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Our rating: 5 starsBook summary:
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.Never Judge a Book by its Cover and sailed into a new world together. We didn't know what to expect as the hype surrounding this book was really high, we can confirm that the story lived up to the hype and even above it.
Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?
The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.
But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?
Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.
How did you feel about Mal and Alina's relationship?
Tanja: As the opening chapter starts with the story about their childhood it was so easy to connect with them. They seemed like two lost souls bond together and I knew that their relationship was pure. They protected each other and somehow it felt stronger than a romantic relationship. But at the same time I believe that there is more to add to their story and I really hope to discover it.
Glass: Both of them won my hart from the first page. I loved how they were there for each other without questions asked, but I was a bit frustrated with Mal's ignorance when it comes to Alina's feelings. First half of story was perfect, but I do have issues with the way things happened when they meet again. I expected more bonding time and conversation (maybe this is my inner new adult fangirl talking, but more drama wouldn't hurt).
Was the world-building well developed?
Tanja: Certainly. Even though my copy doesn't have the map (glares at the publisher), it was really easy to follow the story and all the places. I also liked that we weren't given the whole world description at the start, but as the story progressed so did the world-building. Needless to say, I have seen some reviews where people complain how the author didn't use the exact fact about Russia (the author herself said that she used Russia as an inspiration), but this is fantasy, meaning you can play with everything and shape things however you like.
Glass: World-building is probably the most important thing for fantasy - if it's not done right, whole thing collapses. Leigh Bardugo managed to pull it off without being too much "george r.r. martin" about it. You know what I am talking about - all those endless genealogies, descriptions and extra thirty pages in every chapter that everyone skips because it is simply boring. You find out things gradually along with the main character because Alina herself knows very little about hows and whys of her own world.
What elements of the novel did you enjoy the most?
Glass: That nothing and no one is labeled as just good or bad. It is all about gray and that is what makes story more believable.
Tanja: It's really hard to pick just one. But I might say magic. I really like the whole idea of The Girsha and how they are divided. At the same time it was really interesting to follow all intrigues at the court and see how different games are played. Another element I must mention is uncertainty- as you never know what to expect from anyone here.
What did you think of The Darkling?
Glass: So... I am rooting for a bad guy here. I am sorry, but he is the most interesting character in Shadow and Bone. I can't wait to find out more about him and his past. Considering that nothing is black and white, I am guessing that there is so much more to his story.
Tanja: For me he seems like one of the Shakespearean villains. They are essentially bad, but as you get more and more involved you see more layers of him and you cannot but develop some feelings for him. I certainly did. I still don't know what to expect from him, but I cannot wait to discover more at the same time.
Describe Shadow & Bone in one word
What I expect from Siege and Storm?
Glass: To be even better than Shadow and Bone.
Tanja: More awesomeness.
Until the next time,