Review: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo

My summary:
Alina and Mal are orphans from the war; a war that is even now still raging. They were both taken in and housed on the same earl's estate. They have become the best of friends and have learned to depend on each other. Then they are both drafted into the country's army. Alina ends up assisting the map makers while Mal becomes a skillful tracker. They don't see each other as much anymore.

As they attempt to cross the Fold, a dark expanse where volcra (huge flying monsters) live, something happens. Mal cannot believe it and Alina doesn't understand because she didn't see what happened. However, it is decided that Alina will be taken to the capital under the Darkling's (the head of the magicians) protection. Mal remains with the army and Alina believes she will never see him again.

The Darkling has great plans for Alina and tells her that she will save the country. Alina isn't too sure about that or the new life she is living. Then she is warned of an unthinkable plot and hopes she has made the right choice.

What I thought:
I had the toughest time putting this one down, I was so engrossed in the story! The author did a great job making the story flow really well.

I loved all the characters! Alina is definitely such an interesting character. Here she is coming from a background of being poor and never having anything and is thrust into the royal court, living in a lavish suite, wearing rich clothes, and trying to fit in. I felt the author let her be true to her character. She was humble and kind, but tough as she would have had to be growing up as she did and fending for herself. Then there's Mal who is wise, not book wise per se, but very perceptive and skilled. He also is extremely loyal to Alina, even if she doesn't know it. The Darkling is such a contrast to Mal. Mal is rough, rugged, and poor. The Darkling is smooth, seductive, powerful, and rich. It was a little bit of a struggle because you get pulled in with Alina towards the Darkling, but at the same time Mal is still there in the back of your mind. I felt like each character was so different, but they all complemented or countered each other fabulously.

I really, really didn't know if everything was going to turn out. It got a little stressful towards the end. I also got a little upset when no one would do anything (if you've read this you know what I mean)! Ugh!

When is the rest of the series out? Oh, yeah. The second book comes out in June and the third next year. That's another year to find out what will happen. :(

I highly recommend it!

Content: There might have been a few instances of mild swearing - I can't completely remember. There is one making out scene and some innuendo. Also some violence involving the Darkling and volcra.
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication date: June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Source: Library

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  1. I loved this book too! I also really liked Alina. This book was so different from anything else I've read.

    1. It definitely was a different take on fantasy. I did like Alina's character. I felt like the author did such a good job of making her realistic - she acted how she should with her background. I'm glad you loved it too! :)

  2. I do think of this as a book with a really good love triangle because I was mostly torn between the Darkling and Mal although in the end, my loyalties are with Mal after that beautiful romantic speech he delivers.

    1. I liked that the love triangle left me with one guy at the end. I hate when I'm equally torn between two! ;)

  3. I have heard of this book but I'm just not sure about it. It just seemed a little bit dark to me, and sometimes books like that are harder for me to get into. But if you thought it was that good, maybe it is worth a try!

    1. I actually wouldn't term it as dark. I would say that the Matched and Hunger Games trilogies are darker. There are some definite struggles, some betrayal, some violence, but those are small parts of the story.

  4. I have this one on my wishlist! Im glad to know that its worth reading. I'll have to buy it. :) Thanks

    1. I'm glad you like my review. I really loved it, in case you didn't notice! ;)


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