Sunday, April 5, 2015

TALK: Shadow and Bone

     Hello fellows!

     OMG, a review right after Mia said she would post it next week? Wow.

     Here comes the "TALK" part of my review of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. This is my first separate talk, aside from my Daughter of Smoke and Bone talk. I think my Daughter of Smoke and Bone talk has been exempted from this title because I initially had it posted in my Daughter of Smoke and Bone review post and I just parted those two now. Anyways, back-tracking to the actual topic of this, don't read any further than this if you haven't completed the damn book.

    To refresh your memory as to what this book is about, here's my blurb:

Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Date Released: June 5, 2012
Number of Pages: 368
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

     I have 2 words for the starter of this spoiler-full part: THE DARKLING. My love for this little fella has grown over time. From the first mention of the Darkling when Alina was nearly trampled on to the very end of this book. Although all these secrets the Darkling had has been revealed, we don't know his motives.

     This is exactly the book cliché where Person #1 does something "unforgivable" and Person #2 automatically judges Person #1. The problem with Person #2 is that he/she doesn't know why Person #1 did what he/she did. But when Person #1 finally receives the chance to prove himself/herself to Person #2, Person #2 realizes they've been mad at Person #1 for no particular reason.

     That was a bit more detailed and confusing than I anticipated the scenario to be, I just wanted to assure your understanding about the situation.

     Back to the initial topic, I'm not hating on the Darkling because he hasn't had the chance to explain himself. Anyways, even though the Darkling is supposedly "evil", he is still better than Mal. I mean, come on guys. Mal in French means bad. HE'S NAMED THIS FOR A REASON. Mal seems too nice. I feel like he's either going to become evil at the end, or just a plain bad person. Either way, this guy is OBVIOUSLY not going to end up with Alina. It's given. *tbh I hope he dies*

 I am literally going to kill Alina. Yes there are times where she is rather useful but naïve. When she was given a chance to gain an advantage against the Darkling (although I bet there was no need, because he's not evil), she chose to be clement and show mercy to the stag. If she hadn't hesitated about her kill, she could've had Morozova's amplifier as the upper hand. But no, now she was under control of the Darkling when she could have been free to practice her power on her own good will. She wouldn't have had to learn how to overpower the Darkling's command to her light, she could have already had supremacy onto her skills. Sorry, this just really infuriates me.

    Speaking about death,

     Onto a lighter subject, let's talk about Genya. Something feels a little fishy about this girl. As expected, Alina would probably have had to find a friend somewhere, somehow. Now, it just so happens to be Genya. The problem with her is, is that they became friends instantly. In my opinion, a friendship wouldn't take such a short amount of time to develop. Also, judging by the fact that Mal has literally been her only friend her entire life, I would guess that it would take a while for her to fully open up to Genya. I'm not so sure yet as to specify what exactly I think is wrong with Genya, but the suspicion is visible. At least to me.

          Let's talk about Mal. Mal. Yes, there can be times where his sweet side appears but it's nothing compared to the Darkling. That's it; it's all I have to say about him. Okay, well besides the prediction that he could be a Grisha too, with tracking abilities like that. Maybe not so superior as the Grisha, but maybe he has a secretive past that explains perfectly why he was able to find the very horse that the kingdom have been looking for longer than a thousand or a million years (I don't recall the exact number, but you get the idea). His past life before Alina is arising suspicion. It's a choice between him already knowing about what has happened prior to Keramzin or he's about to find out within the next 2 books. Or maybe there's nothing more than just a normal boy finding ( in no more than a couple months) an ancient stag that magical Grisha have been looking all over for centuries. Yeah, nothing extraordinary going on there. *sarcasm noted*

     Due to the fact that Alina is the protagonist and I should've discussed her sooner than everything else, shall we talk about her? Okay, as I've said before, "she is rather useful but naïve". Her clemency has betrayed her more times than it's helped her, I just hope she'll realize it before it affects her significantly. There is character development, but it hasn't grown too much. She's gone from a frail, "little" girl to a much stronger, more confident girl. I wish to see more of her improvement within the next two books.

     To conclude this talk, the subject will be the book in its entirety. It's a fantasy, yes. A typical one, at that. Pick a random girl in a magical world and she automatically becomes the one thing that can save them all from the horrors of the past thousand years. Unique, isn't it? *sarcasm once again, noted* Despite that cliché, the book has differing aspects that conflict with other novels. The Grisha, Corporalki, Etherealki, Materialki, Ravka. They're all one-of-a-kind yet are based on an overused idea. Leigh Bardugo has an efficient way to turn a common concept and interpret it into her own.

     Overall 4.5 stars.

     That's all for my post, and remember: you should be a tree; they have awesome afterlives.

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