Shadow & Bone (Grisha Trilogy #1) – Leigh Bardugo

10194157Surrounded 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 is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy. (via Goodreads)

I purchased this books as part of my YA book club…

I had mixed feelings about this book. I adored the world Bardugo had created. It was luscious and tense (just like the book). What I wanted was more world building! I really wanted to find out more about Ravka, what surrounds it.

What annoyed me was Alina’s complete reliance on everyone around her to make decisions. She doesn’t question anything. She believes everything everyone says. For someone who was orphaned by the war and forced to grow up in a foster home, there has to be some sort of impact from that.

The love triangle is typical YA fare. She loves her childhood sweetheart. She meets the dark and broody guy. She thinks she loves him. But now she’s not sure. Who should she believe?

The story about Alina’s new found power and how she learns to use it is interesting. I would like to have seen a little more of it. The supporting characters are interesting and I would love to have seen the world around the Grisha a little more.

Our other main characters, the Darkling, and Mal, are total opposites to one another (as they should be for a love triangle!). Alina wants to trust them both, wants to believe that both of them have her best interest at heart. But unless Alina learns to trust herself, this series is destined to be another Twilight.

I sincerely hope that book two and three will see Alina grow as a person (I’m terrified book two will end up being another Insurgent-esque pity party). I will be checking them out to see what they’re like.

Overall, not a bad story, and a quick read.

3.5/5

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