Published: June 6th 2013
Number of Pages: 320
Format/Source: Paperback/For Review
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 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? -blurb from goodreadsI finished this book at around 11pm last night and, when I finally layed my head down on my pillow and slept, i dreamt of ebony black swathes of darkness, enfolding me into a nightmare of flesh eating monsters: volcra, blinding white light and a handsome, but evil man; the darkling.
This book gave me shivers, brought tears to my eyes (oh, Mal!) and made me stare, unseeing, into the distance long after i'd turned the last page.
what do i do with myself now? was the first thought i had after putting this book down - the obvious answer being, go to sleep, as it was getting late. but as the sun sank down behind the horizon in a ripple of pinks and reds, i couldn't mentally get myself to do more than reflect on what i'd read and remember what have unfolded before my eyes. i suddenly felt tired, as if i had just taken Alina's journey through The Shadow Fold, into the Darkling's Lair, and back through The Shadow Fold... I started out writing down notes as i read..and after a few chapters i gave up, i got so drawn into the book my pad of paper was left empty. but, because the book was so good. i didn't need to take notes. it has been ingrained into my memory anyway.
the book follows an extraordinary young orphan girl called Alina, who has never felt like she has fitted in anywhere. Not in the orphanage where she grew up, nor in the first army where she works as a mapmaker. she only feels 'wanted' when she is with her childhood friend Mal, and even he is starting to change.
In Alina's world, people who have the ability to perform magic, Grisha, serve the king in the 'Little Palace' in Ravka. One day, while protecting Mal as they cross the dreaded Shadow Fold, it is brought to light that Alina is a Grisha, and from that day on, her world is turned upside down.
Alina as the main protagonist was one of the things that made the book perfect. i loved to see how grow throughout the book, starting off as an innocent and feeble girl, who blossoms into a strong, determined person who knows what she wants to do.
While not trying to give away any major spoilers..i have to say that i was sucked in by The Darkling's charm, as was Alina, and felt myself falling for him. but. i although i enjoyed reading about the Darkling, Mal...kinda...was my favourite. *cough.*
"I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I'd catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason , just out of habit, because I'd seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I'd realize that you weren't there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I've risked my life for you. I've walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I'd do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don't tell me why we don't belong together," he said fiercely.
- and to finish my gushing session. i thought i'd end with a lovely quote from Sam at Realm of Fiction who perfectly sums up....
"Mal. In the future, where the technology is available to transform fictional characters into real people, you will be my first choice. Alina is so darn lucky. How did Leigh Bardugo manage to create such a realistic, caring, and perfectly flawed character? Yes, he gets things wrong, but he is so wonderfully human that my heart did little cartwheels every time his name appeared on a page. I wanted to marry him, and grow up in an orphanage with him, and eat hard cheese with him."In Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo has created a terrifying world where caliginosity is feared, where there is a place called The Shadow Fold, a dark, frightening area where no-one can live and a young, innocent orphan, Alina, and her best friend, struggling to understand who, and what, she is.
"The problem with wanting is that it makes us weak"
I literally could not put it down. i tore myself away at chapter 5 but after roaming around the house, not knowing what to do and constantly thinking about what was going to happen next, i submitted defeat and settled down with it
and some food of course.
Thank you to the lovely Nina from Orion for sending me this book but this has in no way affected my review..