Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy.
I am probably the last person in the world to read Shadow and Bone, but I am so happy that I finally picked it up. This book is so unique and all about powers. I was blown away by the Russian/medieval world and how well described it is. The main character is also so strong and it was so interesting watching her transform.
Shadow and Bone is so different from anything I’ve read before. This book is about an orphaned mapmaker who discovers that she has special powers. Not only does she have powers, but she also learns that she is some sort of chosen one with the most important ability of them all. The story is full of betrayal and secrets as Alina attempts to save her kingdom and also figure out how to control her power. I love books about powers and reading about all the Grisha and their skills was so entertaining.
The world of the Grisha trilogy is so well developed and creative. I got sort of of a medieval/Russian vibe from it, but it feels like so much more than that. I could totally picture the setting, especially the royal court and the Fold (kind of like a massive spot of darkness filled with monsters). It’s been a while since I’ve read a book with such a complex world, and I was glad to be able to escape to the world of the Grisha.
The reader is introduced to Alina when she is a weak orphan, just taken to the royal court and treated like royalty. At first, she doesn’t know how to summon her power or fight at all, but she gradually grows stronger. I really enjoyed watching her transformation and getting to know her more. Alina is such a clever main character who is also pretty brave, considering she has to save a kingdom.
Shadow and Bone is such an original novel with special powers an extremely detailed world. I loved Alina and watching her gain confidence. I really wish that I had gotten to read this sooner!