Book Club: "Shadow and Bone" by Leigh Bardugo
Love, Love! This cover. It’s got a great blend of colours, blacks, grays, and red: represents the feel and setting of the story.
Great combination of characters in this one. It balances well and even though there is a bit of a love triangle, this one was fun to watch.
I have to say I loved the main characters Mal, Darlking and Alina. But it was the Darkling that appealed to me most.
Besides her trainer who seems like she always has her panties in a bunch, I don’t have a least favourite.
On her travels as a map maker, Alina and Mal (among others) get into some trouble crossing The Shadow Fold. Alina seems to have saved the troop, not knowing how, and she must face The Darkling and his interrogations.
Alina is taken by The Darkling to be trained on how to use her discovered powers. Long time friend Mal is assigned to be the guard. Without him close, Alina is feeling vulnerable and in a strange place. Soon she is able to gain a friend and become closer to the mysterious and attractive Darkling.
The whole story builds up for the ending, so we have an idea where it’s going to go. But there is always a twist, and this is the first book in a series so we are left to wonder what will happen next.
I really loved the setting of the story. The world building is beautiful, dark, and magical. There are aspects to the story that are not new–love triangle and naive girl learning to become stronger and more confident. But I did not mind any of it. I thought the writing really made for a very smooth, entertaining, and constantly moving story. It was very well put together and a very enjoyable read.
“The problem with wanting,” he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, “is that it makes us weak.”- Darkling
The book is a stony grey colour, title is raised in black with bright red highlights, which is really effective at drawing the eye. There’s a nod to the antlers of the stag … (Spoilers) and there’s a Russian-esque building at the bottom. The inside flap on my copy has all the praise from various magazines, authors, and bloggers. Everything they say is true.
Internally, the illustration on the introduction of each new chapter is intricate and beautiful.
The characters Bardugo has created are fleshy, real, and easy to sympathise with.
Genya. Girl has skill and a kind heart. I’d love to have her at my back.
The Darkling. You’ll find out if you haven’t read the book.
Alina and Mal are orphaned by the Border wars and are taken in by Duke Keramsov they are both tested to see if they are Grisha (have special abilities).
Turns out the tests results were wrong and Alina and Mal’s lives are forever altered by the events surrounding the crossing of the Fold (A place where magic has malformed the land and people in horrible ways).
Alina’s reality becomes a nightmare and it all feeds into an insatiable urge to move onto the second book, Siege and Storm.
I devoured this book in very little time. Luckily, I was forced to only read it on the way to work where the bus stops at the end of the line because I would most certainly miss my stop if I was to read on my trip home. That is how wrapped up in Alina’s world you will be to.
“What am I supposed to do with a girl who can’t call her own power?” she growled at me. “Even children can do this.” Baghra, speaking to Alina.
Can we all just take a moment and truly savor this beautiful cover? AND the fact that the second and the third book match perfectly?! It’s simple, but yet so interesting and different! When I first looked at this cover, I didn’t really know what I was looking at besides the castle. But after reading it, I see that the white stick looking things are the horns, and the dark swirls are the Darkling’s power. LOVE IT!
This book was filled with a lot of AWESOME characters: not only main roles, but also smaller ones. Mal’s two good friends in the army were funny. Ganya was so beautiful and kind. And even Zoya and Baghra were interesting!
My favorite is a tie between Alina, Mal, and the Darking. Alina because she kicks SO MUCH butt in this book. Mal because he finally opens up towards the middle and end of the book. And the Darkling because of his big twist!
I don’t think I have a least favorite character. I wasn’t annoyed or irritated with anyone … so that’s good!
The story actually starts off with a flashback of when Alina and Mal were younger and how they became so close. After this flash back, it jumps forward a few years when the two are in the army and one of the most dangerous missions–crossing the Fold.
Alina discovers her true self and her power. While she’s homesick for Mal, the Darkling and everything around her seems to be going well. She’s training with Baghra to become stronger with her powers and to be prepared to break down the Fold.
There are just so many twists and turns in the end, which I don’t want to give away, so I’m not saying anything about the ending. I want you to feel exactly how shocked, unsure, and confused I felt. And then the love, warmth, and happiness as well, when things worked out!
I really enjoyed Shadow and Bone! I wasn’t too sure how I was going to feel about it, but I soon came to enjoy the story and its characters! I hope you ALL give this one a shot!