Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Shadow and Bone is the first in the Grisha Trilogy and the first of the Grishaverse books. A young girl, Alina Starkov, discovers she has a dormant power to summon the sun. Taken to the palace to train as a Grisha, a master of the small science, she meets the Grisha’s leader The Darkling, a shadow summoner. The Darkling want’s Alina’s help to destroy the Shadow Fold that his ancestor created, but not everything and everyone is as they seem and soon Alina is running for her life.

I really liked the world building here, but it could have been a bit more fleshed out. I’m assuming that will come in later books. I really like the magic system, although I want to know why there are no Earth Summoners. This truly starts to become a literal story of light versus dark, and not just good versus evil.

However, it was a bit slow to start. About halfway through it begins to pick up pace and gets darker as they story goes on. The first half or so of most first books in series are usually set up, so I’m not too surprised this one took a bit to get the ball rolling. I do however, wish there was as dictionary in the back of the book. The author has created a Russian inspired language for her Russian inspired world, but it’s hard to tell what some of the words mean when they aren’t directly translated, much less how to pronounce them. A glossary would be awesome. Also, I had a hard time remembering which Grisha could do what. A list would be great for that too.

I give this one Three and a Half Stars.

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