Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Provided Synopsis: 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.
While this might be a YA Fiction book, I can see just about everyone enjoying it. The world of Ravka is so unique and the Grisha fascinated me; I was sucked into this book from the beginning pages and the author never allowed me to go as she weaved a web of plot, description, development, and the makings of an epic adventure. The characters are strong, but I would really have to peg The Darkling as being the one that you can’t get out of your head. Is it wrong to say that he seduced me the moment he appears when Alina is set before him? It always seemed as if he was at war with himself when it came to Alina, and I can’t wait to see where this will go in the remaining two books of the series.
The only reason I gave this book a 4 instead of a 5 is because of the last pages. Call me picky, but I can’t stand it when an author hints at the eventual discord between two characters who have developed to have such a beautiful relationship. Yes, I understand that Alina is powerful and that power corrupts, but in my heart I feel that the one she is with (spoiler free!) can help her through anything! So lets just hope the author surprises me and doesn’t go down the expected route of pushing these two apart while Alina struggles to understand her new power.