Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Synopsis: "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.
Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy."
Review: I totally understand the hype now. I honestly have no idea why it took me so long to pick up this book. I love it so much. Leigh Bardugo's Grisha world is mesmerizing and completely grabbed my attention. I could not put this book down.
Let me start with the plot. As some of you may know, I'm an infamous plot guesser, but there was only one thing I predicted correctly in this novel and I was already nearing the end of the book (so really does it even count?). Anyways, the plot had me completely gripped and even with a classic little love triangle, that could usually be pretty annoying, I loved it. The Grisha world is just full of everything that there's never a break, or really ever a moment, for me, or any other reader, to put down the book. I'm not putting out any spoilers so I can't talk about the plot too much just that it's awesome and action packed! This book honestly gave me the strongest feelings from worry to butterflies in my stomach I was completely attached to this book emotionally.
Ahh now we get to Alina! This girl is the perfect main, because like other mains she has a sympathetic backstory, she's not gorgeous (but guys like her anyways), and she's strong (even though in Alina's case she didn't really know!). Alina is just the kind of character to get devoted to and it's hard to help but adore her pureness of heart and positivity. However, then there's Mal and the Darkling. Yep there's the little love triangle but I won't ruin anything for you guys but let me just say the guy she ends up with is just goals and I totally ship them. Mal's character was totally dreamy, but sort of a jerk in the beginning. Then there's the Darkling who attracts everyone especially due to his incredible power. I'll leave it there for now. However, the romance that does occur felt quite unrealistic (but it's fiction and sometimes we all need/want that unreal love). PS. I liked Genya a lot, now I don't I won't say anymore.
The Grisha world is AMAZING and I can't wait to read the next two books to learn more about the world! The map at the beginning of the book honestly took up at least 5 minutes of my time because I could not stop staring. In fact, all the art and design revolving this book is GORGEOUS (seriously ... everything). From the amazing plotline, to the wonderfully written characters, all the way to the beautifully planned out Grisha world Shadow and Bone is a book I'd recommend to all Young Adult or Fantasy readers (and probably everyone else too!)
Favorite Quote(s): " 'It's always just you and me, Alina.'
For a moment, it seemed like it was true."
" I laughed nervously. 'I'm not the world-changing type.' "
" 'Where are you going?' she called after me, her voice mocking. 'What's waiting for you out there?' 'Nothing!' I shouted at her. 'No one!' "
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.