Shadow and Bone (Grisha Verse #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Square Fish
Goodreads Summary: 
Alina Starkov doesn't expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, she is sure of only one thing: her best friend, Mal--and her inconvenient crush on him. Until the day their army regiment enters the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. When their convoy is attacked and Mal is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power not even she knew existed.

Ripped from everything she knows, Alina is taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With Alina's extraordinary power in his arsenal, he believes they can finally destory the Fold. Now Alina must find a way to master her untamed gift and somehow fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. As the threat to the kingdom mounts and her dangerous attraction to the Darkling grows, Alina will uncover a secret that could tear her heart--and her country--in two.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Alina Starkov and her best friend Mal serve in the First Army. They're extremely close, until one day Mal is almost killed, and Alina unleashes an unknown power to save him. Brought into the Darkling's service, she must keep her wits about her in a new world of lying and power plays. But in a place where there is everything to gain, who can she really trust?

Shadow and Bone has been on my must-read list for ages, and I'm glad going away gave me a chance to finally read it. Alina's character really called out to me because she is fierce and loving, yet also a quiet character. Her upbringing makes her humble, but what I like most about Alina is that which she has a lot of power, she doesn't use it in vain or to gain followers.

I really love how Leigh Bardugo even has a language for this fantasy world. The words flow the way all languages do, and they show the similarities. There isn't all that much description about the landscape, however the places, especially buildings, are described with a lot of detail which helps readers picture these in their heads.

The Darkling? What an ingenious character, there's nothing much to say besides that. Leigh Bardugo has created some amazing characters, combined with an incredible world and complex plot, Shadow and Bone is a great book which all fantasy lowers won't want to miss. There's drama and plot twists everywhere.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
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Recommended for: Fans of fantasy and adventure.