BOOK REVIEW: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1) — Leigh Bardugo

shadow and bone4/5 stars

If you’re interested in reading a book filled with magic, love, and a hint of mystery, this book is for you.

Shadow and Bone is set in Ravka, a once-mighty nation. Ravka is now torn into two parts, the homeland and the Fold. The Fold is a land of darkness filled with monsters that feed on humans. The story follows Alina Starkov, a teenage orphan drafted in the army as a Mapmaker. She is sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold with other soldiers including her best friend, Mal. While in the Fold, they are attacked by bloodthirsty monsters. Everything seems hopeless until Alina reveals a power strong enough to save them. She is sent to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite. The leader of the Grisha, the Darkling, takes a particular interest in Alina. He sees her as the one who can save the nation and destroy the Fold. Whisked away from her best friend and held with an expectation of being the nation’s savior, Alina struggles to find her way into her changing life.

The Darkling was one word: mysterious. He was so so so mysterious and that’s what drew me into him. I wanted to know about his past, his thoughts, his intentions. Everything about him was intriguing, but no, I don’t ship him with Alina. I SHIP MAL WITH HER. Mal is such a wonderful character. He’s the kind of character who makes your heart feel all warm and fuzzy. He’s funny and sweet and handsome and charming and courageous and does it get any better than that??? He’s definitely one of my favorite characters in the book. I mean, who wouldn’t love him? (Besides the Darkling of course). And then there’s Alina. Alina had her moments, but I felt she was a little dull at times. I enjoyed her character, but I didn’t LOVE her. I heard her character grows in the second and third book, so I’m excited for that.

The plot was pretty much like any other fantasy novel except for the plot twist. Oh man, the plot twist killed me. It was so unexpected, and I didn’t believe it at first.

Overall, the book was interesting and a great read. I can’t wait to pick up the sequel, Siege and Storm!!

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