Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, the first in her Grisha series has been out for a while now, and I finally conceded and bought it. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to read it, it’s just because it takes me 50x longer to get around to reading popular reads.
Shadow and Bone was quite high on my TBR when it first arrived and I when I finished my latest book, I went straight for Shadow and Bone. Once I had decided to start it, I became increasingly more excited about it. I’ve heard many good things about the series and was eager to form my own opinions.
First off, I would like to say how much I really enjoyed the Russian influence in the novel. Though I did struggle with some pronunciations at first I still wanted more. I loved the Grisha, separate from each other and yet forming a solid front. I loved their different coloured keftas and all the different abilities and talents that they could have. I wish there had been a little more history on how the Grisha came to be.
Though the writing isn’t anything out of this world, that in no way means that the actual book suffered for it. The plot in Shadow and Bone is mesmerizing. It’s conflictions with power and doing what’s right war with each other beautifully. Just as the elegance and violence do.
The plot twists are unguessable and throws you off in a way that has you racking your brains for any earlier signs. My previous opinions were scattered to the wind and I loved this book it. It’s harder these days to find ways to disorient your reader, as plot twists have become increasingly easier to guess. How easily I was tricked by such clever writing.
On to the focal point of this novel. The Darkling.
I loved him. Not because of his smooth manners and swoon worthiness. But because I find him the truest character of them all. <spoiler>How some peoples quest for power struggle with the knowledge of right and wrong, whereas the Darkling does not. Though he believes he will help Ravka, it is truly his own self that he wishes to empower and he certainly isn’t sorry for it.
The coldness and callousness is what makes him the villain. Now his hunger for power, but would he would do to get it.</spoiler> Because even the most pure hearted can locked in the throes of power.
Alina is a character at first that I was unsure of but then grew to very much enjoy. A girl with absolutely has no place in the world is suddenly thrust into the role of most important woman in all of Ravka’s history. What I loved most about her though was her willingness to do the right thing and continue fighting. Though the decision is very tough, especially at the very end of the book. She understands that hers is a power that comes with very real consequences. I’m curious to how Alina’s new found power will come into play now that she isn’t enslaved to the Darkling whims.
Throughout the book we are told that ‘like calls to like’ and I feel that’s absolutely true.
Alina and the Darkling are the opposite sides of the same coin, so they are bound to never truly be free of the other. They each resent the attributes of the other because they are so different, and yet, you cannot have light with darkness.
I’m very much looking forward to reading the rest of the series and will be buying them in the immediate future. I need my next fix of the Darkling. I also want to see how the whole of Ravka deal with the events.