Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Holt Children’s/Macmillan
Source: Amazon Vine
Series? The Grisha Trilogy #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Page Count: 368
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. (summary from goodreads)
I really enjoyed “Shadow and Bone.” It was one of my Waiting on Wednesday picks before I got it early. I tweeted the author a few times while reading, because I was so excited and loving the book.
I already wrote one review for Amazon Vine, but I wanted to say a bit more about the book. Instead of writing another full fledged review, I’m putting down some random thoughts.
I know I’ll reread it in the future, as there are some things I undoubtedly missed in my rush to find out the whole story. And I know I’ll want a refresher when Book 2: Siege and Storm comes out.
The short version of my first review? I think “Shadow and Bone” is awesome.
I did have a few minor complaints, but they didn’t detract from my enjoyment, so I didn’t rate down for them. Of course, I could have missed the answers to any of these, as I was reading pretty quickly.
–One: I would have liked a description of a kefta, because the garment figures prominently into the story. I think they’re something like coats or robes, and decorated with insignias and embroidery based on rank, but what do they look like as a full garment?
–Two: How old are Alina and Mal? I understand they don’t know how exactly how old they are because they are orphans, but I couldn’t get a rough estimate of their age. I’m guessing somewhere around sixteen or seventeen?
–Three: Why has Ravka been at war for over a hundred years? Who are they fighting? Why has it gone on so long? Is it all due to the existence of the Shadow Fold?
Nothing too big, and like I said, I could have missed the answers to my questions, or they could be answered in coming books.
I read an interview where Leigh describes the book as “Tsarpunk.” I think the Russian influence is one of my favorite things about “Shadow and Bone,” because a lot of fantasy books stick with a medieval European-type of world. I happen to like Russian history, and I hope more authors venture outside the European zone.
The same interview promises some steampunk elements in Book 2. I can’t wait.
Rating: 5 owls
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