Thursday, 7 August 2014

Book Review: Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha, #1)

Title: Shadow & Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha (#1)
Published: 5th June 2012
Publisher: Indigo
Rating: 4/5
Source: Library
Goodreads

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?

I didn't have any expectations for this book, surprising as it may seem. I was aware of generally mixed-positive reviews but when I turned the first page of this book, I knew that I would be swept up in a fantastical world of magic and blue keftas.
“This was his soul made flesh, the truth of him laid bare in the blazing sun, shorn of mystery and shadow. This was the truth behind the handsome face and the miraculous powers, the truth that was the dead and empty space between the stars, a wasteland peopled by frightened monsters.” 
One of the many things I loved about this book was the writing style. Leigh Bardugo's writing is so beautiful and wonderfully poetic but isn't hard to follow. The second was the plot, a plot so fast paced and enthralling that you didn't know you had just finished this book. It wasn't rushed but wasn't slow either, Shadow and Bone was as perfect as fast paced novels can be.

I also loved how our main protagonist, Alina Starkov, wasn't your typical female protagonist. Her character development is to be taken by example. She started out as a scrawny girl with a sharp tongue and grew into a, both physically and emotionally, strong kick-ass lead.

“And there's nothing wrong with being a lizard either. Unless you were born to be a hawk.” 

The Darkling is defiantly the character that intrigued me most. He's very dark (which is so very surprising) and mysterious and everything you'd expect with a title like his. I didn't know what his intentions were at all and that added to his image. I want to know more and more about him!

I'll be honest in saying that I didn't really enjoy Mal's character until the end, which I hated. 

At first, I found the world and it's terms hard to follow but I soon caught on to this Russian inspired culture and loved every moment. I'm glad that this novel wasn't based in the US or UK because that just wouldn't work and it's always refreshing to read a novel in a different culture. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and will for sure read Siege and Storm!