A series that I was meaning to start ages ago was the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Whilst shopping at YALFest, I really had to face the fact that it was time to finally pick it up, since there were so many Grisha goodies. And heaven knows why I’ve waited so long with reading this, because I really don’t.Shadow and Bone (Grisha Verse, #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Henry Holt and Company on June 5, 2012
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.
Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.
When I started to read the book, I was afraid that it would be something like a fairytale as that exactly is how the prologue is written. As you might know, I’m not a real sucker for fairytales. But luckily, the writing changed within the first real chapter and we got to read from Alina’s point of view. I have to admit, this pet peeve has been done in an original way, because I have never seen a book starting out like a fairytale and then switching back to a novel.
I was pleasantly surprised that Ravka was inspired by Russia. I studied Russian for a little while when I was in uni, as third language within my studies. Therefore, I was familiar with most of the vocabulary which is used in the book. Like materialki, korporalki and so on. I’ve read the book in Dutch however, so maybe they’re a little different in English. Nevertheless, this is something I haven’t seen before in a YA fantasy novel.
Let’s move on to the story. It was a pleasant fast paced read and it was exactly what I needed after DNF’ing A Thousand Pieces Of You by Claudia Gray. Alina annoyed me a little bit in the beginning since she was so hesitant to train herself. At least, that’s what it all seems like. Throughout the whole book, you get to learn what really is going on. The Darkling really reminds me of Tamlin in some aspects, but I can’t tell you why and how since that will be a huge spoiler.
In my opinion Shadow & Bone is just the beginning and there is much more to come. I can’t wait to dive deeper into the Grisha world and to continue following Alina’s story.