Shadow & Bone – Leigh Bardugo

10194157Title: Shadow & Bone
The Grisha, #1)
Leigh Bardugo
Category: Young Adult
Rating: 5



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 fulfill 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 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.”

Leigh Bargudo has created a very beautiful, albeit ravaged mystical world of Ravka where the Grisha (people with…supernatural abilities) serve the King and yield to the being named the Darkling.

Alina Starkov is an orphan, completely overlooked and unaware of what she is. She’s serving as a junior cartographer in the army, where her best friend Mal is serving as a soldier. As the army passes through the horrific darkness called The Shadow Fold, they are attacked by vocra, monsterous beings that make traveling through the Fold deadly. Mal is attached, and Alina unsurfaces her ability that she’s buried so far deep within herself, she never knew it existed. A sun summoner, the only of her kind, she is whisked away to the Little Palace by the Darkling to learn to hone her abilities and help him destroy the Fold.

Within moments, I was in love with the mystic, perilous world Bargudo has created, even pouring over the map of Ravka as I read the book to determine where our heroine was every moment. I devoured this book every little chance I had to sneak a moment to read. I was enticed by the Darkling, same as Alina. Even though I predicted what he would become, it didn’t stop me from loving him any less. Until he did it, then I was like:

And the relationship between Mal and Alina? Even if he wasn’t there for nearly half of the book, when they were together, you could see their connection. They were both orphaned, growing up in Kerazim, and their friendship was a natural bond that some authors have trouble showcasing it.

All in all, I can’t believe I left this unattended on my bookshelf for months. I was afraid to read it in fear of not liking it, but I am grateful it was such a good read, and once I tore through Shadow and Bone, I went and kindle’d Storm and Siege because I absolutely could not wait to go to the bookstore eventually and pick it up. Especially with that jawdropping cliffy. Definitely a 2013 favorite must-read!

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