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.
"The problem with wanting," he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw
until it hovered over my lips, "is that it makes us weak"
I found the world building to be seriously amazing. Ravka is so monumentally awesome I am having a hard time not fangirling all over the place right now. Leigh Bardugo adds the perfect details so that you are never ever confused. It is literally like watching a movie while reading this book. I could so perfectly picture Ravka and these characters in my head, I'm craving a movie adaptation in this! From the very beginning to the very end the magical elements of this story are so perfectly crafted that you are never bombarded and are constantly craving more.
The characters were equally as amazing. Alina is strong female MC that you aren't afraid to love. I feel like everyone can connect to her and see a part of themselves in her. She has a huge heart and will risk everything to save those she cares about and never expect anything in return. I wasn't Mal's greatest fan when the story started, but I feel like he did get better. Alina pined after Mal for her entire life, and he never noticed her. He was busy fooling around with other girls. He obviously does finally notice her, but at that time I'm already shipping The Darkling hardcore.
"A moment later the boy whispered, "I don't think you're ugly."
"Shhhh!" the girl hissed. But hidden by the deep shadows of the cupboard, she smiled"
"I've been waiting for you a long time, Alina." He said. "You and I are going to change the world."
Shadow and Bone was one of the best stories I've read in a really long time. There was a perfect combination of romance, action, and fantasy - you will literally never be bored. This story was addicting and magical, I found myself not wanting to eat just so I can read more. I can't wait to read Siege and Storm because hopefully more Darkling!