Monday, November 12, 2012

ARC Review: Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy, 1) by Leigh Bardugo, 2012. Published by Henry Holt & Co. Source: Publisher for review.
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.
First Sentence:
The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest, and because they haunted the Duke's house like phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches.
Shadow and Bone is another book that I read before moving, but never got the chance to review. So, I'll be pulling this one out of the memory banks (except I can't remember just how it ended, except that it shocked me).

Sometimes you know from the very first page that you are going to love a book, and that was what happened for me when I read Leigh Bardugo's debut Shadow and Bone. Her writing and world building were stunning, and the concept of the book was so fresh and vivid that I could not put it down.

The Fold was one of my favorite scenes in the book because it was both where Alina's life takes a drastic change, and where one of the biggest plot revelations takes place. I really liked the way the author managed to use the same location for two big scenes in the book, especially since both scenes were the kind were you cannot pull your eyes from the page because you have to know if the characters are going to make it out alive.

What I really enjoyed about the world, besides everything, would have to be the Grisha. I loved that there were different classes of the Grisha, and how they each fit into a hierarchy in the world. I liked it because it gave the reader a clear view of where some of the characters stood in the world.
I also really enjoyed reading about the clothes in Shadow and Bone and how I could easily imagine the wardrobes of the characters that Ms Bardugo wrote about. Usually, I have the hardest time visualizing the clothes that are described in a book, so it was nice to be able to draw a mental picture of what the characters looked like and what they were wearing.

Alina, I'll admit that I first I was not too keen on her-she was too easily swayed by all the attention the Darkling gave her at his palace. While she may not have started out as a character I would generally like, by the time the book ended I found her to be one of my favorite characters because she made the tough decisions even when they didn't pan out the way one would hope. Definitely excited to see how she'll handle things in the book.

The richness of Leigh Bardugo's writing and world building was just phenomenal and absolutely blew me away. Her unique world and the many layers in Shadow and Bone is what I loved most when I read it a few months ago and why this is going on my list of favorite fantasy books. I'm definitely looking forward to the second installment in the Grisha trilogy...and anything else she writes.

While this is one of my favorites of the year, it has been so long since I read it that cannot think of a single thing I did not like about. Well, other than the fact that I still haven't been able to buy a finished copy or that I want to reread it but my ARC is still in storage. *problem*

Final Verdict: Shadow and Bone is dark, atmospheric and all the things that a great fantasy book should be!

Shadow and Bone earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

1 comment:

I read, and am working on replying, to all the comments y'all leave. All comments are moderated by me, so, if you don't see it automatically that's why.
Psst, there is no "Word Verification" on the comments. =)

Keep on being awesome!

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