Sunday, May 8, 2016

Shadow and Bone

Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 356
Rating: 4 Stars
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Alina and Mal have been a duo since the two ended up in an orphanage around the age of 8. Some amount of years later, neither could imagine ever leaving the other. But, when Alina begins to show signs of being a Grisha, she's whisked away from Mal into the world of these gifted people, where the Darkling, the second most powerful man in the kingdom, takes a special interest in her.

I truly do love going into books with low expectations, because I always seem to like them more than I thought I would. I've heard countless mediocre things about this trilogy, but I actually really enjoyed Shadow and Bone. High fantasy is always so fun to read. Sure it can be a bit of work, but starting a new high fantasy series is full of excitement and novelty. Learning all the new terms, laws, and customs is just so fresh and fun! 

So I did really like reading this book. I thought the plot was unique and new. Unlike plenty of fantasy novels, the main character, Alina, isn't really the chosen one. It's more complicated than that. Her position is the chosen one. Whoever is in her position becomes the one who's supposed to destroy the fold. It couldn't matter less whether it's Alina or not. Plus, the whole concept of her destroying the fold isn't quite so straightforward. And I feel like I prefer plots that aren't all black and white. When the conflict is more complex, more complicated, than bad guy/good guy or us against them, it's much more interesting to read, and allows for more plot twists. 

And I did like the characters. Alina is a good main character- she's not without flaws, but her intentions do seem to be good. Mal, I feel, you are supposed to like, but I'm honestly not that big a fan of. It bothered me how he never showed how appreciative he was of Alina until later on. She loves him so much, and he just kind of blows her off. I did, however, like the friendship Alina has with Genya, it's a really genuine, lovely female friendship. (And I'm a huge fan of genuine female friendships.) And finally, I want to give Bardugo her props for the character that is the Darkling. Of all her characters, the Darkling is the most complete, complex, and developed character. He's a complicated character, and complicated characters are the most realistic, in my opinion. 

If you're into a quickly paced, enjoyable, intelligent high fantasy novel, you should definitely give Shadow and Bone a try. I really liked it! (Now I'm going to go read Siege and Storm!)

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