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. -Goodreads review
First, the book cover. What pushed me to buy this book was the to buy this book was the cover. Look at it.
And the beautiful, beautiful cover design is not the only thing that makes this entire book so magnificent.
If I may present my own blurb:
If you're looking for a good fantasy read after reading Harry Potter, then look no further.
Not that I'm comparing it to Harry Potter, because that's just absurd. I'm indicating that this book crossed my expectations and I want people to read it.
The protagonist of Shadow and Bone is an orphan, Alina Starkov. Before she crossed the Shadow Fold, she thought herself to be completely ordinary. But then again, Alina never fit in anyplace. Since her childhood, she is best buddies -or rather, partners in crime- with Mal, whom Alina has a crush on. However, while they were in the midst of crossing the Shadow Fold, Mal gets injured and as Alina tries to protect him, a power that she never knew she had was unleashed. From that moment onwards, Alina is plunged into a world that is different from her previous one, and her life is never the same again.
I entered this world that Leigh Bardugo created not knowing what to expect because the blurbs on the cover are useless. (But that's what blurbs are good at, aren't they? Being useless.) However, that's okay, because
I LOVE THIS BOOK SO FRIGGIN MUCH.
Shadow and Bone is dark, and mysterious, and intriguing; but there's also romance and my all-time favourite: fantasy.
The romance in this book is a real turn-on. Just for your information, there's a love triangle in this book. Yes, typical isn't it? There's the villain and the good guy, which forms two sides of the love triangle.
This love triangle is... slightly messed up. I won't say anything more on this subject except that I have a feeling it is going to play an essential role in the plot of book two and three.
I loved the characters in Shadow and Bone, even though I had -and still have- a raging conflict with who ends up with whom. Alina started off as a feeble and week girl but through the course of events, she morphed into this ass-kicking, strong-minded and independent badass. With Mal to help her, of course.
As for the Darkling, I know what my feelings are for him: it's complicated. Yes. Very, very complicated.
I don't knooowwwuww. I still love him, but I don't. I don't hate him, but I do. One thing I know for certain is that he isn't finished with Alina. Yet.
This book was so compelling and it was one of those books which you can't put down until you've reached the last page. And by then, you'll want the second book so baaaaaaadd.
The pace of the book slowed down moderately a bit after the middle but I could still feel the tension and anxiety inside of myself and the characters. I'd definitely expect the same tension in the second book and the third, although I'm also anticipating the Darkling's next move. I want things to get moving! What'll become of Ravka? I'm so pumped for the second book.
My rating for this book: 94%
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