Monday, May 7, 2012

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: June 5th, 2012

Publisher: Macmillan, part of the Fierce Reads tour!

Series: The Grisha Trilogy (bk. 1)

Genera: Epic Fantasy

Subjects: Magic, Good vs. Evil, kingdoms,

Length: 356 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $16.99

Summary/ product description: “Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.”

My Rating: ê ê ê ê

My Review: This book was so much better than I expected when I saw the cover. I am not a fan of historical fiction and was so glad that this was epic fantasy, and that the dialogue was very modern, and sometimes funny. I never was bored when reading this, even when I was confused or tired. Alina is sarcastic and tough, and becomes more awesome when she learns to use her powers. The Darkling I didn’t like very much, I’m more into the heroes, like Mal was when her helped Alina. I thought it was so cool when Alina went to the Small Palace where Grisha are trained. I kept on thinking of Vampire Academy or some other gothic boarding school. Genya was a great supporting character. She became friends with Alina.

One of the coolest things: Alina and summon sunlight and manipulate is. The story I was writing, my main character can control light too, but Alina does it very differently. I was thinking of Avatar: The Last Airbender when the mentioned Squallers, Tidemakers and Inferni. But no Earth Benders?

Also, maybe it’s because I read The Selection right before this book, but I felt more like I was reading a dystopian book than an epic fantasy. Really, both genera’s are closely related in that it’s a different world than what we are used to. I find that as long as epic fantasy doesn’t have too much realistic historical element to it (Historical setting okay, historical dialog not so much), then I don’t get bored so easily. A similar book to this is The Gathering Storm. It’s the first historical fiction book I can say I’ve liked. It’s set in Russia in the 1890s, but it reads more like a paranormal romance. Shadow and Bone took historical Russian elements, changed some stuff and add some amazing fantasy creatures and being. The result is amazing and I totally recommend it!

Cover Art Review: I have the ARC copy, which is black, red and gold. It has a gold ring on it, supposed to be an eclipsed sun. The official cover is very illustrative. When I saw it I thought this was a historical novel (thankfully not). But it was based off of some Russian stuff, so the onion domes seem fitting. I do like the other cover (UK cover maybe?) with the girl in her blue and gold kefta robe, but the title is different and called “The Gathering Dark” instead.

There’s a map in the final book! I saw it and glued it into my ARC. It’s awesome!

~Haley G

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