Author: Leigh Bardugo
Title: "Shadow and bone"
Book 1 in series Grisha
Main character: Alina Starkov
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.
I feel like you all already know what this series is about... ;) cause I am pretty late on the whole Grisha-world-is-awesome train ;) to be honest it was the Six of crows duology that originally caught my attention, and yes, I know that people say you don't have to read Grisha trilogy to enjoy those new books, but I figured since they take place in the same world and I know that I will want to read the original trilogy at some point, I wanted to read them in order... you know, to avoid all possible spoilers and such :) now that I finished the first book, I'm very glad I decided to do it, because let me tell you... this world is complicated... :) since it's always hard for me to write reviews that won't spoil you stuff... although with this one I feel like everyone and their mothers read it already ;) I will still abide by my rule :) so I will tell you a bit about the world and our main character and then share my thoughts and opinions about this installment :)
When I said that the world is complicated, I really meant it... or maybe it's just been a while since I read a good fantasy book that requires from a reader to learn everything... ;) in case of the world we have in Grisha trilogy... yeah... it's filled with foreign sounding words that made it more difficult for me to figure out all the rules and connections between certain characters and groups... I'm hoping it will be easier with the sequels :) and since I am still unclear on certain details... I figured that me fumbling explanations wouldn't help you understand anything if you haven't read the book, and if you read it, well... you probably know more than me ;) so let me focus a bit more on our main character, Alina... :) she is an orphan, raised alongside of her only friend, Mal... a bit more about him in a second... :) and to be honest, I really liked her :) yes, I can understand why some people feel like she can be frustrating and annoying, but let's not forget that we are talking about a very young woman... she has a right to certain behaviour... and yes, there were a few moments when she and her decisions bothered me, especially in the first half, but I could understand where she was going from... BUT it got better in the second half and now I am very eagerly waiting to see how she will grow as a character in next installments :) because let's not forget that we are talking about a young girl who is thrown into a very serious and shocking situation... no wonder it's hard for her to find her footing... I know I'm being very vague but I feel like all the necessary informations are in the synopsis, and written much better than I would be able to put them ;) and all the rest you should be able to discover by yourselves :) so instead of focusing on all the stuff I can't tell you about, let me share some of my thoughts and feelings about this story in general :)
Overall I gave this book 4 stars :) I think that it's a very good start to a series, and I'm definitely curious about what's gonna happen next :) I really enjoyed the writing style, especially the banter between certain characters :) if it's an indication of what's gonna come next... I already can't wait :) I feel like this book laid the groundwork for much more character growth and action that will happen in future installments :) and of course I can't forget about some secondary characters... I wonder what we will learn about Mal, because my opinion of him changed a lot before this story ended ;) I also certainly can understand all the... let's call it fascination about the Darkling, although I still think that he's more scary than hot ;) my personal fave is Genya :) I don't want to tell you anything about her, because we meet her a bit further in the book and she doesn't appear as much as I would love her to do, but I'm hoping it will change in future books... :) for now I am crossing my fingers that she won't die :) seriously, this was the main theme going on through my head when I read about half of the book... when I passed a certain *what the WHAT!?!?!?!* moment... I was starting to really worry about people... :) even though the first half was a bit slow and trope-y for me, the second one was much better... :) so if you are thinking about giving this book a try, or you did in the past and it was hard for you to get into, trust me and push through a little bit more :) because that second half is definitely worth it... and from what I've been hearing, the first book is the weakest one in all trilogy :) once I will read them, will let you know if I agree with that opinion ;)