Thursday, September 20, 2012

Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Alina Starkov is an orphan from war and is raised in a Duke's home along with many other orphans. She befriends Mal, and together they grow up and enlist in the army. Aline becomes a cartographer apprentice and Mal becomes a tracker. So one day their unit is deployed to cross the fold. The fold is a place that's coated in a swallowing darkness and has really creepy vicious creatures dwelling within. Super dangerous. Well they start to cross the fold and get attacked, Mal becomes hurt and is about to be offed by the creatures when Alina tries to shield him and bursts into light when she gets hit.

So she faints, and upon awakening the Grisha (this books version of magic users) are all in a tizzy about her and the darkling (a powerful Grisha that amplifies other Grisha's powers while having a litany of his own powers) reveals she's a sun summoner. Alina gets whisked away to the Little Palace (empire headquarters for Grisha) to train her newfound powers, and Alina gets taken away from Mal.

I really enjoyed the straight forward nature of most of the characters and I liked to see what happened between Mal and Alina. It seems like a very natural friendship, especially because we got to see bits of their childhood.

I also felt the we got just the right amount of politics based on Alina's interest in it.

I usually loathe when an author puts a cheat sheet of foreign words or a hierarchy form in the back of the book, but I would have liked to see it in this book. There was a great detailed map in this book (my copy at least) and I would have liked to see a cheat sheet of the Grisha. I sort of made myself a cheat sheet, but it feels a little incomplete as I'm not certain if I'm missing anything.

Overall, I enjoyed Alina's attitude, the entire climate (setting, consistency, etc) of the book was great, and I'm really hoping there's a second book. Fantastic with a little sense of Gothic to it.

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