Thursday, January 10, 2013

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


Title: Shadow and Bone
Series: The Grisha
Book #: One 
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Source: Library 

My Rating: fullfullfullfullquarter
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. (taken from goodreads.com)
Although I read this book months ago (and unfortunately forgot to review it), I can still remember how captivated I was by this incredible story. I picked it up on a whim at my local library, and I was surprised when it turned out to be one of the best books I read in 2012. 

It's becoming increasingly difficult to discover truly original works of young adult fiction. Too many of the recently published novels follow similar plot lines. It was incredibly refreshing to find a book that was new and unpredictable. I devoured the story, desperate to unravel every mystery. For once, I was nowhere near predicting what would happen. 

Ah, romance, how I love thee. I admit it- I'm a sucker for a good love story. Alina's love life takes several twists and turns, and I read with glee as her heart found it's place. Every character in the story is well developed and enjoyable to read about, even if some do have darker intentions than others. 

Hands down, my favorite part of then novel was the concept of the Grisha. I was fascinated by their world and their powers. I drank up every detail and longed for more. Thank heavens there's a sequel, but I am not even close to being done with Ravka and the amazing people who reside there.

Overall, Shadow and Bone is a creative breath of fresh air in young adult literature. I consumed Bardugo's words and was ready for a sequel the moment I turned the last page. I highly recommend this tale of magic and deception. 

“The thought filled me with grief, grief for the dreams we'd shared, for the love I'd felt, for the hopeful girl I would never be again.”