I got this book from the publisher so thank you to Indigo for letting me review this!
Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #1
Published: May 17th 2012
No. of Pages: 308
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 fulfil 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? - (Goodreads.)
4 stars: Page decides that this book was very enjoyable
however, it was not catapulted into amazing.
It's true that from the moment I started blogging, I kept on hearing about Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Everyone seemed to have read it, so my reaction was: "I must be missing out on something here" and now, though I am kind of late to the party, I have finally read it!
First of all, I love the fact that Leigh Bardugo has taken a lot of inspiration from Russian history and culture to create this series. I absolutely love other cultures and countries, so I always find books that are inspired by a different culture to what we are normally used to interesting, because I feel I end up learning so much. What I mean by saying 'What we are normally used to' is that the majority of the books out there- especially the ones in English -are set in the UK or the US, cultures that in my opinion, people are quite familiar to. I'd love to see some more diversity when it comes to settings and cultures because I know that I (And I'm probably not the only one) love books that are unique and different to what we normally get.
I have to comment on the fact that this book was definitely fast-paced. I was expecting the story to start slowly and then pick-up the pace, but I. WAS. SO. WRONG. There's about one or two chapters where you start to get the gist of the story, and then- BAM! The book shoots off from there. I was certainly surprised as I thought there would be a small lull for the reader to get into the story, but Leigh Bardugo definitely decided that there would be none of the 'I'm going to pretend this book isn't going to destroy your feels later on.' I think that was quite kind of her. XD
Before I had read this, I had heard a lot about the Darkling. From these snippets of conversations, I had gathered that many people actually liked him even though he was meant to be the bad guy...? However, I decided to be cocky, and I kept thinking foolishly "Pfff! I'm never going to have a major case of the feels because of the hot evil dude." Once again: I. WAS. SO. WRONG. This, people, is why you don't count your chickens before they hatch.
Anyway, S & B somehow made me really, really like the Darkling to the point that I actually shipped him with Alina. HOW DID YOU DO THIS TO ME, LEIGH BARDUGO? NOW I MUST DESPAIR.
In terms of Mal....meh. I didn't have any particularly strong feelings about him, he was just kind of there. To me, I think he was quite a weak character considering the fact that he seems to have such a vital part in the book.
Shadow and Bone was a diverse book in terms of culture, which will take you on a roller-coaster ride from the beginning. However, despite one awesome character, the others can only be described as, well, meh.