by Leigh Bardugo
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.
Interpretation: 4/5 froggies-- different yet beautiful writing that plunges you into an imaginative world! A series that will keep you on your toes.
THOUGHTS: The book went at a slow pace in the first few chapters. The terms were hard to pronounce and I'm having a hard time imagining how the setting looks like, how should the characters look like and in what era was the plot exactly set. I don't even know what was going on on the first part but still the book has that effect of keeping the readers interested enough to be curious what the ruckus is all about. In my opinion, I would have enjoyed the first few chapters if I did a little research (which I did when I was in the mid-part of the book) about Shadow and Bone beforehand. The concept was breathtaking and something that was new to me. I am not really into books with historical elements but I like this one very much! I'm glad that I picked this up!
Alina was the heroine that will leave a mark in your heart. She uses her weaknesses in order to build up her strength. I love every bit of her character! Even her weakness of just wanting to belong somewhere/with someone was something you cannot take against her but something you can sympathize with. But after everything she went through she still knows who she is despite the great power and luxury standing before her.
Mal is Alina's bestfriend since they were little children. The romance between them makes sense and tied up pretty well. What they have made their love for each other believable. The story of the scar on Alina's palm which reminds her of Mal was pretty cute :"> And as for every other guy who is willing to risk their lives for the woman they love, Mal is no different.
The Darkling is the type of villain you can't hate... I don't know about you but for me I'm smitten! I love his dark personality. I really think he has special feelings for Alina and deep down I wish they'd end up together though not forever =)) Or that at the end it will still be Mal and Alina but for the mean time, it should be The Darkling and Alina resisting his evil-ish charms.
The last quarter of the book really had my full attention and had me at the edge of my seat! The book had enough action, romance, issues and friendship equally developed throughout the story.
All in all the story left me speechless! The plot was refreshing, it is a diversion from all the cliche YA plots we are used to these days that's why I liked this book very much. I'm surely looking forward for Shadow and Bone's sequel! Kudos to Leigh Bardugo for doing a great job in creating a new addictive world! :-) Make sure to visit her site at http://www.leighbardugo.com/ to know more about Shadow and Bone!