I like to revisit my old favorites, and I thought Shadow and Bone would be a perfect choice, as I JUST got around to finishing the series (apparently I live under a rock) and it was my first ever review! I am going to combine this post with my original review! I will bold my new additions. Enjoy!
Here is my first full book review. Ya! The book is Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Here is the summary from Goodreads:
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
I bet you can’t guess why I decided to read this book. Yes, because Veronica Roth recommended it (I am very disillusioned with Roth’s style of writing, so I am very surprised this is why I picked it up, in reflection). And Veronica Roth is awesome, so this book must be awesome too (I guess that is one train of thought…). And I was right. This is a wonderful book. There wasn’t very much violence or Romance (HAHAHA what? Did I even read the book?). The majority of the book takes place while Alina is in Grisha training. Some parts of the book feel a little slow, but those parts were still very interesting. There was no time while I was reading this book that I thought of putting it down. It was a fast-paced novel and I really enjoyed it. I would argue with this, now. I do feel like some of the training sequences were a bit tedious. However, it all added to the character development and the plot, as it allowed us to see how essential it was for Alina to be using her powers, and how the Grisha training was structured (which allows us to see the flaws in The Darklings societal structure in the sequels). I would very much recommend this book.
Overall, having just reread Shadow and Bone, I do not entirely disagree with baby-blogger Maddie. I feel that most of my original thoughts are pretty on point, if not fully developed. Shadow and Bone does have a pretty significant amount of violence, a trait that becomes more prominent in the later books. However, similarly to The School for Good and Evil or Daughter of the Pirate King this violence is in place to help one develop an idea of the grey zone between good and evil, especially when there are such strong ethical issues put in place for Alina as she develops her power and her place in the Grisha society.
There is, also, a fair enough of romance. I love myself the Darkling, and it is one of the few times in YA that I have fallen for the angsty, misunderstood (but still undeniably evil and corrupt) villain. I am not one to support love triangles, but I feel that the romance that Bardugo developed between the three main characters is a very strong plot device, especially as we get further into the series. I fully support this love triangle, and the character development of each individual character involved really makes it a strong piece of the plot.
Overall, this is, and always will be, one of my favorite YA series. I love the dark fantasy/tsarpunk genre, and I am so glad that Bardugo has been able to carry it on into some of her newer books. I cannot recommend it enough, even if you are not someone who typically picks up YA fantasy!