Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.
Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?
The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.
But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?
Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.
*Received in exchange for an honest review*
*Thank you to Gollancz for providing a copy*
Upon receiving this book, I was so incredibly excited to start it! There is so much positivity floating around this book and I really could not wait to start. I felt a little anticipatory and really hoped that I wouldn't be one of the awkward ones that just 'didn't get it'. The beginning of the book had me conflicted. I found myself wondering when things were going to get going and I started to worry that I wasn't going to like it. This soon changed!
This book felt like two things rolled into one. At first we were with Alina on her journey to cross The Shadow Fold - the dark and dangerous expanse which secludes the Ravka. Towards the end it felt like a massive battle of good vs. evil and I absolutely loved it. It's a book similar to the likes of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and I love that it reminded me of that. It's a book full of adventure and I adore fantasy books which follow characters journeys to various places. This book definitely had all of the characteristics of the genre that I love; the journey, the enticing villain, romance, a strong heroine and plenty of action.
“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.”
I loved Mal, Alina's best friend and fellow orphan, a top class tracker and a really amazing character. But I also loved The Darkling. The seductive, all powerful villain. It isn't often that I feel conflicted about a villain but am really looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds in the next book of the series. The relationships developed are wonderful and the romance within the book isn't overpowering. It doesn't command centre stage and allows Alina's development and her task to take precedence. Exactly how I like my books!
I highly recommend this book, it certainly lives up to the hype created by the massive Grisha fandom. If you haven't read this book yet, what are you waiting for? I am so disappointed that it took me so long to get hooked on this series!