REVIEW: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Alina and Mal are best friends who bonded quickly as young children, both orphans in a benevolent nobleman’s home. Soon enough the two grow into young adults, and they must join the military in the fight for their country, which has been ravaged by war for the last 100 years. When Alina and Mal must cross the Shadow Fold, a dark, barren wasteland ridden with bloodthirsty creatures, Alina discovers she has a power that can save not only her best friend, but maybe even the rest of the world.
Alina is soon swept into the world of the Grisha, the magical peoples who are ruled by the mysterious man known as The Darkling. Although Alina has been ripped from Mal and the only comfort she’s ever known, she soon finds herself learning more about her power and the Darkling, and why he has placed so much hope within her. But as Alina grows closer to him, she must decide who she can really trust. Making the wrong choice is a sure path to destruction.
I liked this book quite a bit. I truly connected with Alina, and felt for her throughout everything that was happening to her. All of the characters in this book were very well developed, and I enjoyed getting to know them–for better or worse.
The world building in this novel is great. Although the name of the country is Ravka, the terrain description, along with context clues and language, lead me to imagine the story taking place in Russia, obviously. I couldn’t really put this story in once certain time, however…this might bother some readers, but it was OK with me. It makes for a timeless tale that can be enjoyed far into the future.
The plot moved rather quickly, though the middle of the story had a lack of action that I found weighed the story down a bit. But when the action took off, I was riveted. The end, particularly, was fast moving for me and I couldn’t believe it when I reached the last page. Surely I hadn’t reached the end??
I had a couple of problems with the romance in this story. First, the relationship between Alina and The Darkling seemed to have no basis at all–but reading later into the story reveals the delicious twist to why this is so. Alina and Mal were best friends, but the way they acted around each other was just that. I am not sure how the love bloomed between them while they were apart…I don’t know. Something about it just bothered me, but in the end their feelings for each other are overwhelming, and heart wrenching.
I am very excited to find out what happens next in Ravka, and will definitely be picking up the next book in this series.
Thank you to Around the World ARC Tours for allowing me to review this novel.