Bardugo has woven a beautiful and uniquely magical world in Shadow and Bone – from the landscape to the powers of the Giesha. It’s a captivating story about friendship and war with wonderful writing, and flawed and complex characters.
Ravka is a land that’s been at war for hundreds of years, and the people are desperate for peace. When Alina’s powers are discovered by accident, after being told she was just a normal girl, she becomes Ravka’s only hope against the Shadow Fold – death and darkness. Alina is immediately taken from everything she knows, including her best friend Mal, in order to be trained as a Giesha, and to also be protected.
I loved the friendship between Alina and Mal, and seeing how their relationship began as small children. Alina is a fantastic heroine. She’s vulnerable yet strong, steadfast in her morals, and I easily connected with her. Mal is swoon-worthy, and the mysterious handsome Darkling is hard to resist. I also really liked Genya as a secondary character, and I want to know more of her story.
In my impatience to start reading this book – hello gorgeous cover and fantastic synopsis – I started it while reading other scheduled books and had to keep putting it down. Once I had time to settle into this book, I was quickly pulled into Bardugo’s magical world, and I’m excited for the next book in the trilogy. Shadow and Bone is a fantastic debut you don’t want to miss!