Shadow and Bone
(Grisha Trilogy #1)
By Leigh Bardugo
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 goodat 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.
This is a difficult review for me, because while I enjoyed the book nothing jumped out at me. Usually when I finish a book, whether I hated it or loved it, in that moment when I put the book down I am flooded with emotions. Usually it takes me a few days to build up a review, just because my judgement should not be trusted until my initial impression dies down. It usual takes me a few days of mulling over a novel for me to point out all the faults or things I liked, so when it took me months to finally drag myself over to the computer and write a review I knew it was going to be rough.
Now this book came to me highly recommended so I was a little shocked when I skimmed through the novel and was not particularly impressed. The protagonist didn’t stand out to me, her best friend Mal frequently frustrated me though his loyalty to her proved a redeeming quality. And the Darkling seemed to be the only promising character, as if to increase my appreciation of him he proved to be a force to be reckoned with, including shady motives and an overall evil disposition. When the plot thickened, I was actually thrilled and then thoroughly displeased when this meant limited time with the Darkling. There was only one moment in the book that thoroughly shocked me and made me give gasp of horror and joy. Contrasting emotions I know, but well applied to the pivotal character developing moment that propelled me to push through the last couple pages.
Nevertheless, I actually want to chock up this experience to a fluke, and reread the book. And as much as this book seems almost forgettable I am considering picking up the sequel because I feel as if I am desperately missing something.