Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: June 5th 2012
SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads)
"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."
“The problem with wanting," he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, "is that it makes us weak.”
This novel is sheer brilliance.
I mean, to be completely honest, I'm not even a huge fan of fantasy novels and this blew me away.
Shadow and Bone centers around an orphan, Alina, and her life in a terrifying place called Ravka. Alina Starkov is was drafted into the army at a young age with her childhood friend and later on crush Mal. A few years later, the army has to cross The Fold, a dark expanse of land that is teeming with monsters who feed off of human flesh.It is then revealed that plain, pale Alina is in fact an extremely powerful Grisha (kind of like a super-witch but more of a manipulator of the elements), perhaps the most powerful there is. Is is also revealed that she is the only one who can destroy the Fold and lead Ravka out of darkness. The leader of the Grisha is the Darkling, a secretive but also extremely hot man who is super duper old, but looks the same age as Alina. (Tell us your beauty secrets, o' mighty Darkling!)
From there on, lies and secrets continued to build up the plot. Bardugo continued to throw in additional little twist and turns and a sweet but strange love underplot. Throughout the novel, Alina continues to change from the wimpy-pale-plain-overly-tall girl to a beautiful and powerful Grisha.
Oh gosh. And I loved the place that Bardugo had crafted. It was frightening yet beautiful. *sigh*
I want to be a Grisha. (possible Halloween costume this year?)
Can't wait for Siege and Storm to come out in June!
If this review isn't enough to convince you to read it, look at the blurb: Veronica Roth likes it. You know, that epic writer who wrote Divergent?
Pst! There's also a movie in the works, so read it before you see it!