Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, she is sure of only one thing: her best friend, Mal–and her inconvenient crush on him. Until the day their army regiment enters the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. When their convoy is attacked and Mal is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power not even she knew existed.
Ripped from everything she knows, Alina is taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With Alina’s extraordinary power in his arsenal, he believes they can finally destory the Fold. Now Alina must find a way to master her untamed gift and somehow fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. As the threat to the kingdom mounts and her dangerous attraction to the Darkling grows, Alina will uncover a secret that could tear her heart–and her country–in two.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is the first book in the Grisha Trilogy. It follows Alina as she soon discovers her new destiny and power as a Grisha and the problems that lie ahead for her. Not all is what it seems in the world of the Grisha. And she will soon find out there is more to her power then people let her on to believe.
Will she be able to control her new destiny, or will everyone want to take advantage of her naivety? There’s only one way to find out.
With a nation split in two by the Shadow Fold and with the monsters that dwell within it, the future of Ravka has been placed into the hands of the once orphan girl and her new power. While on a routine journey across the Shadow Fold things don’t go so well for Alina and her friends and regiment. With her best friend gravely injured, Alina unleashes a power she never knew she had lying dormant inside her. Now being taken away from the only people she loves, Alina is thrust into the world of the Grisha. An elite group of people in the kingdom that have control over certain powers and abilities. With a unique power that may possibly save Ravka from perpetual darkness, will Alina have what it takes to use it, or will she be used for evil?
The plot was amazing and the way Bardugo told the story was very compelling. Everything about it flowed seamlessly and was very beautifully written. One of my favorite aspects of the plot was the magic/power system. I thought it was very thought out and all the Grisha that had a power were placed where they would most benefit the country. The one thing I didn’t really like was how “plain and simple” Alina kept saying she was even though she had three guys pining for her affection throughout the story. I can honestly say modesty is not her best quality. But other than that, the plot and writing were fantastic!
The main female character is Alina. I love Alina’s backstory. Something about reading it was interesting and compelling. I loved her moments in the castle and discovering who she was not only as a Grisha but as a person. Alina is strong and resilient, but she is also caring. She learns and perseveres even when the times get tough. Although she is naive in the way of the Grisha, she knows how to take care of herself when the time is right.
The main male characters are Mal and The Darkling. Mal… I was conflicted at first. I admit I didn’t like him very much. Mostly because he was too charming (I’m still not his biggest fan), but I also loved those last sweet moments of the book before the shit hit the fan again. He is hard not to like, but he fell flat for me at times. As one of the main love interests, I kind of found him to be a bit boring.
Ah, the Darkling. I would be lying if I said the Darkling wasn’t my favorite thing about this novel. The Darkling is just so powerful, cunning, evil, vindictive, charming, and I love him. I shouldn’t love him because he can be so cruel, but I love him. It’s probably unhealthy, isn’t it?
The world building was amazing; Leigh really has a way with words. It was so descriptive, but at the same time, not overly descriptive so it was easy to stay fascinated, and so easy to stay with the story, because it hands all the details to you. There’s nothing that you can’t picture.
I really felt like I was in the Russian inspired Ravka. All the scenery, especially the monuments, castle, and buildings were all so extravagant and beautiful in my mind. I thought the setting fit the story well and was able to perfectly set the tone and atmosphere.
Anyway, get up and go buy this book. What did you guys think? What kind of Grisha would you guys want to be? Did you love the Darkling as much as I did? Let me know below.
Until next time,