Friday, May 25, 2012

Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo

Synopsis: 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. (From Goodreads)

I am completely in awe with Leigh Bardugo. She has written a book that can stand up to literary masters, has the epic story line that keeps readers enraptured, and the world building that makes it impossible not to believe that somewhere this world exists. It's the kind of world that, like Narnia, has to be possible to get to by finding the right wardrobe or painting.

The way the story opens reminds me a lot of children's classics like in which you recognize that you are being transported across time, into a new world, where everything is just different enough to be magical. It has the echo of fairy tales, but this is so much more than just a fairy tale. I really appreciate the way Bardugo introduces Rakva. It starts with Alina and Mal as orphans, and moves on to them in the military. I loved this aspect of a heroine who is in the military and part of a war that has lasted 100 years. The world is introduced through these two aspects and while nothing is outright explained, the fantastical elements that make Rakva different from our own world are still easy to pick up on. Even more fascinating, is that the fantasy is derivative of Russian culture.

Alina is an incredible heroine. She is one of those girls who is used to having nothing, but she never whines about it or is incredulous at her situation. When she's suddenly thrust into a more extravagant lifestyle, she handles it with so much grace. She has to be the smartest character I've ever read. Despite some trust issues, she knows exactly what she has to do to survive, to grow, and even more she follows through in all of her actions. I so admire this character - she's truly someone you can aspire to be like. The Darkling was so curious. I wanted to know about him. The small amounts of time he spent on the page were enough to make him one of the richest characters. He never acted how I thought he would, and the way his story comes forward is brilliant. And of course, there's Mal. Wonderful, sweet, and strong. I love the way Mal and Alina have this history that they both consider to be more important than everything else. They keep each other grounded and the way their relationship fluctuates is beautiful.

What truly impressed me was the physical representations of light and dark. The Shadow Fold is a great concept - a whole stretch of land that is completely enclosed by darkness - that needs to be crossed in order to get to the sea. And the monsters that live there are truly terrifying. But when the Grisha create light and dark with their powers or use their other talents are some of the most vivid scenes I've ever read. I would absolutely LOVE to see this book come to life in film or theater (if that's possible..), mostly because there are some awesome visual effects that could be interpreted here. Bardugo's writing is so incredible that the physical descriptions are vibrant in my imagination already, but I can only imagine that seeing them in real life would be something spectacular.

Shadow and Bone is truly an impressive piece of literature. It's gorgeous, creative, imaginative, and it should be treasured.

2 comments:

  1. I cannot wait to read this one. I just preordered it on Amazon for the Fierce Reads tour coming up next week. Can't wait to dig into it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This book sounds so good, I can't wait to read it!! I love epic stories like this one sounds like it will be. It reminds of something like Lord of the Rings from the reviews I have heard, with its vivid world and epic storyline.

    ReplyDelete

Friday, May 25, 2012

Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo

Synopsis: 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. (From Goodreads)

I am completely in awe with Leigh Bardugo. She has written a book that can stand up to literary masters, has the epic story line that keeps readers enraptured, and the world building that makes it impossible not to believe that somewhere this world exists. It's the kind of world that, like Narnia, has to be possible to get to by finding the right wardrobe or painting.

The way the story opens reminds me a lot of children's classics like in which you recognize that you are being transported across time, into a new world, where everything is just different enough to be magical. It has the echo of fairy tales, but this is so much more than just a fairy tale. I really appreciate the way Bardugo introduces Rakva. It starts with Alina and Mal as orphans, and moves on to them in the military. I loved this aspect of a heroine who is in the military and part of a war that has lasted 100 years. The world is introduced through these two aspects and while nothing is outright explained, the fantastical elements that make Rakva different from our own world are still easy to pick up on. Even more fascinating, is that the fantasy is derivative of Russian culture.

Alina is an incredible heroine. She is one of those girls who is used to having nothing, but she never whines about it or is incredulous at her situation. When she's suddenly thrust into a more extravagant lifestyle, she handles it with so much grace. She has to be the smartest character I've ever read. Despite some trust issues, she knows exactly what she has to do to survive, to grow, and even more she follows through in all of her actions. I so admire this character - she's truly someone you can aspire to be like. The Darkling was so curious. I wanted to know about him. The small amounts of time he spent on the page were enough to make him one of the richest characters. He never acted how I thought he would, and the way his story comes forward is brilliant. And of course, there's Mal. Wonderful, sweet, and strong. I love the way Mal and Alina have this history that they both consider to be more important than everything else. They keep each other grounded and the way their relationship fluctuates is beautiful.

What truly impressed me was the physical representations of light and dark. The Shadow Fold is a great concept - a whole stretch of land that is completely enclosed by darkness - that needs to be crossed in order to get to the sea. And the monsters that live there are truly terrifying. But when the Grisha create light and dark with their powers or use their other talents are some of the most vivid scenes I've ever read. I would absolutely LOVE to see this book come to life in film or theater (if that's possible..), mostly because there are some awesome visual effects that could be interpreted here. Bardugo's writing is so incredible that the physical descriptions are vibrant in my imagination already, but I can only imagine that seeing them in real life would be something spectacular.

Shadow and Bone is truly an impressive piece of literature. It's gorgeous, creative, imaginative, and it should be treasured.

2 comments:

  1. I cannot wait to read this one. I just preordered it on Amazon for the Fierce Reads tour coming up next week. Can't wait to dig into it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This book sounds so good, I can't wait to read it!! I love epic stories like this one sounds like it will be. It reminds of something like Lord of the Rings from the reviews I have heard, with its vivid world and epic storyline.

    ReplyDelete