Hi guys!

Though I was extremely tired, I stayed up until four o'clock this morning reading S&B because it was really hard to put down and Alina was a girl after my own heart and...THE DARKLING!!!!

I try to be spoiler-free when I write book reviews because I know how it feels to have something ruined but...I just really want to hear other people's thoughts on the Darkling. He's one of my favorite characters in the book besides Alina and Genya. I know there are reasons I shouldn't like him, but he has to be the most intriguing character in the entire book. Not to mention that he makes black look so good but...*ahem*

Moving on.

A little about the book before I share my thoughts on it:

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

(Taken from Goodreads)

I honestly don't know where to begin.

It took me a few pages to get into the story, yes, but once the book finally sinks its claws into you, it will never let go. There are people who find fault in the author's use of Russian history/culture to shape the world Alina lives in and...for the record...I don't know much about Russian history/culture...so none of that was an issue for me while reading. I do, however, wish that we got to see more of the world Alina and the rest of the characters live in. A huge part of the book takes place in one specific location, and though I understand why, it would be nice to see more of Ravka.

Hopefully this will happen in the next two books in the trilogy.

Shadow & Bone is more character-driven than anything. Yes, there is romance and politics and magic but the book focuses more on Alina and how she is dealing with being thrown into a world she doesn't quite understand, while also trying to fit in and be the shining light that everyone needs her to be in this time of great darkness.

Leigh Bardugo has a very fresh writing style. The voice was spot-on and I even found myself laughing every once in a while because I saw a little of myself in Alina. Books are always great to read when the voice is strong but when it's coming from a character you can relate to?

Yeah, that's even better.

There are a lot of lines I wish I could have written. The descriptions are very vivid and colorful and I could picture almost every scene in my head, which is a huge plus in my book. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a lot of romance but also glad that it wasn't the driving factor of the book either.

This book is very seductive. It's dark and beautiful and extremely well-written in my opinion. I regret not reading this months ago when I bought it but I am glad I decided to delve into this book now because it truly is as good as a lot of people say it is. Again, I really wish I could've seen more of Ravka but...that minor critique isn't enough for me to not want to continue the series.

If you're looking for a fast read that's set against the backdrop of a dark fantasy world where nothing is as it seems, then this book is for you. I HIGHLY recommend that you read it. And if you already have, then we need to talk about the Darkling. Please tell me that I'm not the only one who couldn't help but like him.

Thanks for reading!

(I got an Amazon gift card for my birthday so I'll be buying Siege and Storm soon. Well, after I get some more writing done. I'm 200 words away from 2K so once I hit 3.5K I'll treat myself to S&S.)

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