Shadow and Bone (Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo

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 fulfill 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?

This review has taken a while to happen for a few reasons. The main one being that I was pretty disappointed with this book :( The other reason being that I took quite a while to mull it over. Mostly due to disappointment.

I love a good Russian-themed book, so I was pretty excited about this.

The more time that has gone by since I’ve read this book, the more I dislike it. This is particularly annoying, as I already bought the next two books! :( it took me a surprisingly long amount of time to finish Shadow and Bone, so even though I’m tempted to read the second and third books in the Grisha series just to see what happens, I really don’t think I’ll ever get around to it. Maybe I should sell them?!
World Development
I was mostly pretty impressed with the world building, ignoring some various awkward not-really-correct/not-really-Russian things that are supposed to be Russian. I have to remind myself though, this is Russian inspired. But still, lots of things irked me.
Anyway, I was really into the settings, the palace, the scenery etc. the descriptions were quite well done and that’s mostly what made the book for me.
Alina was ok? The classic “I don’t think I’m very special/pretty and I like my best friend but he doesn’t like me” heroine. Turns out she is special and pretty and her best friend does like her! Wow!
Mal. Mal was an arsehole. Plain and simple. He was the classic flirts with every girl, can’t see his best friend is in love with him until someone else starts taking an interest type. UGH. I really didn’t like him. I assume they end up together in the third book? That’s kind of reason enough not to read any further.
The Darkling. Eh. People go nuts for this guy, but I found him just ok. Sure, he was handsome and dark (get it?!) and mysterious, but really, all of these characters I found to be way too cliche and boring.
Writing this has made me like the book even less, which also makes me sad. I really, really wanted to like this. It sounded like the perfect Imogen book. But alas, it was not for me. Maybe I’ll get around to reading at least the next book? But who knows.
A sad  1.5-2/5 :(

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