Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Shadow and Bone 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 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.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
This book makes me happy. Again, there’s a girl and a boy. And an unrequited something at the beginning. But those are just extras because the magic and the world in this one are different. Sure, I could have handled a little more detail; heck I’d love to have had more on the where’s and the when’s and how’s of it all, yet what was there had me sprinting through the story in a couple of hours.
There’s just something to them together and as individuals that made them special. And I like that they started out as ordinary then worked their way up. There’s an imbalance between the two that’s evident from the start with him being so perfect and popular and with her not. Yet, she’s the who gets followed around through the course of the story. She’s the one who people gawk at, build shrines to, talk over, and want to be with.
The best thing here was her growing into her own without him. That when she finally lets go, she blooms. It had me feeling sad (because obviously there was something there); yet, excited to see what she really could do once she set her mind to it.
What had me a feeling slightly iffy about her was her channeling similar feelings to Darkling. And it’s this bit that got slightly predictable. Look, the progression of the story was obvious. Obviously, she’d fall for someone else. It’s just a handy benefit that that someone else was handsome and powerful (and a hundred and twenty years old.) So yes, from the get, one could guess where the story was headed: betrayal, manipulation, love etcetera, etcetera.. YET I enjoyed it: Alina is just that sympathetic with her starting out as ordinary then being molded into something more all the while missing (but not wanting to miss) a certain part of her past.
Thank you Net galley!
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