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.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a YA fantasy series. Shadow and Bone seems to be an incredibly popular series, there’s a Netflix TV show and everything, and it has been on my to read list for a while. After reading Wonder Woman: Warbringer and loving it, I bumped it to the top of my list. So here we are.
I, surprisingly, enjoyed it. I was honestly not expecting much, especially in the way of romance since it’s a YA, but I was pleasantly surprised. I realize that sounds condescending or pretentious or something and that’s not my intention. I really just was not expecting to like this book as much as I did.
Spoiler, but when the Darkling kissed Alina I almost stopped reading. I was so afraid that was the route Bardugo was going, and it made my skin crawl. I am not an age gap fan, not even in fantasies, especially when one side is super young. I don’t believe they stated a specific age for Alina, but she was probably late teens very early twenties, so one hundred and twenty-five is definitely too old.
Alina isn’t too mopey, and she also doesn’t succeed too easily. Mal, well, you don’t know too much about him except how much Alina loves him. You don’t know much about the Darkling either. I was glad that Alina didn’t spend too much time at court dealing with all the politics there, I am not in the mood for courtly politics. No thank you.
Even though Shadow and Bone is the first of a trilogy the ending wasn’t a massive cliffhanger that leaves you on edge. There is obviously more to the story, but for now, people are safe and in love. So, it was a sweet ending.
I’ve gone ahead and requested the next two books from the library. I’ve also been told to read the Six of Crows series. Once I’m done with those, I’ll probably try the Netflix series too. I have another fantasy book checked out from the library that’s the first in a series and I’ve moved it down my read list to avoid having clashing worlds. Hopefully, my library requests come in fast.