Originally published as The Gathering Dark.
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka. Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite – the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free? The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him. But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?
Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.
Leigh Bardugo is a fantastic writer, her beautiful words transported me to another world entirely and I sat in awe at the journey unfolding before my eyes. Everything was so on point, wonderfully vivid and the pacing utterly faultless.
The world building is so complex and I was always learning and loosing myself in the exquisite detailing that fills each and every page. Ever twisting and turning this story will always keep you on the very edge.
There are a very interesting mix of characters and I enjoyed each and every one I was introduced to. Obviously I had a couple of favourites *wink*:
The Darking: What a dark, brooding, unapproachably intriguing character. I wanted to know him and I was always disappointed when there were big absences in his presence. Okay, what the heck – I LOVE him, he is quite possibly my favourite character EVER!!
Alina: She is our main character, who goes on one heck of a roller coaster journey. She handles things beautifully and she is strong and very likeable. I know she has so much more to give and I can’t wait.
The storyline follows Alina and her childhood best-friend Mal. They are traveling with the army and are on their way to cross the deadly Fold. When they begin to cross they are faced with terrifying horrors and something truly unexpected happens. Alina is forced into the Grisha world – they think she is the person they have been waiting for, to set them free!
Will Alina live up to expectations? Will the Grisha accept her? Can she resist the Darkling’s alluring charm? Will she ever see Mal again? So many awesome questions to be uncovered. I can promise the characters will be ever surprising!
Shadow and Bone is a riveting read that just flowed so beautifully from beginning to end. Leigh Bardugo is a first class storyteller and I’m seriously excited to read more from her (I have already read and adored Siege & Storm – review asap). The story will stick with you and have you pondering it’s epicness for a long time after closing the book.
A BIG 5 Stars!
*With special thanks to Indigo for providing me with a review copy*