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Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo Initial Reaction after Completion
I was wavering between 4.5 and 5, but what the hell.
5 enormous, scintillating stars it is.

This book.



It was brilliant, amazing, and hype-worthy.
One of the few books I've read that live up to its hype and smashes my expectations with its inherent goodness.

I don't even know what to say. It was ASDFGHJKLPOIUYTREWQ!
Okay, calm down.
*deep breaths*

Lets get this over with.

The Story/ The Setting
You know, how we come across fantasy works with all this potpourri of information dumped on us that doesn't make an iota of sense or even worse, is under developed.
Shadow and Bone walks this tightrope ingeniously. Every detail accounted for, the whole hierarchy construed flawlessly, entire world of Ravka beautifully envisioned and executed.

The story line revolves around the kingdom Ravka, severed into two by The Fold, a region of impermeable darkness brimming with unimaginable atrocities. Ravka is habituated by Grisha, a group of man and women capable of wielding magic and normal peasants.

The Characters

Alina was a lonely, scrawny, never-fit-in-any-damn-place orphan. She worked as a mapmaker in her kingdom before she was divulged to be a very powerful Grisha with much coveted power of summoning the Sun, which could prove beneficial in banishing The Fold. Henceforth, she is trust into the glamorous, vain world of the Grisha and the story progresses.
Alina was okay protagonist. Not too whiny, not too awesome. She fits in well with the plot. She makes some mistake (don't we all?), but learns quickly.

Damn damn damn.
Now, to speak more about her would culminate in giving away spoilers.

The Darkling

Okay, now that is said.
The Darkling is the leader of the Grisha. The titular head of Revka is the King, yet the real power vests with him. And does he know it.
He is charming, yet conniving.
He is badass, yet endearing.
He is a megalomaniac, yet alluring.

All in all, a melange of discordant emotions.
I'll give it to Ms. Bardugo, she knows how to fuck with our minds.

He was your hackneyed childhood crush, who didn't give a shit to you before, but suddenly sees the light.
The love interest is mediocre.
I mean, you will ship Mal-Alina when we have the Darkling with us?

*what to write now*
Well, I don't know. I flew the book and hardly took notes or highlighted text.
The only stuff I highlighted was the Darkling's lines with the pure intention of swooning
Okay. Whatever.

Winding up,
The book was phenomenal. A must read at all fucking costs. It's refreshing to read fantasy novel which isn't all bilge, with a banal plot and insipid, drab characters.
Engaging. Sensational. Stunning.

SPOILERS AHEAD. Mild, I think.

I just couldn't resist.
This quote, you guys.
“Fine,” he said with a weary shrug. “Make me your villain.”

My. God.
To hell with Mal. To hell with goodness. To hell with it all.
I'm rooting for the Darkling.