“Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, she is sure of only one thing: her best friend, Mal–and her inconvenient crush on him. Until the day their army regiment enters the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. When their convoy is attacked and Mal is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power not even she knew existed.
Ripped from everything she knows, Alina is taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With Alina’s extraordinary power in his arsenal, he believes they can finally destory the Fold. Now Alina must find a way to master her untamed gift and somehow fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. As the threat to the kingdom mounts and her dangerous attraction to the Darkling grows, Alina will uncover a secret that could tear her heart–and her country–in two”
Shadow and Bone is a typical first book in a series type of troupe books. The whole book is basically a set up for books two and three. It sets up Alina and Mal’s characters, the Darkling and what is happening in their home and who the Grisha are. It is not that it is bad it is just, cliché. The Girl/Guy best friends where the Girl is in love with him and watches him with other girls but tries to hide it. The guy who doesn’t notice her that way until others are.
Alina is a strong character, she has wit and power, she had strength she admits that she may not be the best at what she is doing and she is right. she doesn’t believe that the power she is given is hers. Just doesn’t want it when it is proven to be hers. She struggles with controlling it. She works hard to learn and follows her heart, in the end and trusts, that others may know better than her.
Mal on the other hand, he is in this first book very little. He, in my opinion is weak and only good at tracking and being handsome. He complains more than any of the girls. He gets jealous and angry at Alina for things that she cannot control, things that he let happen, when he could have stood up for her.
I also noticed that he language and some of the story comes from Russia and Russian history and Language which is what I majored in. I loved the parallels and names and different parts of that history that I saw as I read which is something I enjoy.
The book itself is a good set up and makes for a great catch for the first book in the series. I cannot say much because that will spoil the other books and I don’t want to do that, but I will say that I did like this book. I enjoyed this intro to the Grisha and the world that is parallel to Six of Crows