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.
I’d never heard of this series until I entered the bookstagram world. Even though I own Six of Crows (a spur of the moment Target purchase, in case you were wondering) and people told me I didn’t have to read the Grisha trilogy before I read Six of Crows I still wanted to start at the beginning of Leigh Bardugo’s writing. So I requested Shadow and Bone from the library and after what felt like forever I finally got it and I really liked it. I believe I read the whole book in one day because I just couldn’t put it down.
I really liked Alina’s character and I loved the Darkling, as so many people warned me I would. I thought Alina’s friend, Mal, was okay overall but he did have some very swoon-worthy lines that I definitely enjoyed. Still I don’t think Mal makes it to my favorite book boyfriends list but there are still two more books in the trilogy so he has time to grow on me.
The hardest part of this novel for me was keeping track of the world. I started doing that thing where I would just skim over words I couldn’t pronounce in my head, which is fine because that tends to happen with fantasy books, it’s just something I felt like noting. I think when I read the next book I’ll look at the map in more detail because I definitely didn’t understand some things but I think that was also because I read the book so quickly that I missed some details. What can I say, when it comes to plot I sometimes skim. I’m a sucker for dialogue. So sue me. Anyway, overall I did enjoy this book and I definitely want to keep reading but I didn’t absolutely love it.
“I’m sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now.”