Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)
Pub: June 2012
Genre: Fantasy (High Fantasy)
After her childhood friend is injured on the front, Alina Starkov unknowingly unleashes a dormant power, a power that could be the key to saving her war-ravaged country and propel her into a new and different world of the Grisha, filled with powers and mystery alike.
At the helm of this new world is the Darkling, who is just as mysterious and tantalizing.
I was immediately drawn in by Alina’s voice and personality. She’s comical and has a dark-bitter humor that’s almost too much sometimes.
The setting is brought to life really well. I appreciated the descriptions of the technology, wardrobes, and even the variety of professions (for instance, at the beginning of the novel Alina is a map-maker!).
The story itself flows quite nicely and the pacing is succinct, not bogged down by excessive exposition (particularly because this type of book doesn’t need it, since it’s inspired by Czarist Russia).
I thoroughly enjoyed Shadow and Bone (and enjoyed the next two books), the only thing I had an issue with was how similar the voice of the other characters were compared to Alina. Other than Darkling and David, much of the other characters sound the same and this happened more so over the next two books. They’re all sarcastic and witty.
Despite some character voice issues and questionable language/linguistic choices, I totally fell for the Grisha world and devoured the next two books.
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