So, recently, I have been doing a lot of reading and reviewing for work. I’ve settled into a steady routine of lingering in the Fiction department on Fridays to pick up my new weekend read, followed by at least a week of carrying the book around in my bag, flooding my deskmate Natalie with all of my feelings (most of the time, to her personal horror, as we tend towards VERY different books), and then finishing it all off with a review for our Indigo blog. But, as work does call for a certain sense of professionalism, I tend to hold back on my over-the-top gushing and attempt to turn it into a more cohesive write-up. But here, you get it all. So, let’s start with how Shadow and Bone came to be on my reading list, unexpectedly: from a fellow book-world professional gushing on her personal Twitter!
I follow a multitude of publishing personnel on Twitter and on nights when I can’t fall asleep, or need to tire my eyes out, I will browse in bed. I came across an extremely excited tweet by @vanesdigregorio as she began reading the ARC of the second in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha series, Siege and Storm. I made note to pick up the first book, Shadow and Bone, and told her so. What ensued was a weeks worth of back and forth while I DEVOURED Shadow and Bone.
Here goes the gushing: WOW, GUYS! I loved this book! With shame, I must admit that Shadow and Bone was my first EVER fantasy novel, both in teen or adult. I don’t purposely stay away from fantasy, but have never actively sought it out either. That has all changed now.
Shadow and Bone is the story of Alina Starkov; a mapmaker in the First Army (serving the King), who discovers much later than most, that she has a very special power. Taken from her lifelong best friend (and the boy who makes her heart flutter), Alina is sent to train as a Grisha: an extremely powerful group of elite, magical warriors. Alina is kept under the watchful eye of The Darkling; a mysterious man that she is inexplicably drawn to ..and the feeling seems mutual.
Shadow and Bone was full of action! I could almost never find the right place to stop reading (which is one of my favourite ways to fall in love with a book). I also loved Alina. Almost all of my inhibitions go out the window when I love a character, and this book had three that I immediately warmed to. But my favourite part of the entire book, was the terrifying realm of the Shadow Fold (or The Unsea). Bardugo creates a world, divided by a crack in the terrain, flooded by misty darkness and flesh-eating winged creatures called volcra. I could picture everything so vividly! What a haunting and gripping playing field for the action of this novel to begin on!
So .. have I gushed enough? Shadow and Bone has been on shelves for seven months now, with the second installment in the series releasing in June. If you haven’t already, you have got to give this one a go! Vanessa gushed enough to get me interested, so I hope I can persuaded you a little myself!
And, one last little thing. The map of this world is perhaps the most gorgeous one I have ever seen in a book! Check ‘er out, and enjoy.