I kept seeing Shadow and Bone on bookshelves at Modern Mrs. Darcy’s What’s on your bookshelf link-up last month. And I confess: as a direct result of this link-up, I actually maxed out my library card.
Turns out my library has a limit of 50 books, and at one point, they held some hostage, saying I’d have to bring others back before I could check more out! Of course there’s no way I could actually get through all of those books in a reasonable amount of time–I got a little carried away, and should have pinned more to my Books I Haven’t Read Yet board, rather than putting them all on hold.
Back to Shadow and Bone–I’d never heard of it before, and I don’t typically read that type of book (young adult fantasy). But I kept seeing it over and over, and honestly, I was pinning another book when I ran onto this, and that’s what convinced me to get the book–I’m a sucker for a lovely book cover.
The book takes place in fantasy Russia, here’s part of the official blurb:
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.
The setup is somewhat predictable, it’s good versus evil, and there’s a love triangle. The main character, Alina, begins as the weakest character, but then becomes the most powerful because of the unknown power she possesses. It’s not clear which side(good or evil) all of the characters belong to, and at the end, the element of mercy comes into play, which I really liked.
I actually held onto it for quite awhile after getting it from the library–I didn’t care for The Hunger Games, and only made it through the first two of that trilogy, and I thought maybe this would be too bloody and violent. I was also a little leery of the powers the different characters possessed–I haven’t read many fantasy books before, and just wasn’t sure I could wrap my head around everything.
Once I started, I really enjoyed it–being a young adult book, it’s a quick read, and I’ve already put the next book on hold. (Don’t get me wrong, there is some violence in this book, but I thought it was a manageable amount). It’s very different than anything I’ve ever read, and Bardugo creates a very interesting, timeless world.