Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is the first book in the Grisha Trilogy.
It centers around Alina Starkov, who was orphaned by the Border Wars. The only person she trusts and loves has been another orphan, Mal.
This book takes us into a new and strange world of magics, monsters and mysteries. A world where a magical elite called Grisha hold the true power. Where one of the most powerful of them all called the Darkling leds them.
They live in a world that is being threatened by the impenetrable darkness called the The Shadow Fold. Inside this darkness that could consume the land of Ravka are monsters who feed off human flesh. Mal and Alina are grown and now are a part of the army regiment. Alina, an apprentice for the map makers, and Mal a strong and respected solider.
The Darkling has the army cross through the Fold, where they are attacked and Alina realizes a deep unknown power of her own. A power that thrusts her into, immediate danger by enemies, as the Darkling rushes her off to the capital. There, she enters a life unlike anything she has ever seen or experienced. A life of comfort. But she is there to learn to master her newfound power to help save Ravka, if not the world of the Fold.
But not everything is as it seems, and soon finds herself wondering who she can trust. And despite being surrounded by so many people, she is left feeling lonely. She finds herself missing her lifelong friend Mal, and surprising even to her, a love that runs much deeper.
This was a really interesting book. I love that I felt I had entered into a whole new world. A world I had yet to experience in other books. The characters were well written and the world building was show and not tell. Which was so refreshing given that some other books, rather just tell you what it looks like instead of just taking you on the tour.
Alina, was a really likable character, that I felt for. That I want to get to know more. And Mal, what a great guy. Truly, he is funny, loyal and brave.
The Darkling is mysterious and powerful. You don't quite know what his story is, but you find yourself wanting...no NEEDING to know more about him.
And this world! Words you never heard of and never will anywhere else in THIS world, and dangers that leave you anxious and entice the imagination create a truly unique experience. I read this book in just under two days. I really couldn't put it down. I just had to know what happens next.
I cannot wait until I get book two Siege and Storm!
I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars!
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