Shadow and Bone
by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Henry Holt & Company
Book 1 in the Shadow and Bone Trilogy
Book 1 in the Grishaverse Series
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.
RATED: 14+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Violence Young Adult Exciting
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is the first book in the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, and the first book in her Grishaverse series. It centers around Alina Starkov, an eighteen year old woman, who isn't really good at anything. Small, and sickly looking, she doesn't have a lot to cling to in her life - except her best friend Mal, whom she grew up with at an orphanage. When Alina is made to go into the fold - a place of complete darkness that teems with flesh eating monsters - with her regiment, and they are attacked by hundreds of brutal monsters, Alina discovers a gift while saving Mal's life. With this confusing ability discovered, Aline's life is throw into chaos. The Darkling - second in power to the king, and the most feared Grisha known - whisks her away to the royal court to be trained. As Aline learns more about her power, she discovers secrets that will break her, if she let's them. Shadow and Bone is being adapted for a Netflix original.
Shadow and Bone has been on my tbr for a while now, and I had no immediate plans to read it, until I saw that come this April, it was being adapted into a show on Netflix. Just the announcement trailer got me excited, so I quickly bought the trilogy, so I could read the books before I watched the show (because I knew I would NEED to watch this show.) Since Shadow and Bone is a young adult book, I was a little worried, (as I always am going into YA books), that it would be a little too young. But honestly, the story took me on an adventure, and I quickly forgot that I was a mother in my thirties reading a book marketed for teenagers. It was delightfully original, the story sucked me in (yet another book done in less than 24 hours), and remained unpredictable. Spoiler ------------> I seriously thought that the Darkling was a good guy. I figured we were going to get the typical love triangle, of the girl giving up on the secret love she had for her best friend for the new, hot, mysterious guy, only to have the best friend become jealous, realize he loves her, and she has to make a hard choice. But NO. THAT'S NOT WHAT HAPPENED! And while I do believe there is some hope for the Darkling ... I hope so anyway, I think its clear who the love interest is, and I'm for it! For too long, the best friend always gets the shaft. <---------------.
The characters are great in this book. I love that Aline doesn't come into herself until she realizes just how much she has been hiding herself away. There is something powerful about a female character being written, and having her physical appearance dampened by what she hides of herself. Her claiming that part of herself is what brings her to life, from a drab sickly girl, to someone healthy and vibrant. I enjoyed Mal too. I honestly thought he would be the typical YA male best friend, but he wasn't, which is refreshing. Spoiler ------------> I love, love LOVE that he realized his feelings for her before seeing her again. He loves her. It wasn't that she looked different. No make-over love stories here! <-------------. The Darkling was another great character, that I can't get into without spoilers --------------> I truly thought he was good. And while I think ultimately his greed will win out in this series, and he will continue to be the big bad, I do think there is a part of him that is good. I think he truly did like Aline, and saw someone he could be with and not be lonely. Because I can imagine, all that power, he must be lonely. Big Bad, or future redemption story? Who knows? But I am intrigued, which is amazing. I love a complicated bad guy. <---------------
Shadow and Bone was a fun little adventure, with a dash of romance and an unpredictable quality to it. I can't wait to start the next book, nor can I wait to see Netflix's adaption of this series.
Alina saving Mal's life
The Darkling and Alina talking by the fire
The Darkling and Alina's make out
Mal finding Alina after she runs away
Mal telling Alina how he feels for her
The flashback to her memory on how she got the scar on her hand
Where to Buy
Alexei: "Tell me about the coach."
Alina: "I have to finish my sketches."
Alina: "He'll know it's your work."
Alexei: "It's not that good. You should be able to pass it off as yours."
Alina: "Now there's the Alexei I know and tolerate."
Female: "If it's that tracker, tell him to come inside and keep me warm."
Alina: "If he wants to catch tsfil, I'm sure you'll be his first stop."
Mal: "I'll see you in the meadow."
Alina: "So I'm the Darkling's prisoner?"
Ivan: "You're under his protection."
Alina: "What's the difference?"
Ivan: "Pray you never find out."
Darkling: "What are you smiling at?"
I whirled, peering into the gloom. The Darkling's voice seemed to float out of the shadows. He walked down to the stream, crouching on the bank to splash water on his face and through his dark hair.
Darkling: "Are you that funny?"
Alina: "I'm hilarious."
Alina: "I already feel like I don't belong here. I think it might be easier if I weren't ... singled out."
Darkling: "Are you so anxious to be like everyone else?"
Darkling: "I've been waiting for you a long time, Alina. You and I are going to change the world."
Alina: "I'm not the world changing type."
Darkling: "just wait."
Genya: "Silly girl. There's no such thing as too much champagne. Though your head will try to tell you otherwise tomorrow."
Darkling: "The problem with wanting, is that it makes us weak."
Mal: "You're wearing his symbol. His symbol and his color."
Alina: "They're just clothes."
Mal's lips twisted in a cynical smile, a smile so different from the one I knew and Loved that I almost flinched.
Mal: "I don't really believe that.
Alina: "What difference does it make what I wear?"
Mal: "The clothes, the jewels, even the way you look. He's all over you."
Alina: "It's not like that."
Mal: "I saw how he looked at you."
Alina: "I like how he looks at me!"
Alina: "Thanks for finding me."
Mal: "We can't take risks like that."
Alina: "So you don't want a bite?"
Mal: "I didn't say that."
Alina: "I was going to give you a bite, but since you don't want one, I'll just have to eat the whole thing myself."
Mal grabbed for the roll, but I danced out of reach, dodging left and right, away from his hands. I could see his surprise, and I loved it. I wasn't the same clumsy girl he remembered.
Mal: "You are a brat."
Alina: "Ah, but I'm a bray with a sweet roll."
Mal: "Did you miss me, Alina? Did you miss me when you were gone?"
Alina: "Every day."
Mal: "I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I'd catch myself walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I'd seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I'd realize that you weren't there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I've risked my life for you. I've walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I'd do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don't tell me we don't belong together. I'm sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now."
Alina: "Mal, what the Darkling said in the glade about ... about him and me. I didn't ... I never ..."
Mal: "It doesn't matter."
I looked up at him
Alina: "It doesn't?"
Alina: "I don't think I believe you."
Mal: "So maybe I don't believe it yet either, not completely, but it's the truth. I don't care if you danced naked on the roof of the Little Palace with him. I love you, Alina, even the part of you that loved him."
Check out the rest of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy