From goodreads: 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?
I discovered Smoke and Bone through Jessica’s fabulous review at Rabid Reads. She was absolutely right when she said I would love it and I was captivated from the very beginning. I’m not a fan of love triangles but in this particular story it worked, however, it wasn’t an in your face triangle. It was subtle and that’s what I loved about it.
“I don’t care if you danced naked on the roof of the Little Palace with him. I love you, Alina, even the part of you that loved him.”
This is the story about power, the greed for an all-consuming kind of power within a magical universe. It’s about finding out who you are and what you’ll do once you find out, oh how I love this kind of drama and intrigue.
“I’ve been waiting for you a long time, Alina. You and I are going to change the world.”
Ravka is the setting for this fabulous fantasy world and within that world exists The Shadow Fold. This is where the darkness lives and the home to the Volcra. They are flesh-eating monsters that will give you the heebie jeebies! *shivers*
“The thought filled me with grief, grief for the dreams we’d shared, for the love I’d felt, for the hopeful girl I would never be again.”
The beginning of the story was a bit difficult to adjust to because I was unfamiliar with all the Russian references but once I got it, I was reading this book like an athlete trying to win a gold medal. The main characters of the story felt genuine, incredibly flawed and complex. I wouldn’t say one was more complex than the other because they all had their harrowing story to tell.
“I hope you don’t expect fairness from me, Alina. It isn’t one of my specialties.”
Alina was a heroine I instantly was able to connect with because she knows she’s different but she doesn’t necessarily know how. All she wants is to feel like she belongs and ultimately to feel loved. And when she discovers how she’s different, oh my word, you will not put this book down.
“Lying in the dark, waiting for sleep, I wondered if those paths would just keep taking us further and further apart, and if a day might come when we would be strangers to each other once again.”
I loved the Darkling but the jury is still out if this is who I want Alina to be with. He has a hidden agenda, he’s cunning and possibly deceptive. Deceptive seems like such a strong word when maybe he just has trouble with communication!! Ha! In all seriousness, I did love him but I loved Mal more. I won’t say anything more about these appealing book boyfriends because that would ruin your reading fun.
“I’d catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I’d seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I’d realize that you weren’t there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me.”
If you love the fantasy genre, I urge you to give this series a try and Leigh Bardugo has created a page to help with pronunciation of certain terms and their meanings, it’s called Speak Ravkan.