I know I am so late to this train that it isn’t even funny. Since most everyone has read this by now this review will be full of spoilers. I will leave my Goodreads review spoiler free which you can see here.

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. ‘

The Darkling is who I want to start with. I started out loving him, completely because of Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. I really enjoyed him for a good section of this book. He was interesting and new. He was dark and mysterious. I loved the way he was treating Alina, until Baghra ruined everything. I still want to love him, but I don’t have strong feelings currently. I will have to see what happens in the rest of the series.

Alina is a decent main character. She spends a good portion of the beginning of the story mooning over Mal, which gets old real fast. Then she instantly starts crushing on the Darkling and lets him do whatever he pleases. She has a lot of potential to become a great character in the next book. She just needs to do something because she wants it, not because she wants a guy or because a guy tells her too.

I absolutely adored Genya at the beginning. I really like the way she helps Alina. I don’t like how Genya ends up towards the ending of this book though. I understand the wanting to be better than just a servant to the Queen, but there are better ways to do that. I don’t like that she joins the Darkling.

Again, because of Sam I have mixed feelings about Mal. I like him because he reminds me of that innocent love, the kind that forms from knowing someone for years. It’s also an idealistic type of love, not necessarily a true love. I understand that type of feeling. However, I don’t like how much Alina wants him. I understand the want for things to go back to normal, but just staying with him isn’t going to stop the changes.

At the beginning when they go into the Shadow Fold, because of the back of the book, we know something is going to happen to Mal. Because of that, I didn’t feel any real sadness when I thought he died. I was a little shocked he lived. After that we when follow Alina being taken to the palace, the attack on the carriage is to be expected, as was the Darkling swooping in to save her. There were a lot of moments like that, where the most expected thing happens, even when I may not have seen it coming(because I’m bad at things like that).

At the end of this book I was a little disappointed. I really wanted to love this story, but I just don’t. I like it, but it isn’t as amazingly awesome I hoped. It might be because of my high expectations and because it’s the first book. Hopefully when I finish the series I will have more feelings on everything.