Howdy ya’ll! I haven’t had these kinds of posts in a while and I missed reviewing books. I’m glad that the book we’re discussing today is:
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
What are my initial reactions with the book?
At first, it honestly took me a while before I could fully sink myself in this world. There were a lot of new terms and names of places you were introduced to, add to that the fancy and unique names of the divisions of the people and all that jazz.
But once I was settled and I was getting to know about the book more, it became a wonderful reading experience.
There are basically two kinds of people in this book: the ones graced with Grisha power; and the ones who don’t. The ones who do have Grisha power are ranked frpm Etherealki, Corporalki to Materialki depending on what your power is.
We get to know Alina and Mal who have been with each other since they were kids because they were both orphans at this place called Keramzin. Apparently, Keramzin wasn’t a place the noble people lightheartedly regarded to. Alina grows up to be a mapmaker while Mal becomes a tracker, and a very good one at that. Not to mention attractive. They’re off to venture to the Shadow Fold which is basically a place blanketed in darkness and on top of that, crawling with volcras – or what I like to refer to as “giant man-eating black bird”, you get the picture.
In time they do cross the Fold, something happens and this revelation changes the course of things for good.
And its exactly what you’ll find out when you pick this book up. 😉 *plus, you’d also get to meet really interesting characters such as the Darkling, Genya, and more.*
I guess I should also add that this is my very first Leigh Bardugo book and it was such a great first encounter.
Overall, I absolutely LOVED this book. I could swoon over it all day. I enjoyed how different this world is and how refreshing it is to read a story like this. Some people refer to this book as “dark fantasy” which I think is pretty accurate and bad ass good. I found this story very epic, engaging, unique and just pick-up-able (yeah I totally just invented that word). So if you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you do. Happy reading! 😀
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I was honestly nervous for both Mal and Alina going into the Fold because even though they have this tough exterior, we know they’re afraid to cross it. I mean, who isn’t? Volcras are scary and would probably eat you alive before you know it and stuff. So when they got to the Fold, everything was fine. Until it wasn’t. A bunch of volcras attacked them including Mal and Alina had to save him and she tried to but the next thing she knew, she apparently lost consciousness and awoke at shore with the Darkling summoning her.
I could feel the intimidation at that part, to be honest. The Darkling’s character was described enough for even the reader to be intimidated by him, which is true as far as I’m concerned. His mysteriousness and authority mixes well with how that plays out. Then this interrogation between Alina and the Darkling was able to conclude that Alina was to be a mapmaker no more because she possessed Grisha power after all. She was a sun summoner.
The Darkling decides to take her to Os Alta where she is trained for combat and also to how to use her newly discovered powers effectively. There she meets Genya, also a Grisha but isn’t as noble as others because of her position in the palace. I for one believed Genya was kind, that she really wanted to be friends with Alina. I like her character, too.
During Alina’s stay in the Grand Palace at Os Alta, the Darkling gets all sweet with her and it makes me dreamily sigh when I get to those scenes. AND WHEN THEY KISSED – OH MY GOD – I literally had to pause reading and take a deep breath and ask myself did that just happen?!?! I honestly didn’t picture the Darkling to be all flirty or even have a romantic side because of how intimidated I felt with him on the first few chapters and how regal his impression on me was. *and yes, I ship Alina and the Darkling*
The Darkling thought Alina still wasn’t strong enough to conquer the Fold and that they need an amplifier to, well, amplify her powers. But the catch is it needs to be from this ancient stag who exists only in myths and stories, but the Darkling thinks otherwise.
Then when I thought everything was alright, here comes Baghra, one of her mentors, revealing her true identity and the Darkling’s as well. At first, I was still in denial being all “no, the Darkling can’t be evil, he’s so sweet”. But of course, it was true.
Alina runs away, then surprise, surprise, she stumbles upon Mal. Apparently, Mal tracked her down and followed her because he realized he had feelings for her all along. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Alina has had feelings for Mal for a while (a long while) now so you could predict what’d she decide next.
So as they trek the mountains together, they agree to hunt down the stag and get that amplifier before the Darkling does.
When it finally shows up, the Darkling does, too. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I can’t seem to get mad at the Darkling even though I know his true identity – even though I know his true intentions. Maybe because I’m still in denial that he’s the bad guy here? I don’t know.\
I’m really excited to read the next books and see what happens here. I enjoyed reading and reviewing this book and I hope you did too. 🙂
Have you read Shadow and Bone? What are your thoughts?
Thanks for reading! x