Alina Starkov

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

leighbardugoSurrounded 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.

Has anyone else noticed the immense amount of praise this book has gotten lately? Nearly everyone recommends it and at least 90% of the reviews are positive. I tend to be a non-conformist to the bandwagon of popular reads but I finally gave in and bought this book, partly because Leigh Bardugo is on the list of attending authors to Decatur Book Festival this year. It took me a while to make myself read it but I was immediately sucked in. I am very sorry that I doubted all the blogger and all the great things I’d heard. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. So amazing that I used CapsLock on a whole sentence for the first time ever in one of my posts. This book is so dynamic and different that you’re instantly enthralled. The world is different, the powers are different, the characters even have a different air to them. Alina is a tough girl who is pulled from everything she knows because she has this extremely special power and I think she handles it pretty well. She hates standing out and goes to every length possible to blend into the background. But, of course, she always stands out. And I’ll share my views on the love triangle, like I always do. I totally love the Darkling. Don’t hate me! I don’t know if I have this instinct to root for the boy you know the heroine shouldn’t be with or if it’s about power or what; I feel that way about Warner in Tahereh Mafi’s books, so I’m building this theory. Anyway, there was just something that I didn’t like about Mal. Yeah, he was sweet and took care of her. But after a while adorable little love-struck boys get on my nerves. So yeah, join the bandwagoners and love this book.