Six of Crows may be the more acclaimed Grisha book, but I preferred Shadow and Bone. Reading this one was such pure fun in comparison to what I’ve grown accustomed to in YA. I enjoyed every second of this book, and if your reading tastes are anything like mine, you will too.
Alina is a nobody in Ravka, doing what most in most in Ravka are used to…preparing for war. Or, that is, she was a nobody. One experience in the much-feared Shadow Fold unearths a shocking, unique Grisha power within her. With that, everything about Alina’s life is changed forever.
Shadow and Bone is dark, though not a trendy grim-dark. The tone matches the world it’s in. Dark with a littlw bit of hope sprinkled in it. The world-building is on-point; enough to make the world unique and Bardugo’s own, but not enough to burden the reader with an excess of information.
I love Alina. I think she’s incredibly relatable, and such a great take on the reluctant hero trope. She has incredible power, both physically and emotionally. Though, yes, this book is about Alina discovering and embracing this power, there’s something compelling about the feelings that made her hide the powers in the first place. And something compelling about the feelings that bring those powers back out of hiding. This book is a true coming of age YA story; the kind that drew me to YA in the first place.
My thoughts on the Grisha world and our heroine aside, there is one of topic of great discussion amongst lovers and haters of this series. It wouldn’t be a proper Shadow and Bone review if I didn’t share my thoughts on the subject. If you know anything about my current tastes in fictional romance, this shouldn’t surprise you at all.
What do I think of the Darkling? Wellllllllll, I think I have a type. Bad guys–actual villains, not “bad boy types with a hidden heart of gold who were good all along”–with undeniable, undeserved chemistry with a slightly naive protagonist are my favorite kind of guys in fiction. So yes, I like the Darkling very much. He ranks quite high on my list of faves who don’t deserve
any most of the love I give them. And for the Darkling fans burned by the series end, yes I know what is coming to me. I’m surprisingly okay with it so far. I’m certain I’m on a wild ride to the Grisha Trilogy’s tragic end.
To continue on the love interest trail, no, I did not like Mal. The funniest thing about this is how my opinions would have been so different a few years ago. Before my college reading slump, I always went for good guys, the childhood best friends, the guy who was in the protagonist’s life first. Now I like the villains. It’s funny how much your thoughts can change in a few years.
With that, I close out this review. It was a fun read that I can’t wait to continue with the sequels.