This book was made for those of us with a fear of the dark.
We’re initially dropped into a tense moment for Alina marching with the rest of the first army towards the shadow fold. The shadow fold is a ripple of darkness that splits the country of Ravka in half – isolating eastern Ravka from it’s port and many imports that the people of Ravka depend on.
Within the shadow fold lie terrible monsters called Volkra that are anything, but merciful. Some groups make it through on skivs, something like a sand sled, others never see the other side due to encountering these horrifying creatures.
These crossings are essential for the survival of Ravka, but they aren’t for the faint of heart and Alina has no choice as she is a mapmaker in the second army and must follow orders.
The first army is just like we know an army to be – full of trained soldiers who can fight and shoot, and those with specialist roles/areas. The second army is made up of people with magical powers, called Grisha.
While in the darkness of the fold something awakens inside of Alina. A strange power that she’s never been aware of before. A power that hasn’t been seen in centuries.
The consequences are much more than just life or death.
This is when she meets The Darkling, the leader of the second army, who tells her that she may be the answer to destroying the Shadow Fold and bringing peace and prosperity back to Ravka. First, she must learn to use her power – and fast because word will quickly spread to Ravkan’s enemies who will want to stop her.
I first read this book when it was released in 2012 and I am now revisiting it in anticipation for the Shadow and Bone show soon to be released on Netflix on April 23, 2021.
When I first read this book it was the first chapter that sucked me in and I instantly knew that I needed to know what happened to Alina once she entered the fold. This is a story that is extremely difficult to put down. This is true for those of us revisiting this story as well, which I was very happy about.
You don’t always get the same feeling from a book the second time around that you initially did, but Leigh Bardugo writes so beautifully that there is an instant connection to her character’s for the reader.
The characters are so complex and flawed that there is a realness to them that you can’t escape. The story, and the backstories, are so carefully thought out. There is something and someone for each person to relate to. Something that keeps the reader going; someone to root for. A new book to immerse yourself in and root for your favorite character(s).
Strong friendships are made between characters and as a reader you feel as though you’re sipping tea and gossiping along with them.
A big part of this book is about the quest for power, for multiple characters, which is really interesting because they’re all seeking it in different ways and for different reasons.
I loved this story, and still do. For those who haven’t read this yet and are interested in the show there is still time to read this before the show comes out on Netflix. It seems like the show will be intertwined with Six of Crows, another book written by Leigh Bardugo – an extension of The Grishaverse (the universe that Shadow and Bone exists in).
With Leigh Bardugo being included on the writing team the show should hopefully be in very good hands!
If you’re wondering whether you would like this or not, based on previous reads, I’d recommend it for anyone that enjoyed: The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner Series, and the Percy Jackson series. Seeing as Leigh Bardugo has said in previous interviews that she was inspired by Harry Potter, fans of that series will definitely enjoy this as well.
This is the first book in The Grishaverse. Alina’s journey is mapped out in the Shadow and Bone trilogy: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising.
Spin offs have been created that include: the Six of Crows duology, the King of Scars duology and The Language of Thornes.
The Six of Crows duology: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom.
The King of Scars duology: King of Scars and Rule of Wolves
The Language of Thorns is a collection of short stories from within The Grishaverse.