Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
GENRE: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, YA | PAGES: 369
My rating: ★★★★
The World of the Grisha is rich with culture and magic. From page one, Shadow and Bone is enchanting—full of wonder and originality in the midst of a new, exciting setting rife with intrigue and danger. I couldn’t get enough at first.
Then, for me, the story lagged with too many chunks of scene-setting and description and I found myself disconnected with from the characters. This momentary lapse was short, however.
On coming back to it, the story gathered pace. Alina met new people, she struggled with training, she came into her strength, then made some plot-twisting discoveries. I was hooked once more and the initial overdone descriptive style gave way to a sprinkling of original world-building amidst an intriguing plotline. The rest of the book is brilliantly written and I devoured the final two-thirds in one sitting.
Alina is like most YA protagonists. She begins her journey as a somewhat weak average teenager and finds herself and her power along the way. She is innocent and naive but also likeable and believable, and by the end of this first book, she shows enormous intelligence and courage.
I love Mal. There’s an extra section at the end that showcases his character perfectly. A letter to Alina. He is honourable and strong and obviously the ‘perfect’ match for Alina. (Note the quote marks, please.)
Yet, my favourite character by far is the Darkling. He walks that thin grey line of morality and while the depth of his complexities seems to have only been touched upon, I’m hoping the rest of the series will do him the justice he deserves. I’m already quite in love with him.
‘Make me your villain.’ — The Darkling