TITLE: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1)
AUTHOR: Leigh Bardugo
PUBLICATION DATE: June 5th, 2012
GENRE: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
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.
Small disclaimer: I have actually read all the Grishaverse books before. I am rereading them in preparation for King of Scars and since I read them before I had a blog, I never wrote reviews for them. So, I’m finally doing that.
I love this book. I have seen a lot of hate in the bookish community for both Alina and Mal, and although I can see why people dislike them, I don’t. Alina is a very simple person, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. I actually think there’s something admirable about the fact that she would be happy with a simple life with Mal. Now, I get the hate Mal receives. He drives me nuts too. But I can’t fault Alina’s love for him. I think people judge them a little too harshly.
I think this is an EXCELLENT introduction to the Grishaverse. I had originally tried reading Six of Crows before The Grisha Trilogy and had a very hard time following it. I got about 50 pages in before giving up. I went back and read The Grisha Trilogy and it is way easier to follow and I HIGHLY recommend people who want to experience the Grishaverse to start with Shadow and Bone.
I actually really loved rereading this because I know Zoya becomes one of my favs and I love reading how awful she was in the one. It’s actually kinda delightful in hindsight.
I also love to hate the Darkling. I’m not one of those fans who is completely in love with him, but I do think he’s a very interesting character.
The only real problem I have with this book is that the pacing feels weird. I just chalk this up to this being Leigh’s first novel. I know that she works it all out by Six of Crows.
Anyway, I’m super excited to get to the next book in the trilogy. (My babe Nikolai is introduced. <3)
Have you read any of the Grishaverse books? If so, who’s your favorite character/s? Mine are Nikolai, Zoya, Nina, Kaz, and Jesper!