Sunday, November 4, 2012

Book Review: Shadow and Bone

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. Quoted from Goodreads


Do you ever have a book that you don't quite know what to say about it? Yeah, that's me right now.  I really enjoyed this book, but I hardly know where to begin.  I guess setting is as good a place as any, so Russia.  Well, not really Russia, but the author did garner a lot of influences from that country.  Yes, I've read enough to know there are a lot of problems (like Alina Starkov's last name should be Starkova because she's a girl), but it gave the world a unique flavor, and really it's a made up place.  It may have a few Russian influences, but it's not Russia.

Here's the British cover.
I love how different it is
from the American version,
but it still works perfectly.
Now on to the lovely Darkling.  I absolutely adore that name. You can just tell he's going to be a delicious character, and he is.   Here's the thing I love most.  Throughout the first two thirds of the book, you never know exactly how much you can trust him. He could end up being the love interest, the villain, or the wise mentor the helps Alina on, and I found that ambiguity delightful.

Then there's Alina herself. She starts out rather naive and average, but it doesn't last long.  They say you're supposed to make your main characters suffer to grow, and you can see that in her journey. I also really liked her priorities and how strong she is in the beginning before she even realizes she is strong.

The supporting characters are also rather wonderful.  There's Genya, Aline's friend, who is too beautiful for her own good.  Then there's Mal, who is such a typical boy in the beginning, I think it's perfect.  Too often possible romantic love interests act a bit too much like girls, and I kind of enjoyed the oblivious boy for a change. 

This book is full of excitement, betrayal, mystery, and power, all set in a fantastical world.  My only problem with it was the very end, but since it's the first of three books, I'm sure everything will be worked out. This book gets the delightful 4 star rank.  Now, go and put it on your to read list.  There is half a year before the next book comes out, and I can't wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment