(Goodreads Blurb) Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’re sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.
When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.
Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her . . . and only she can save the future.
This was one of those books that I just knew. I just knew that it was something special and I was going to love it. And love it I did.
First off, there's a map inside. Score! Maps to me always make new worlds come to life.
We meet Alina and Mal, both made orphans from the border wars. They are eventually sent off to be in the king's army. Alina is an assistant mapmaker and Mal a tracker. All they have is each other.
The next thing you know, Alina saves him and others from death by summoning a power that she didn't know she had. She is the one and only Sun Summoner which basically means she's a wanted girl, mostly in the dead variety. She's swept away by the Darkling, the most powerful Grisha and second in power only to the king. Alina is told she's the only hope to help him destroy the Shadow Fold, a vast sand expanse plagued by darkness and bloodthirsty creatures. Alina is willing, but not sure she's up for the task.
Aaaand there's a lot more. But you'll have to read it for yourself.
This book was wonderfully imaginative! I blew through it in a day.
I LOVED it. The characters, the writing, the descriptive world, it was all great.
I was pulled in from the very start with the writing. I loved the explanation of all the different Grisha.
The Darkling drew me in and I wanted to be his.
Then there was Mal, the reliable best friend. He was an instantly likeable character.
Man, I could say so much about this book but I'm afraid I couldn't do it without giving spoilers. So instead I'll just say, this book was awesome, I can't wait until the next one and everyone should read it!
“The moment our lips met, I knew with pure and piercing certainty that I would have waited for him forever.”
Bottom Line: Shadow and Bone is a world that will be hard to forget. 5/5