Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
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.
I had heard mixed things coming into this series but damn this was good!!
First and foremost, I love Alina. However, I’m really tired of the “plain girl who’s is just ordinary becomes the Chosen One” thing. Why are heroine’s always described as plain but their love interest is super fucking hot? Why can’t the heroines be gorgeous too? That’s so fucking annoying.
Anyway, while I do love her, I hate that she hid her power to stay with Mal. I get that she was an orphan and he was her only friend but like, how many more times will we read about a girl knocking herself down a peg for a guy. Stop the bullshit.
At the moment, I’m not a fan of Mal. From the bit we see of him in this book, he doesn’t seem like a good friend. I especially don’t appreciate the way he treated Alina at the palace. And then after all this time of ignoring her and fucking everyone else he had the nerve to be jealous because she danced with the Darkling. That trope, I’m not here for it. I’m over the girl secretly pining for the guy, but when she moves on her suddenly realizes her loves her. Again, stop the bullshit.
I also love Genya. She’s such a good friend to Alina. It pisses me off though that she has obviously been raped by the king and everyone is shaming her for it. I’m glad she isn’t a servant anymore though. I hope she gets a larger role in one of the later books,
I’m not going to lie…….I was totally shipping Alina and the Darkling for a second there. For some reason, I wasn’t expecting him to be the villain but….he is called the Darkling so I don’t know what the heck I was thinking. I’m glad they don’t end up together though because the age difference is very reminiscent of Twilight.
What the hell is the deal with the Apparat? Why is he so fucking creepy? Also, did they poison the king? Why was the Apparat chosen to rule and where did he “disappear” to? Oh wait, did the Darkling get rid of him so that he could rule?
Zoya is a bitch, as we saw in Six of Crows. Nothing different there.
I have to admit, I was stunned to find out that Baghra was the Darkling’s mother and that he was also the Black Herritic. I just didn’t expect that and I am a sucker for a good plot twist. I hope she comes back though. Or is she dead? If she’s dead, tell me.
I guess I should have known that Mal and Alina would end up back together again….fine, I guess.
I really love the GrishaVerse and I’m so glad that I started this series. I hope it continues to live up to my expectations.