Alina is actually Grisha but manages to suppress her powers until she’s almost a grown woman. Her fellow Ravkans and The Darkling (he’s basically a dark prince) find out about her powers when they’re trying to cross The Fold ( a place where there are demons that attack people). From there she is whisked away to the Palace to be trained as a proper Grisha. There she meets many people who she befriends and learns to harness her power as a Sun Summoner. How cool is that? She may be the only hope in destroying The Fold, and she thinks that’s what the Darklings plan is but by the end of the story some of the characters turn out not to be the people you thought they were. Alina and Mal must make an escape in order to save Ravka from the darkness that is about to encompass the land and for their lives.
I immediately ordered Siege and Storm (book 2) and Ruin and Rising (book 3) and Crooked Kingdoms (book 2 in the Six of Crows duology). I give Shadow and Bone 5/5.