Alina Starkov doesn't expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they're sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling monsters who feast on human flesh.
When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.
Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling's favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. Bust as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her...and only she can save the future. - Excerpt from the book's dust jacket.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is a high fantasy book under the young adult catergory. I absolutely love this book and I finished it within 2 days which I don't do often. The story is certainly new for the YA genre. When I was reading this book, I can't help but being reminded of another fantasy series which I love dearly which is The Black Magician's trilogy. I'm not saying it's the same but there are some similarities which I would not mention. I have been reading quite a number of contemporary books and so reading this book reminded me why I love fantasy in the first place.
The plot of the story is very smooth and twists was just fantastic and thrilling. By reading just the prologue, I was hooked instantly and I just kept reading. The characters of the books are also good especially the Darkling which made I kinda love. That character is just so intriguing and I know that there's more to him. Two quotes from him that I love are:
"The problem with wanting is that it makes you weak"- pg 221
"There are no Ravkans, no Fjerdans, no Kerch, no Shu Han. There are no more borders, and there will be no more wars. From now on, there is only the land inside the Fold and outside of it, and there will be peace"-pg 341.
For the main heroine, I just felt she had okay character development but I kinda wanted more from her. Other side characters were written essential to let the plot move forward which I felt it was good. Some russian is used in the book where I don't quite understand and I wished the author would put in a glossary at the back of the book with the meaning and pronunciation of the word. The world and magic that author created is good and unique which makes the book more interesting compared to other fantasy.
Overall the storyline and plots are the parts that captured me the most followed by one of the characters. I highly recommend this book to fantasy readers because this is one of a kind. It's a fantastic page turner which impressed me much and I will definitely treasure this story. This is one of those that I will read again and again. After doing some research I found that this book was taken on for a movie so I'm looking forward to hear news of it. There is also a wikia page for the book which shocked me that there were so many fans for the trilogy which was good. I can't wait for the last one to come out as I plan to order the second book along with the last one.