“The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest, and because they haunted the Duke’s house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches.”
From the before and chapter one, Shadow and Bone immediately pulls you in and makes you feel like you have to sit and finish the book all at once(which I did). It’s interesting. It’s something very different. The cover is beautiful and the map inside the book is pretty cool, along with the page with the different orders at the beginning.
The writing and detail is so beautiful. While there are some errors in the book, like some Russian inconsistencies, it can be ignored just for the sake of the story.
The story’s setting is that of a place that seems to be heavily based or influenced from Russia, but it is called Ravka. It gives the story, I believe, a nice touch and backdrop. It is something that does make this story unique in itself. It gives a very clear mental image of a place by comparing it to a real culture.
Alina Starkov is a main character with an attitude that is refreshing, but she does go through that phase which almost every character seems to with the “You’re mistaken. I’m not special/worthy” speech. When she finally is able to summon her power, she changes from how she was before. I liked how she was able to make it come about and how it was connected to Malyen and then again later in the story.
Malyen Oretsev is Alina’s friend who was also an orphan. They’ve known and trusted each other since they were taken into the Duke’s house. I liked his character really well.
The Darkling is mysterious in some ways, but not overly mysterious where he’s on the verge of being too annoying. I did like his character, too. I was surprised with the kiss he planted on Alina at first. It came pretty much out of nowhere, but later on you’ll see exactly why.
The Grisha, I’m not sure what to feel about them as a whole. Beautiful and powerful, they’re the special flock. Some/many of them are awfully stuck up in some way or another. My favorite Grisha is probably Ivan, although.
Overall, this book is wonderful and in other ways kind of sad (at least to me). I’m nervous about the other two books for the sake of the characters. I could easily let this one end the way it does and not seek the others out.