Add it: Goodreads
Source: ARC gifted from the AMAZING Mimi (THANK YOU!)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: June 5, 2012
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.
Before I even say anything, do yourself a favour and (pre-)order this book. Trust me when I say that it is one of THE BEST books of the year and one that automatically made my favourites shelf.
Alina starts off as a fairly unremarkable character and yet from the very beginning, I found myself drawn to her. Leigh Bardugo masters the point of vulnerability and self-doubt before it comes off as annoying or whiny and that is so apparent in Alina. Watching her transition from a girl that thinks of herself as just an ordinary person to one with immense power and status is (um, literally) breathtaking to read about.
The romance! Ahh, I don't want to say too much but between the two strong males featured in this book, I am sure that one of them will have you swooning, whether it be the aloof and mysterious Darkling or the fun and charming Mal.
I don't want to reveal anything that may ruin the experience for you, but man did this book have me surprised! I LOVE it when a book can make me feel something so strongly and then just flip it all inside out and have me totally reconsider. It hasn't happened in a while but with Shadow and Bone? Definitely. The plot of this book just keeps on rolling and what begins as a seemingly ordinary journey soon develops into a fast-paced thrill ride.
One of the many reasons I enjoy fantasy so much is because of the world-building and this novel does not disappoint. Everything about the world of the Grishas is explained perfectly without ever bogging down the story and I'm excited to learn even more about the Shadow Fold in the next instalment!
So, basically, this book rocked my world. For your own sake, please read it.
Cover Comments: I love it! It's not the typical YA cover which is perfect since this isn't the typical YA book. I love the colour scheme and that font is fabulous. PLUS, a Veronica Roth blurb? *dies* Totally deserving.