Wow. I can’t even- wow. I have no words for Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. In a good way, of course!
Alina Starkov has always carried something inside her (not a baby, you sickos.). A power unlike any other. The Sun Summoner. But she doesn’t know that. Not until her convoy is attacked in the dark place called the Fold, the most dangerous place in war-torn Ravka. When the Darkling, the most powerful Grisha (basically wizard-type people), realizes her talent, she is whisked away to the palace, where she is trained, catered to, and all-around spoiled. But she is also taken away from her lifetime friend, Mal. Both were orphaned at a young age and grew up together; they had been inseparable ever since. But when Alina finds that the Darkling may not be who he seems, she has to use all of her strength and power to not only save all of Ravka, but the entire world.
Alina was one of my all-time-favorite narrators. She was hilariously funny and she was brave, but not stupidly so. She wasn’t unrealistically tough; she was a very realistic character and I connected with her instantly. Alina was amazing by herself, but when you put her and Mal together, they were unbelievable. I absolutely loved them together, but I also loved them separately. Mal was a totally believable teenage guy. In the very first moment I met him, I wanted to be his friend. He was hysterical and seemed like a fun guy to be around. The other characters, such as the Darkling, were also amazing.
I thought that the plot was out of this world (literally -> puns!) Something I really liked about this book was that the villain’s plan actually made sense. I could see where he was coming from and I could actually see the logic behind it. He wasn’t some cliché evil guy that just wanted to take over the world and kill all human kind (which is really stupid. What’s the point of ruling the world if you have no one to rule? But I digress.)
Leigh Bardugo did a fantastic job with world building. I could picture everything that was going on and I had a firm understanding of the way Alina’s world worked. She did a brilliant job with the world building, as well as the writing. It was witty, creative, and beautiful. One couldn’t possibly ask for more, really. This was pretty much the perfect book. I read it in less than one day, nearly non-stop reading. I literally could not put it down! The story drew me in right away (mostly because of the characters. I seriously loved them so much.) and kept me in, and before I knew it, I was done the book and really sad about that fact. I never wanted it to end!
If you are looking for a really super-fun read that is AMAZINGLY AWESOMTASTICLY BRILLIANT, then read Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. You won’t be sorry!
(Sorry if this doesn’t make any sense. It is extremely late and I can barely form coherent thoughts. But I hope you all have a wonderful day!)