Shadow & Bone, Leigh Bardugo

A book with a common title but a standout a cover, Shadow and Bone is one that I was always getting confused with other books and vice versa. Though once I read it, this book was like nothing I’ve ever read. Alina lives in a Russian fantasy world full of people gifted with an individual type of magic. As an orphan trying to survive, she and her best friend Mal join the army, gawking in awe at the Grisha, the army’s elite magical unit that serves the Darkling.

When Mal is injured, Alina unleashes a bright flash of light. Discovering she has a much sort after power, the army takes her to the Darkling’s palaces where she is trained to be a Grisha. Ravka is trapped between the ocean and an expanse of darkness, full of terrible monsters. But Alina’s power could change all that and save her country. Her abilities complement the Darkling’s, who can create darkness, making them appear to be ideally suited to be together. Yet Alina can’t forget Mal, even though he hasn’t written to her in months.

Alina was a great main character, strong and determined to make a better life for not just herself but the entire country. She’s funny, caring and doesn’t let her rough start in life stop her from trying. Mal was very funny, with his sarcastic comments and his running after whatever beautiful woman crosses his path.

I loved the magic system of this world, paired with the Russian tinted this series created a world unlike any other. The twists and turns had me struggling to turn the pages fast enough! I give it 5/5.


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