Saturday, September 22, 2012

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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.
Plot/Setting: I loved this book. But not for the reason you may think. The plot, kinda typical. Girl finds out she's some supernatural, rare creature that can save everyone, and then she finds out a dark plot that uses her as a weapon. She escapes, gets captured, escapes again, and runs away. Kinda standard. But I loved the twists and secrets of the book. The ending kinda through me by surprise. I really hate it when you think something good about someone, but then BAM, something happens and they are bad. Also, the plot was a little rushed in the beginning, and then it slowed, and then it sped up again. Just putting it out there.

But no, that's not what got me. What got me was the whole world of Shadow and Bone. I loved the Grishas and how they are modern, old time scientists. Does that make sense? I like it how each one was classified into their own category, and that the Darkling is at the top. It was like reading about modern day witches and worlocks. Not Harry Potter though. Nothing compared to that. (Oddly, I still haven't read that series. I know. I'm ashamed.) I loved the Fold, and how it basically ties the whole book together. I never thought about a giant, evil lake. It amazes me how much I like it. Odd huh? I love fantasy worlds. :D

Characters:  Alina is our heroine. I like her, but I don't love her. Well, she's not average, but she's better than most heroines I've read about. Yes, she's confused on what she's suppose to do and what she is, but she's suppose to be. She isn't one of those girls that finds out she's something special and feels like she needs to save everyone. She tries everyday. She doesn't succeed until she finds out she's been holding herself back. Her realizing she's been holding back because she would have lost Mal was sweet, but also cheesy. But a good cheesy. I liked her. If you like Bitterblue from the Graceling series, you'll like Alina.

The Darkling was scary, but your typical evil villian. Pretends to be a friend to Alina, but then turns on her. He was okay, but I what I really like about him was that Bardugo made him only a few years older than Alina. Looks wise, not years. He was a few thousand years old.

Mal is your typical playboy best friend to Alina. Then he.....well, I'll explain more in Romance. But otherwise, I really like Mal. He was the typical hero that most YA books have. He's kinda like Puck from The Iron Fey series, but a bit more serious but can still have fun.

The other characters were good supporters, the typical mean girl was there, the best friend, the idiot boys. And the 'fairy godmother' (in a way), of course

Romance: Now here's where the love triangle comes in. Alina is shy when it comes to Mal, so he doesn't know she likes him. But instead of hanging on him for the whole book, she realizes that he's left her behind and moved on to other girls, and that she needs to do that too. And that the Darkling shows interest too. But of course, the Darkling is evil and only wants to use her as a weapon, but towards the end, there is a little part where he actually shows he does long for her not as a weapon, but as a companion.

Mal and Alina's relationship is kinda cheesy, but not so cheesy that I hated it completely. Mal realizes that Alina being gone is bad, goes to any length to get to see her again. He does, helps her escape, and then they declare their love for each other. Cheesy, but if you read it, it's not so gag me cheesy.

Ending: Go Alina for fighting back. What happened was a huge twist in the ending. I figured she'd fake her death somehow, but instead, Alina did something very shocking. I can't wait for the next book.

Future: Seige and Storm out in 2013 and Ruin ande Rising out in 2014.


"I've walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I'd do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don't tell me we don't belong together, " he said fiercely." pg 298

"They are orphans again, with no true home but each other and whatever life they can make together on the other side of the sea." pg 356

Rating, Cover, & Ending:
I love the cover of this book, and the ending was wow. :D
People who love the Graceling series, Eragon, and whatever other fantasy book I've read, you'll like this one. :D
*Bought this book
Keep On Reading!
Up Next:
Already half way through. :D


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