Sunday, February 11, 2018

Shadow and Bone (The Grishaverse #1) by Leigh Bardugo

🌟🌟🌟🌓 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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.

I wouldn't say that this book sucked me in right away because I felt like it took a little while to build up steam. The majority of the book is spent on building the world and showing readers Alina's place within it. Leigh Bardugo throws readers right into the world with little introduction which was a bit disorienting at first. It took me a few chapters to even begin to understand the world and what was happening within it. Honestly, I still have more questions after reading it but I attribute that to the author making the world so addicting that I wanted to know even more about it.  
I've heard different things from people who had read this before regarding characters and I think that I fall somewhere in the middle. I was able to connect with Alina somewhat but I am hoping that as she grows as a character that I will be able to relate to her even more. I thought that Mal was a total butt-head at first but he ended up growing on me. He was not as prevalent in the book as I thought that he would be but I'm sure that he will play a bigger role in the second book. I enjoyed the Darkling as a character. He seemed mysterious as well as dangerous to anyone he managed to take an interest in. He intrigued me and I sensed that he had an interesting past. I'm hoping that the author will go into his past more in the next book. 
The pacing in the book felt a bit slow to me but it picked up a lot towards the end. I have a feeling that the next book will have better pacing based off of the events that happen at the end of Shadow and Bone. I found the book interesting which surprised me because I have been reading quite a few books lately that involve magic. I was still able to find this book refreshing. I thought that the explanation of magic and how it is used was believable and fascinating. I hope that it is further explained in the books that follow because I'd like to see if Alina's power can grow or have more uses than what has been shown so far. There is a romantic element in this but I think that it is handled well. The main character is pining over someone but that is remedied fairly soon in the book so that the focus is elsewhere. I think that it would have annoying otherwise. 

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