‘I’ve been waiting for you a long time, Alina,’ he said. ‘You and I are going to change the world.’
Ravka is a nation of war and magic, but it is The Shadow Fold which threatens it’s people the most; a desolate place filled with evil and darkness that few dare to step foot in. Alina, a young Ravkan mapmaker, is one of those few, and it is this trip with which she will uncover a truth about herself she never knew, ultimately throwing her into the path of The Darkling.
In Shadow and Bone, the first book in The Grisha Trilogy, Leigh Bardugo shows off her world-building skills to great avail, capturing your imagination from the first few pages. The concept of The Shadow Fold is unique and sets the series apart from other books in the fantasy genre.
The writing is witty and fast-paced, with well fleshed out characters that keep you guessing all the way through.
While I enjoyed the experience of reading this book, however, I did find it quite gratuitous at times. The second half especially seemed to focus less on plot development, and instead got bogged down in emotional politics, which I felt rather undermined Alina’s character.
Despite this, I did find myself eagerly anticipating Siege and Storm, the second book in this trilogy.
Overall, an enjoyable read that sets up the world for the books to come, but falls short of brilliance due to rather drawn out cliche subplots.
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