Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Source: Bought from Fully Booked
Category: Fantasy, Romance
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 fulfil 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've had my copy of Shadow and Bone sitting on my book case for months now and it really took me a long time to read it because of work and too many blog tours to attend to. This month I promised that I would focus on my TBR pile first and probably pass from too irresistible blog tour offers. As soon as I had the time to focus on my pending reads, I grabbed this book and devoured it in one sitting.
Alina and Mal are orphans and been the best of friends since they were little. They were inseparable. Alina is secretly falling in love with Mal and on their way to crossing Shadow Fold, there were attacked by Vodcras as what they have predicted. But the last thing they both remember was Mal saving Alina's life. They were taken by the Darkling and was questioned because everyone who survived the attack claimed that Alina literally shone. They are now saying that she is the Sun Summoner that would save the whole country by taking over the Shadow Fold. But she's unsure and doesn't believe what people are saying. She needs to figure it out and by any chance it is true, she have to work with the Darkling. Without falling in love with him.
Shadow and Bone, just like what I expected, blew my mind away. The world Bardugo created was just magical and breath-taking that I loved staring at the map the book has and imagining the richness of it. It wasn't difficult to picture it because everything was vividly described and for some reason, I felt familiar with it. Its one of the many reasons why I fell in love with high fantasy novels -- it tours me to parallel worlds I have never ever imagined someone would think of. Its just a fantastic feeling wandering around such terrifying yet beautiful alter universe. Bardugo did such an awesome job teleporting readers to such wondrous place too far from what we have in reality.
The premise Shadow and Bone offered could be easily pictured as a block buster movie. It is definitely movie-material and I couldn't wait to see it on big screen. I loved how Bardugo came up with these highly magical creatures living in such diverse universe. The way the people were grouped by their colorful keftas and the fact that people could be divided by unique talents could just leave one's mind playfully picking which group they would belong to. I loved everything in this novel. I loved the descriptions, the powers the character possesses and the lands. I wish I have Siege and Storm at this point so I could continue losing myself in each page.
Alina is basically the naive character. The way she held on to her memories kept her grounded inspite of all the power, luxury and fame she acquired. The relationship she has with her best friend Mal makes me so envious and elated because that also kept her going. There were times I wanted to smack her face for trusting so easily but she eventually redeemed herself at the end. The Darkling is very mysterious. I wondered all throughout what his name was. He also had me going there for a second and I loved how Bardugo twisted this handsome and dangerous character. Genya is mysterious as well. By the end of the novel, I couldn't figure out what her motives were and what is her significance in all this. And Mal. He's the best character by far. He's brave, full of pride but for the right reasons and persistent. Though I honestly predicted what his character would do at the end, it didn't stop me to be happy that he made it through and he is there for Alina.
Shadow and Bone is actually one of my 2012's most anticipated novels and I couldn't be any happier I've finally read it. Its dark, magical, romantic, funny and action-filled. Its engrossing. Its true what these reviews have to say: its unputdownable and I cannot wait to read Siege and Storm because this novel is awesome like that!
"I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I'd catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I'd seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I'd realize that you weren't there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I've risked my life for you. 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 why we don't belong together," (Mal)"