Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo

Young female character with an amazing and rare ability to save the world? Check. Said female character torn between Tall, Dark and Handsome and her childhood friend? Check. Magic and Secret Societies? Check. Set in a Fantasy world that is reminiscent of Pre-Bolshevik  Revolution Russia? Ohhh…that’s new…

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka. Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free? The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him. But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him? Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

A sign of an awesome book? You don’t want to put it down. I would sit at my desk at work watching the clock for my breaks and lunchtime. I would read while giving my Mini Me her bath. I would read well into the night until my eyes couldn’t stay open. I read this book in two days. Of course, it helps that I have this book on the ol’ Kindle Fire so I could read on in the dark. Score! And I will try to keep this spoiler free as I feel you should read this book. READ. IT!
But why did I love this book? Alina is just a girl who wants nothing but to get close to her childhood friend, Mal, as they have never been apart since their meeting at the orphanage. She is stubborn, combative, and prefers to NOT be the center attention. But then, with one single act, she is thrust into a world that is so completely different world. It’s one of intrigue and luxury and mystery. She gets swept up in actually being paid attention to, not being in the background. Being told she was important.
But then, wouldn’t you know, all sunshine and roses gets pissed on when the truth comes out about some dark and nefarious goings on. Alina’s doubt and fear is palpable and makes your scared for her and root for her survival.
There is one part in the book, near the end, where I did get a little weepy. It wasn’t heaving sobs or anything like that, it was simply tears running down my cheeks. It was so beautifully written and such a real moment between Alina and Mal, well, I couldn’t help myself. I cried. I don’t want to give it away, but use your imagination about the conversation had and I’m pretty sure you can work out it.
This review is a short one, I know, but I don’t really know what to say without giving away to spoilers. There are some books that I have no issues giving spoilers. But this book, with its mystery and sinister plots, it just doesn’t seem right.  You should read this book and enjoy the buildup of suspense and the horrors of what man would do for what they consider peace.
Book Two, Siege and Storm, it’s waiting patiently to be read. And I cannot WAIT!

Until next time. Remember to be yourself, unless you can be a pirate. Then ALWAYS be a pirate!


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