Sunday, June 16, 2013

Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)
Date Released:  June 5th 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 356 pages 
Date Read: May 23, 2013
Source: Barnes & Noble
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

From Goodreads

My Review:
Shadow and bone has to be one of the most fascinating worlds I have ever read about and also one of the most complicated - I was trying to explain the book to a friend and I don’t think I had ever felt more stupid. I mean, go on and try to say Kvas, Grisha, Balakirev, Etherealki, Odinakovost, Etovost, Odinakovost, Corporalki, Materialki. . . And then the character names: Baghra, Botkin, Fedyor, Malyen Orestev. I looked like this every time I tried to say any of those words out loud:

 photo epic-fail-photos-steve-carell-bruce-almighty_zps3cc77748.gif 

Thankfully the names of the main characters were easier to pronounce: Alina, Malyen aka Mal, and The Darkling.

It was one of those books were you start reading and you just think ‘What the hell? What is this?. . . I’m so confused! What’s happening? Wait- who’s telling the story? What the freak is Kuya? Oh, she’s a person. Is Kefta also a person? No? We’re going sailing :D! Oh, it’s not a good thing? Okay… I get it.’ The heavy confusion only happened through the first few chapters, after that you get the hang of it and following the story becomes easier.

I have to say that I really like it when new worlds are introduced this way. The author doesn’t just hand over the information, he/she just gives you a small piece of the puzzle that you have to complete on your own. I couldn’t help but feel a bit accomplished when I pieced everything together, even if my mind was being dense and I was a bit exasperated in the first two chapters, but in no time I was like ‘This, that, okay. Sorted ;) Let’s keep this story going.’

I can tell that this series is going to be one of my favorites, I just recently got the second book and I am so exited to continue. I’m thinking about the story right now, and I wouldn’t say that it was action packed, but there was never ever a dull moment. Ever. The pace was excellent, the main character was really strong, but she still had weaknesses – note: that does not mean she was weak. At all. It means she’s human. She was fierce, and compassionate and not perfect – that’s a good thing. The metaphors and lessons in this book were unforgettable, I feel like I got so much out of it; not only a highly entertaining story, but also a very meaningful one.

Now. . . for this next part, I am going to talk a bit about the romance. I do not think this is a spoiler – at all. The thing is, I walked into this story blindly, completely and utterly clueless, I had no idea of what it was about, what happened and yada yada, so I was very surprised with what went on in the romancy part. But now that I am part of this world and have been looking at more stuff about Shadow and Bone, it is clear to me that the romance thingy is not a big deal, practically common knowledge. If you are as unaware of this series as I was, skip this next paragraph, if not, please, reed uninterrupted :) 

I didn’t really like Mal in the beginning, more like I didn’t feel a connection between him and Alina. Yes, she’s madly in love with him from the beginning, that was perfectly clear, but I still wasn’t feeling it. Then comes The Darkling. Oh My Freaking God. Why, why why why WHY did the author do that??!! WHY!? He’s dark and sexy and I just shipped him and Alina so hard!! Was it really necessary to make him evil? Really? *Sigh* Oh well, that sort of adds to his charm. Like my friend Jennifer said “He is tall, dark, powerful, and psychotic in a sexy way” I agree, I completely agree. I can deal with his dark side, just Give. Him. To. Me. Back to Mal, when he re-appears in the story (he’s gone for a little while) he slowly started to grown on me and by the end of course I was madly in love with him. He was pretty immature in the beginning of the story, it was clear that being apart from Alina for a while really made him grow as a character as well as appreciate what he had, and once he did his ‘comeback’ he was just flawless. I know ship Alina and Mal so hard.

Highly HIGHLY recommend!!! And also, on scale from 0 to 5 I would give a 4.5 to the design of the book: the book-jacket, the book itslef, the chapters, the little map. I just really like it when they put effort into designing a book. Mindblowingly amazing, I read this in two days, two days and I was in the middle of my finals!!! That has to say a lot!! if you have not read it YOU SHOULD, that simple.

“You're shaking."
"I'm not used to people trying to kill me."
"Really? I hardly notice anymore.” 

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