I am so glad that I have the next two books in the Grisha trilogy. Shadow and Bone was fantastic. I couldn't put it down. It's been a long time since I read a book so fast. I loved Alina. I appreciated that she didn't start out as a typically/tragically beautiful girl who was unaware of her own beauty. She's skinny, with dark circles under her eyes. In the army, her nickname is Sticks. What Alina needed to do more than anything was accept herself. I like the idea that you have to accept who you are on the inside before you can change on the outside. Alina learns to find the strength in herself before she can move forward with anything, whether with her powers or with love.
I kind of loved the Darkling. As a character, he was brilliant. He's called "the Darkling" so there's already a foreboding feeling before you even meet him. But when he sits by the fire with Alina and when they're together by the lake, you think, maybe... and maybe... I'm interested to see how his character evolves through the next two books. Plus, the book cover, now that I have read the story, I feel like so much of it is him. The swirling shadows and the bone.
The world that Leigh Bardugo creates is brilliant. It feels very real. Traveling with Alina, the reader gets to see much of Ravka, from the poor villages, to the opulent palace, to the Fold. Bardugo writes about each place with such amazing, engaging detail, it is easy to picture the characters almost getting run over by a carriage, sleeping in the forest or fighting outside a tavern. I am eager to see where else Bardugo takes us in her world, will we get to visit the other countries, places that sound very different from Ravka? There's a whole world still to explore.
I think they're going to make a movie of Shadow and Bone. I'm not surprised. As I was reading the novel, imaging all the powers of the Grisha, the palaces, the landscapes and the Unsea, I thought it would make a visually stunning movie. As long as they cast well and the script is good.... I'm a little weary of all the Young Adult novels making their way to the "big screen". It seems like there are so many, but only a few really good ones. Not everything has been a Harry Potter or Hunger Games or even Twilight. There have been some serious flops, but with all of Shadow and Bone's potential, I hope it isn't one.
I don't know why it took me so long to start the Grisha trilogy - probably because I have so many other series on the go. I'm glad I did though. Shadow and Bone was just what I needed. It was fast-paced, exciting and full of emotion. I can't wait to read Siege and Storm and future books by Leigh Bardugo.