Series: Grisha #1
Date Published: 2012-06-05
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Audiobook Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
Audiobook Narrator: Lauren Fortgang
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.
I met the author Leigh Bardugo at the Houston Teen Book Con in 2013. I got the hardback of Shadow and Bone signed then! Unfortunately, I just didn’t get around to reading it. I know, bad me! So I finally decided to buy the audible version so I would finally get to experience this series. So I ended up buying it twice. It happens. I really enjoyed the audio and the accents especially. I had some issues with the pronunciation, being that I’m Russian, I could tell the accents were not on the correct syllables. But I got past that. The narrator was quite good.
The world building in this story is really awesome. Again, with my background, I absolutely loved the Russian folklore weaved into the characters and world. I really could picture Ravka and the Grisha and their awesome costumes. I truly enjoyed that. The different gifts everyone has were really interesting and I liked all the lore about the amplifiers. I even looked up some antler necklaces on etsy after reading this book.
I also really enjoyed all of the characters. Alina was really easy to like. She doesn’t quite believe she’s anything special, and all her life she thought she was a nothing orphan, but later finds out she’s something extremely unique and important. Mal, I liked him quite a bit. Especially the way he protects Alina and how only he can make her feel right, like her previous self. The Darkling was something else entirely. I never knew for sure if he was good or bad, but he is definitely mysterious. I know there are a lot of people who are Team Darkling, but I’m Team Mal.
Overall, a really good read. I’m glad I finally got around to reading it.