Published: 05. June.2012
Genre: YA | Fantasy
What is it about?
Shadow and Bone is the first book in the Grisha Trilogy and is loosely based on Russian folklore.
A story about this average looking, and naive ( a lot naive) girl named Alina who reveals her dormant power when her Best friend- Mal, is attacked and saves his life. This gets her whisked into a royal court to be trained as a Grisha, the magical elites led by the mysterious Darkling to free her war- ravaged country from war and The Fold haunted by Volcras.
This book with its typical YA tropes make you roll your eyes at times and begins at a slow pace. However, I enjoyed this book for its incredible world-building, realistic characters and mind blowing plot twist. A story that beautifully portrays Russian Folklore, the war against nations for power, and a hint of the fight between lust and love.
While I do not want to reveal a lot of it, I do like the whole concept and typical YA tropes especially the love triangle between Alina, Mal and the Darkling. ( even though I eye-rolled every single time) It’s one of those tropes I love to hate-read.
The story begins with a slow pace and although not much is clear, which I am hoping will be cleared in the next book it definitely does have some amazing plot twists and the story picks up after about half way through. Even though it kept me at the edge always I kind of seen the plot unfold front of me and yet it manage to thrill me like I never saw it coming.
I took so many notes of scenes and dialogues that made me chuckle and smile, and ponder a little longer. Leigh Bardugo, is the reason I cry happy tears!
“What is infinite? The universe and the greed of men.”
I have been meaning to read the Grisha Trilogy since years now, and now that I have heard it’s in process of becoming a Netflix Series, I finally got myself to get this out of my TBR, and I am so glad i did.
I love the worldbuilding and the idea of Grisha’s having such cool powers like the Heart renders, Fabrikators and the whole light and dark theme. Love the slight touch of Russian Folklore and Mythology with a hint of magic and drama added to the story.
I apparently imagined chunks of scenes in Black and White, especially the ones in The Fold which made it entirely Gothic and intense in my head.
Alina, the protagonist,a Sun Summoner is a little insecure about the way she looks and apart from being the average girl that is torn between temptations of lust and waiting for her one true love is totally relate able and unlikable both at the same time.
“I didn’t think he was in love with me and I had no idea what I felt for him, but he wanted me, and maybe that was enough.”
Mal, the childhood friend who I understand should be disliked since he apparently is portrayed as a Casanova and now suddenly sees her and falls in love with her. But, he is kinda cute and yes i am willing to overlook that and he shall be forgiven 😛
“I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I’d catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I’d seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I’d realize that you weren’t there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I’ve risked my life for you. I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don’t tell me why we don’t belong together,” he said fiercely.”
Darkling, my new favourite villian
I almost fell for him, almost wanted to like him but was betrayed and it hit me hard –
“The Darkling slumped back in his chair. “Fine,” he said with a weary shrug. “Make me your villain.”
You are the one to blame buddy, I ain’t making nobody a villain. He is such a mysterious character and I guess is also the major reason what makes this book so interesting. I loved a lot of his dialogues though. His character is so complex which makes him a realistic villain, almost like I want to understand his perspective even though I maybe already think it might not be a good idea.
“The problem with wanting is that it makes us weak.”
The side characters in this book have their own traits, and are so well developed, Its almost like I was equally invested with Mal, Alina and the Darkling while also rooting for the safety of Genya and Bargha.
I sure do recommend to read this book for the sole purpose of exploring Russian Folklore and a unique well written fantasy story. My thoughts are just so jumbled up with all the after questions in my head that I am already onto the next book and it starts with a bang! Lets just say, this is going to be One of my favorite series of the year.
Q: Who are some of your favorite Villains?
A: I read the first book in the Shatter Me Series last year , and the Darkling reminds me a lot of Warner which I loved to hate as well.