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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha #1)

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Indigo

Published:  5th June 2012

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Source: Library

Date read: 12.09.2015

Sypnosis from goodreads:

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. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book, I don’t really read a lot of fantasy, however I am gradually weaning myself in slowly.

Shadow and Bone is told by Alina’s POV throughout the book. The story starts off slow with story of Alina and Mal becoming orphans and meeting some Grisha and then jumps to present day and goes at a fairly good pace throughout the book.

The book is set in russian-esque setting and makes the story feel more mystical.. There seems to be magic but not a lot of mystical creatures the main being the Volcra.

The book does jump back and forward in time from when Alina and Mal were growing up to flashback and present day however the time period  in which the story is set is not clear.

There is a map at the front of the book which helped a lot with the world building as I could follow Alina on her travels. The world building I did enjoy though as again i felt i was there beside them witnessing this surreal world and the Volcra.

I had a few problems with the book:

How is the darkling 120 years old but looks the same age as Alina? There is not much of a back story to the Darkling. Yeah he lived so long because of his powers, but the book didn’t delve into Grisha’s life  expectancy, this is something minor but I need to know these things.

The world of Grisha is very vain and annoying, they all have to be beautiful and if their not, they have somebody who can make them *perfect* so to speak. All the clothes and the setting that they reside has to be nothing but sheer beauty and the best.

I thought Alina was annoying, very shallow and her feelings of being inept was getting on my nerves. Mal was portrayed as being a player at the start of the book but actually he is a very sweet and caring guy who will do anything for Alina

I found it a bit confusing when they called ‘the unsea’ the shadow fold and also the color coding caste of the Grisha was a bit too much to get a grasp of, in the end I just let it go over my head as you didn’t really need to know and wasnt necessary for you to be able to follow the storyline.

This book explores love triangles, forbidden love, betrayal, Vanity, Greed and war.

There is a lot of hype around this series with even Veronica Roth the author of Divergent quoting “unlike anything I have ever read” For me personally this book is good and an easy read, however I felt it could have been written and explained a bit better.

I will definitely be carrying on with the series which are: Seige and storm and Ruin and Rising.

I would recommend this book to people who read Young adult and Fantasy lite fiction.

I rate this book 3.5 stars out of 5

P.S I used the Goodreads synopsis as I had a really hard time explaining the premise of this book.

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Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1)

Author: Malorie Blackman

Publisher: Corgi.

Published: 3rd October 2006

Genre: YA, Dystopia

Date read: 06th September 2015

Why did it take me so long to pick up this book? This book is brilliant, I absolutely loved it. This is my first Dystopian novel and I will be definitely delving more into this genre.

For people who are unfamiliar with this genre, this is the definition: Dystopian is the exact opposite — it describes an imaginary society that is as dehumanizing and as unpleasant as possible.

This story is told from two POV’s, Callum and Sephy. Callum is white and a Nought. Sephy is black and a cross. Crosses are the ruling class and the noughts are the second rate citizens. The divide between the Noughts and Crosses is very clear and strict with no mingling.

Sephy and Callum are the best of friends even though society tries to keep them apart, they start meeting up in secret and as they grow so does their love for one another.

This book covers so many topics that are thought provoking, such as racism, predujice, terrorism and more. This book is very fast paced and action packed that you will fly through the book

I loved both of the characters, Sephy was a very strong and powerful character who was stubborn but knew what she wanted. Callum was equally as strong and wanted to make a change in the world but nobody would listen.

I loved everything about the book especially the ending.Oh my god the ending! I had a lump in my throat. God I love Sephy and Callum.

“Dear God, please let him have heard me. Please.
Please.
If you’re up there.
Somewhere.”

This is the first of four books in the series and will definitely be reading the others which are: Knife’s edge, Checkmate and Double Cross.

I would recommend this book to anyone! It really is great.

I rate this 5 out of 5 stars.

Let me know what you thought of the book. Thanks for reading, Louise x