Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 356
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Birthday Gift   Thanks Jude!
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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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.

I'm not much of a fantasy reader so it takes a long time of reading lots of raving reviews of one before I'll pick it up. I also heard there was a best friend's romance so I slowly was persuaded to give it a try. Then my best blogging buddy Jude @ In Between sent me a copy for my birthday so I was excited to finally see what all the fuss was about Mal and The Darkling.

I admit I was a little bit confused at first getting used to the world and all the funky terms like malenchki, corporalki, etheralki, and if I saw the word kefta one more time I might have lost it (was mentioned 70 times FYI) but the world was very detailed and interesting. Alina and Mal are orphans that grew up together. I was immediately drawn into their friendship. Alina is a mapmaker and Mal a tracker. They are about to venture out into the Fold. Still not entirely sure exactly how and what the Fold is to be honest. A dark area with lots of evil murderous creatures and you have to go through it if you want to get to the other side. When you enter it you basically just prey that you get through. No such luck though. Volcra creatures attack and Alina needs to save Mal so she lets lose a power she never really knew she had. 

Word of her power gets out fast and The Darkling arrives to see if it is true. If she is the sun summoner. He calls her power out and takes her away from Mal for training. Together he believes they can destroy the Fold. So The Darkling. He is sexy in a tall, dark, deadly, powerful, and psychotic kind of way. I was very intrigued with his character but didn't really fall in love like so many others. My heart is with Mal although neither guy is really in the book that much. Also The Darkling tells Alina is thinks he is 120 years old. I don't know why but when someone super old is with a teenager it just kind of grosses me out. I don't mind it so much in adult books but in YA books I think about it more. 

Much of the story revolves around Alina's training. Most Grisha are discovered at a young age so Alina is a bit lost on how to fit in and master her power. The Grisha culture was well detailed and the world building very intricate. I loved it even though like I said I would get a little lost sometimes. Alina slowly begins to feel like she fits in and that she could make a great team with The Darkling. But thoughts of Mal continue to haunt her. Mal is so sweet and I was rooting for him the whole time. The flashbacks to them as children just warmed my heart. I love The Darkling in a way too. I can picture him in my mind perfectly and I am infinitely intrigued to learn more about his character. I didn't feel like I got enough of him or Mal and hope they are present more in the Siege & Storm.

"So I'm the Darkling's prisoner?"
"You're under his protection."

"What's the difference?"
Ivan's expression was unreadable. "Pray you never find out."

"You're shaking," he said.
"I'm not used to people trying to kill me."
"Really? I hardly notice anymore."

"The problem with wanting," he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, "is that it makes us weak."

"I'm not like you, Mal. I never really fit in the way that you did. I never really belonged anywhere."
"You belonged with me," he said quietly.

"I'm sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now."

"I don't care if you danced naked on the roof of the Little Palace with him. I love you, Alina, even the part of you that loved him."

Rating: 4/5


  1. Like the quotes, and sounds like I should pick this one up

  2. I absolutely loved this read and can not wait for the sequel to be out soon! I am so glad you really enjoyed this one too. The world building was fantastic in this one!

  3. Ha, you won't be disappointed with all the Mal and Darkling in Siege and Storm, then. :) But give old Sturmhond a chance, too. He totally won me over. I can't wait to see what you think of that one. :P Also, I agree, it's creepy to me when an old but youthful character is involved with a younger character (a la vampires and warlocks and stuff). But for the Darkling, I'll make an exception. :D

  4. Great review! Anyone who is out to buy English books online, must add this book in the list.

  5. I'm with you on the Darkling. I was intrigued by his character too, but I didn't (and still don't) think that he's love interest material. ;) I much prefer Mal. I can see why books like this might be difficult to get into for non-fantasy readers, but I'm glad you gave it a shot in the end. It's a favourite of mine. Lovely review!

  6. Yay!!! So happy you tried this and liked it. Wait until you get to the next book -- it's amazing!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  7. I still need to read this. I think I have a similar problem as you with fantasy. Those words would really confuse me but I'm glad to hear you liked it! I'm hoping to read this during the summer, maybe. :)

  8. Oh I am with you, Mal had my heart, but the Darkling is so deliciously dark that I couldn't help but be intriuged when he was on scene. Happy you enjoyed this one, it was one of my favs for 2012.

  9. I really liked this book and I can't wait for Siege and Storm. Those are great quotes!

    ~Sydney@Pika Pages

  10. I totally know what you mean about a word being used too much. I've read a few books that were REALLY good, but it drove me crazy when a certain word appeared over and over.

    I would like to read this though. I have been hesitant because of the fantasy thing, but so many people love it. I should just try it like you did! ;)

  11. I'll admit, this doesn't really call to me. But, the overwhelmingly positive reviews about the book does have me curious. So glad you like S&B. Great review, Jennifer!

  12. I didn't think there was enough of the Darkling in book 2 to my disappointment as I actually kind of liked the "bad boy" in this book although Mal was my favorite.

  13. Oh I love the quotes you chose! I really enjoyed this also! I agree the terms thru me a bit too - I think the first book had a glossary at the back didn't it? The ARC of the second did not.


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