Neyra’s Shot of YA: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Series: The Grisha 1

Format: Print Hardcover
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Source: Purchased
Genre: YA Fantasy

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.

SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo had been sitting on my shelf for over a year now, and I’ve chastised myself enough for not having started it any sooner.
Alina Starkova is headed into the Shadow Fold–a place of total darkness and countless dangers with flesh eating creatures—with her best friend, Mal. But when the First Army is attacked just seconds into the Fold, and Mal’s life is in danger, Alina unknowingly unleashes a power she didn’t know had been lying dormant within her. Alina gets whisked away into the world of the Grisha, an elite of magical beings with extraordinary power, in order to train so that one day she could save her war laden country.
I’m not going to lie; I started SHADOW AND BONE feeling very confused. It took me a second to understand all the different provinces of Ravka and its hidden dangers. But I was allured by the story of the boy and the girl living in the orphanage. I wanted to know more about them and what eventually would become of them. How they transcended from children to young adults in a world that seemed so dark and oppressing; and how one girl fought with every fiber of her being, the very essence of who she was in order to stay with the boy who made her feel as though she weren’t alone.
SHADOW AND BONE is a very fascinating tale of strength and courage; and when you add magic, it’s breathtaking. There’s not much I can say without filling the page with spoilers, but SHADOW AND BONE is a book you will want to pick up. The characters are built up well enough and shrouded in mystery; it doesn’t surprise me to know there will be more from each secondary character in the next installment. I loved that there are villains whom you will despise for their treachery, but before then you will have loved them. Because in a world of magic, all is not as it seems 😉
I spent all night reading SHADOW AND BONE until the very end; it took me approximately five hours after the first page. I was grumpy and dead the following day, but I regret nothing. Magic is by far one of my favorite fantasy traits and I loved seeing how LBardugo took this concept and blended it with the elements. I don’t believe any book is without its flaws, but there were none big enough for me to complain about; and if you’ve read any of my reviews lately, that’s saying something. I have a way with finding something to complain about. Every time.
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Neyra is a book blogger on hiatus and a friend of Talk Supe. 
She usually writes snarky but funny reviews which can be entertaining to read.