Publication: 5th June 2012/Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Pre-Order It: Amazon | The Book Depository (24% currently off)
"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 unlikely 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."
Shadow and Bone is one of my favourite books I have read so far in 2012. I know what you are thinking, wait, we are not even in April yet! I have a feeling though, by the end of 2012, it will still be in my favourite list. It introduces the reader to a new world; that of the Grisha.
At the beginning, during the first few chapters, I will admit I was a little lost. The language was a bit confusing and I pretty much had no idea what was going on. But once I understand the Shadow Fold, I was immersed in the story.
I really enjoyed Alina, the heroine of the book who does not believe that she could be the key to saving her country. She is just a map-maker and not even a good one according to herself. She is not seen as pretty or anything out of the ordinary but she is a good person and truly cares for the people she loves, which really is only one person, Mal, her best friend since they grew up as orphans together.
I also really liked all the secondary characters such as Mal and the Darkling as well as Genya, who often helped provide the comic relief.
What has made Shadow and Bone so refreshing to read is how Bardugo handles the love aspect. I cannot say much without giving anything away but it was written really well, which here at Carmy's blog means I did not what to smash my Kindle over my head due to insta-love or really stupid love triangles.
I really have fallen in love with the Grisha world. Ugh, why must the sequel be so far away?
A definite must read. Shadow and Bone is a remarkable debut novel by Bardugo full of magic, myth, friendship, love and hope.