Saturday, May 15, 2021

Book Review: Shadow and Bone (Grisha, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

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BOOK review
Started on: 29 April 2021
Finished on: 10 May 2021
 
 
Title: Shadow and Bone (Grisha, #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Pages: 358 pages / 369 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2012
Price: Rp 161,000 (https://www.periplus.com/)

Rating: 4/5
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"I've been waiting for you a long time, Alina" He said. "You and I are going to change the world."
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold—a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything, but when her best friend, Mal, was in danger on the Fold, she revealed a dormant power that saves his life. Alina's power might be the key to finally set her war-ravaged country free. She's immediately taken away to the royal court to be trained as a member of Grisha—the magical elite led by the Darkling. However, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha and decides what she's going to do with the power that she posses.
"The problem with wanting... is that it makes us weak."
 
Back when this book was released, there's a lot of hype surrounding it and I was really eager to read it when the series has ended. However, I never got around to it especially because people have mixed opinions regarding this trilogy. 9 years later, I finally found the motivation to read it again because this series was recently adapted into a TV show on Netflix. The trailer definitely intrigued me and I think it looks really cool. But as a reader, I have this urge to at least read the first book before I start watching the TV adaptation. To be honest, I really don't know what to expect and have no idea what the story is about (because I usually don't read the blurb of a book before jumping into it). So at the start, I found it quite difficult to immerse myself in the world of Grishaverse—because there's a lot of information that I need to process and I feel like the worldbuilding was kind of confusing for me personally. Thankfully, due to its popularity these days, it's not difficult to find explanation on the internet that help me understand things better 😆.
"And there's nothing wrong with being a lizard either. Unless you were born to be a hawk."
Shadow and Bone is written from the perspective of its' main character, Alina Starkov. In this first book, I don't find her character interesting at all. The narration of the story shows that she doesn't really have a prominent personality that makes her memorable for me. Her childhood best friend, Malyen Oretsev, is a little bit more interesting because he doesn't have magical powers but Mal is a very skillful tracker—which proves to be very advantageous throughout the story. The most interesting character for me is the Darkling, whose name is not revealed in this book. I love how mysterious his character is and I am unable to predict what he's going to do next. The Darkling is portrayed as someone who is extremely powerful and respected among Grisha. I don't want to spoil anything in this review, but I'll just say that I'm not really fond of the romance so far 😅. Hopefully it will get better as the story progresses.
 
In terms of the story line, the first half of the book focuses more on worldbuilding and laying the foundation of this whole series. Not a lot happened during that first part and the progression of the story felt rather slow. The second half was a lot better, especially when the Darkling's true intention was finally revealed. There's the suspense of being hunted and also the weight of responsibility that rests on Alina's shoulder because the fate of the whole nation depends on her. The plot isn't too complicated but I'm looking forward to see how the story is going to unfold in the next book.
"I didn't belong in this beautiful world, and if I didn't find a way to use my power, I never would."
Even though the first book of this Grisha trilogy doesn't really impress me all that much, I still find myself enjoying it from start to finish. Now that I have a better grasp of the world and its' magic system, I think I will be able to fully immerse myself in the Grishaverse. I also hope that the story gets better throughout this whole series because I have quite a high expectation for it. I'm also planning to watch the TV adaptation series because I'd like to see how it differs from the book. I am especially excited to watch it because the reviews are generally positive towards it. Who knows, maybe it will end up exceeding my expectations 😉.
"The first time I'd entered the Fold, I'd feared the darkness and my own death. Now, darkness was nothing to me, and I knew that soon death would seem like a gift."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .
 

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