Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Rounded 4.5 up to 5 because… have you ever raced across town in a desperate attempt to get home to your computer to post a freaking update because your mind had just been blow by a book while waiting in the grocery store checkout line….. This legit happened to me today! I thought this book was great, and I had to give it 5 stars as I might not have come to a complete stop at one of the stop signs on the end of my street… we can just keep that on the DL though.
I have been putting this author off for a while now… I know I sincerely apologize now. I did this mainly because a lot of times I have been disappointed not because a book was bad.. more so because there are so many glowing reviews and a book doesn’t move me the way it does all my friends or sometimes even the general public lol. So I waited along time to put my heart out there… it was worth the wait for me! Super enjoyable read made all that more enjoyable by the fact that it was a buddy read and I could rant and rave about things!
We start with our FMC, Alina, and her best friend Mal, both orphans and peasants, being “tested” to see if the are Grisha. Grisha who are… basically they are freaking magicians ok but also they take offense to that and prefer “practitioners of the Small Science.” I’m going to be honest here, yes it is referred to science, however, it is never explained in depth in any scientific terms really other than maybe the manipulation of mater but not how this actually occurs… Both Alina and Mal are found “not” not to have a connection with the “science.” After this fast forward to Alina and Mal in the King’s army amidst a war with the surrounding lands… I do wish we had a little bit more info on the politics of this war.. its my understanding that its just a hate war… and maybe even the Grisha are part of the problem? Not only is there a war among the different people but also there is the “Fold,” an area of absolute darkness, created hundred of years ago by an evil dark wielding sorcer… ahem scientist. In this fold reside dark creatures that prey upon all who enter. The people are trapped by this and hunted by the darkness. They are desperate for a savior to demolish the fold. Alina and Mal are both stationed near the fold, and during a mission they are attacked by these evil volcra and Alina in a fit of awesomeness and desperation does something not seen before by other Grisha. Not knowing or understanding what has happened Alina is tested once again and deemed to be a “sun summoner.” From here, Alina is whisked away to the castle and shoved into training and court life, portrayed as the savior of the people. In a battle with herself, her magic, and her fears of being alone and unwanted, she is made vulnerable to those who would pray on her naivete for their own endeavors. Alina’s choices from here on out may effect the whole world… and who should she trust if anyone..?
Character wise, Alina, for the most part is a pretty pessimistic and melancholy type starting out. I feel like she does a lot of developing through the book. Its always great when a character grows with the reader, it creates a great bond and for me personally makes me much more invested in the outcomes. I also love that we have Genya, the exact opposite of Alina as the BFF material. This created a great chemistry and diversity that was both entertaining to me, and engrossing.
We definitely had some mind blowing reveals that sucker punched me as evidenced by my speedy rush home… I am both terrified and excited for where this story is going and so glad to be on this journey! I know I must pace myself and not go off on a binder…. at least that is what I keep saying in my head…
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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo