Shadow and Bone
The Grisha Trilogy
Publication date: 5th June 2012
Shadow and Bone has been on my wish list for a while ever since the blurb caught my eye on Goodreads. I have to say after reading it the blurb actually doesn't do the book justice, Shadow and Bone actually surpassed all my expectations and then some.
Alina and her best friend Mal grew up together in an orphanage and left together to go into military service, Mal as a tracker and Alina as a cartographer (map maker). Whereas Mal is good looking, confident and turns heads wherever her goes Alina has always been a little bit slower and weaker with no special powers she very much lives in Mal's shadow. However, when Alina saves Mal from a volcra attack (think big giant scary bird thing) by shielding him, summoning and sort of omitting a blindingly bright light Alina finds herself marched off by soldiers to face the Darkling, the mysterious and dark leader of the magical elite the Grisha. Alina is told she possesses a special power she is the Sun Summoner the Darkling has been waiting years for, and her destiny is to save the people of Ravka and destroy the fold.
Alina is plucked out of military service and taken to the Royal Court to learn how to fight and cultivate her newly found powers. Here Alina really struggles as the Grisha are all good looking, powerful and in full control of their powers whereas poor Alina still isn't able to summon and harness her Sun Summoner powers unless she is under attack. With the very seductive and powerful Darkling encouraging her and the nation's hopes all pinned on her Alina is in a race against time to claim her powers.
I really don't want to ruin what is an AMAZING and epic story, all I want to say is that Shadow and Bone should not be missed. With fantastic world building (it only takes a short while to get used to the Russian-ish words don't let that put you off), a driving plot and characters that are break your heart fantastic Shadow and Bone is really out of this world fantastic (too many fantastic's I know but I honestly can't help it!). I loved Alina she doesn't believe she is anything like the untouchable Grisha and childhood friend Mal is just super sweet but I have to say I really really liked the Darkling. A little warning at exactly 65% through reading Shadow and Bone I nearly fell off my chair with shock and probably yelled some very choice language at my Kindle. It's not a cliffhanger as such, more of a fantastic (grrr that word again) change in direction that leaves Alina wondering who she can really trust. So be prepared!
If like me you loved Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson or Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers then Shadow and Bone is the very book for you. I loved it.
Thanks to Net Galley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for the opportunity to read and review Shadow and Bone.
Check out the different covers, in the UK it's going to be called The Gathering Dark. I think I prefer the Russian-esque cover of Shadow and Bone the UK one looks a bit more little blue riding hood!