5 out of 5 stars.
Oh, where to begin with this review without spiraling into a gush-fest? To start, let me just say that Shadow and Bone is truly unique–I can’t think of anything I’ve read quite like it.
But even better than being unique, Shadow and Bone is good. Like, REALLY good.
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.
First off, the world…oh, the world! I loved the scale, the Russian influences, the magic, and the overall darkness of it all. It’s one of those fictional places you will desperately wish were real.
Second off, the characters are stunning–three dimensional, believable, and (even the bad guys) totally likeable. Alina is tough and endearing, and you root for her from page one. And the love interest…phew, I’m getting heart palpitations just thinking of him. WHAT a heroic guy. He’s a character truly worthy of the heroine’s affection.
Third off, THE PLOT! Gripping, edge of the seat, filled with twisty turns you don’t see coming. I loved every minute of it. And the ending–holy crow, it left me breathless.
Well, I’m afraid this has spiraled into a gush-fest, but let me just wrap up by saying: if you like high fantasy, epic romance, or kick-butt heroines, be sure to pick up Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone.
Now, to celebrate the book’s release TOMORROW, I’m giving away a copy! I’ll order it for the winner and have it sent to your doorstep.
This giveaway is open internationally, and I’ll announce the winner next week! Just fill out the form below!