“I've been waiting for you a long time, Alina" He said. "You and I are going to change the world.”
The Shadow Fold: a dark place full of even darker creatures who feed on human flesh. That's where orphans and best friends Alina and Mal are headed with a group of people. But when things don't go as planned, Alina is ripped from Mal and taken to the Darkling. He is the most powerful Grisha in the land, and he claims that she is the long awaited for Sun Summoner - the one who will help with rid the world of the Shadow Fold once and for all.
Alina didn't even know that she was Grisha, let alone have any confidence that she could do what she was asked. But as she starts her Grisha lessons, she learns more and more not only about the history of the land she lives in and the Grisha, but about herself. When things take a turn for the worst, Alina has to decide who to trust, who to run from, and how to save her world.
I.Loved.This.Book. There wasn't much I didn't like about Shadow and Bone. The world that Bardugo has created is incredible. I love the idea of the Shadow Fold and the dangers that lurk within, I love the idea of the Grisha, with their powers and their magical elements, I love map at the front of the book. Yes, dear friends, it has a map. Everything from the names of the cities and towns to the little worldly elements, was amazing and I definitely got sucked in.
The plot is one we've seen before - character doesn't realise they have power, they discover, they don't believe, they are actually the answer to saving the world, things go wrong, things go right, there's a love, there's a friend, there's a traitor, and sometimes there's a twist - but Bardugo has written it in such a way that the entire thing felt incredibly new. Not only her story line and the things that happened to Alina along the way, but the way she's written it is stunning. I loved reading every single word of it.
Alina was an enjoyable main character, and while there were moments of 'what are you doing, woman?! Don't do that!' I think it was partly that that made me like her. Mal was your typical best friend - the funny guy, the flirt-with-everyone-else-but-your-best-friend-who-actually-loves-you guy - and even when the Darkling showed up all sexy like and dark and mysterious, there was always a part of me rooting for Mal. Other minor characters were wonderful too, and completely added to the story. Another nod at Bardugo's great writing.
This is the first book in the Grisha series, which continues with Siege and Storm, and then Ruin and Rising. Set in the same world, but a new trilogy, Six of Crows came out last year, and just recently the second in that series, Crooked Kingdom, has been released. Looking forward to reading all of these, and if you're into YA fantasy, then this series is a must, and I am saying that with full confidence even though I've only read the first one.
Have you read Shadow and Bone? What did you think?
Image from Good Reads