Review: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1)
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.
My rating: 4 stars
I finally picked this one up because my mom started it and I wanted to read it with her. I read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom before I ever read this one because I did not realize the Grisha books came before the Six of Crows duology. I enjoyed the duology a lot so I am not sure why it took me so long to pick up Shadow and Bone. All I can say is that I am very happy that I did. I was sucked in from the start. I liked Alina from the beginning. I loved that she was so honest about being so scared about going into the Fold and her feelings for her best friend—the boy she grew up with. I thought the story had great pacing and did not linger too long on things that did not matter. Within the first few chapters, we meet The Darkling and then Alina is whisked away to the Little Palace, having learned that she is a Grisha who could save the world. I loved the twists and turns and then the ending had me needing the second book which I started right after I finished the first one.
Alina was such a relatable and likable character. I loved how she embraced her insecurities and was so honest about them. She did not want to stand out or be anything other than a mapmaker. She wanted the attention of her best friend and that was really it. Growing up in an orphanage probably contributed to that. I loved her interactions with The Darkling and you could see almost immediately that there was chemistry between them. It was clear that The Darkling had some kind of feelings for Alina even in the beginning and they seemed to grow. Alina has feelings for him and lets herself feel those once decides to put aside her seemingly one-sided feelings for Mal. Alina and The Darkling's interactions were steamy and I want more of that in the next books. To find out that I should not be rooting for The Darkling was a bit of a blow but it doesn't really change how I feel about him or that I want him and Alina to be together. Mal is a good character. He's loyal and tough and Alina's best friend but I did not feel the chemistry between her and him. I did find it annoying how much she asked and worried about him at times. I liked Genya but not very many others in this story. I hope I come to like some more characters in the second book.
I thought this was such a good story that I sped through. The only thing that got in the way of my finishing it in one sitting was that I had to work. I am anxious to read the second book and I cannot wait to see what is in store for Alina, The Darkling, and Mal in Siege and Storm.