Date Released: June 5th 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 356 pages
Date Read: May 23, 2013
Source: Barnes & Noble
Shadow and bone has to be one of the most fascinating worlds I have ever read about and also one of the most complicated - I was trying to explain the book to a friend and I don’t think I had ever felt more stupid. I mean, go on and try to say Kvas, Grisha, Balakirev, Etherealki, Odinakovost, Etovost, Odinakovost, Corporalki, Materialki. . . And then the character names: Baghra, Botkin, Fedyor, Malyen Orestev. I looked like this every time I tried to say any of those words out loud:
Thankfully the names of the main characters were easier to pronounce: Alina, Malyen aka Mal, and The Darkling.
It was one of those books were you start reading and you just think ‘What the hell? What is this?. . . I’m so confused! What’s happening? Wait- who’s telling the story? What the freak is Kuya? Oh, she’s a person. Is Kefta also a person? No? We’re going sailing :D! Oh, it’s not a good thing? Okay… I get it.’ The heavy confusion only happened through the first few chapters, after that you get the hang of it and following the story becomes easier.
I have to say that I really like it when new worlds are introduced this way. The author doesn’t just hand over the information, he/she just gives you a small piece of the puzzle that you have to complete on your own. I couldn’t help but feel a bit accomplished when I pieced everything together, even if my mind was being dense and I was a bit exasperated in the first two chapters, but in no time I was like ‘This, that, okay. Sorted ;) Let’s keep this story going.’
I can tell that this series is going to be one of my favorites, I just recently got the second book and I am so exited to continue. I’m thinking about the story right now, and I wouldn’t say that it was action packed, but there was never ever a dull moment. Ever. The pace was excellent, the main character was really strong, but she still had weaknesses – note: that does not mean she was weak. At all. It means she’s human. She was fierce, and compassionate and not perfect – that’s a good thing. The metaphors and lessons in this book were unforgettable, I feel like I got so much out of it; not only a highly entertaining story, but also a very meaningful one.
Now. . . for this next part, I am going to talk a bit about the romance. I do not think this is a spoiler – at all. The thing is, I walked into this story blindly, completely and utterly clueless, I had no idea of what it was about, what happened and yada yada, so I was very surprised with what went on in the romancy part. But now that I am part of this world and have been looking at more stuff about Shadow and Bone, it is clear to me that the romance thingy is not a big deal, practically common knowledge. If you are as unaware of this series as I was, skip this next paragraph, if not, please, reed uninterrupted :)
I didn’t really like Mal in the beginning, more like I didn’t feel a connection between him and Alina. Yes, she’s madly in love with him from the beginning, that was perfectly clear, but I still wasn’t feeling it. Then comes The Darkling. Oh My Freaking God. Why, why why why WHY did the author do that??!! WHY!? He’s dark and sexy and I just shipped him and Alina so hard!! Was it really necessary to make him evil? Really? *Sigh* Oh well, that sort of adds to his charm. Like my friend Jennifer said “He is tall, dark, powerful, and psychotic in a sexy way” I agree, I completely agree. I can deal with his dark side, just Give. Him. To. Me. Back to Mal, when he re-appears in the story (he’s gone for a little while) he slowly started to grown on me and by the end of course I was madly in love with him. He was pretty immature in the beginning of the story, it was clear that being apart from Alina for a while really made him grow as a character as well as appreciate what he had, and once he did his ‘comeback’ he was just flawless. I know ship Alina and Mal so hard.
Highly HIGHLY recommend!!! And also, on scale from 0 to 5 I would give a 4.5 to the design of the book: the book-jacket, the book itslef, the chapters, the little map. I just really like it when they put effort into designing a book. Mindblowingly amazing, I read this in two days, two days and I was in the middle of my finals!!! That has to say a lot!! if you have not read it YOU SHOULD, that simple.
"I'm not used to people trying to kill me."
"Really? I hardly notice anymore.”