Today’s post is about a book that always seemed like such a big deal in the YA world to me.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is a YA High Fantasy Novel set in the nation of Ravka. This once great country, that is largely reminiscent of imperial Russia, is fighting a war on all sides and to make matters worse has been plagued by a deadly darkness that cuts the kingdom in half. Known as the Shadow Fold or the Unsea by the Ravkan people, the barren blackness strikes fear in the hearts of all and Alina is no exception. In a world where the Grisha, those who posses special magical talents, are revered she has always felt extraordinarily ordinary, that is until she discovers a secret about herself that could save the whole of Ravka and change her world forever.
A lot of people are divided on this book but after finally getting around to reading it myself I can definitely save I’m in the ‘this was pretty great’ camp.
Leigh Bardugo is known across the literary lands for her sultry and sardonic grasp on words and this book does not disappoint. Ravka is rich and bulging with its own feeling of culture and history. Bardugo cleverly drops hints all throughout the chapters that add to the sense that outside the events that Alina is involved in there is a whole world waiting. From the occasional ravkan word to the intricate descriptions of traditional ravkan food and clothing, there is a genuine sense across the whole narrative that this world has clearly been thought through.
I was one of the odd people who actually read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom before starting this trilogy and it was certainly nice to fill in some of the gaps that people warned me would exist if I missed out Shadow and Bone. The characters were all complex and wholly refreshing. Alina’s love triangle had just enough melodrama to be interesting but not too much to be cringey. Even the descriptions of the settings in the book such as the capital Os Alta and the Little Palace were so completely enthralling and interesting that I could never put it down.
And the plot? Wow
I would recommend this book a thousand times over and I can’t wait to get my hands on the other two instalments in the trilogy.
I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars!
Keep on reading!
And thanks again Beth.