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Shadow and Bone  - Leigh Bardugo Originally at The Secret Life of a Bookworm

I'm sitting here trying to work out why I waited so damn long to start reading this book... It was sitting on my bookcase for months and I kept meaning to pick it up, but I never did. I'm SO glad that I changed my TBR list of Bout of Books at the last minute, but this was such an amazing book!

The book doesn't just have one of the most beautiful covers ever, it also has one of the most amazing stories ever. Every page of this book was fantastically written and I felt myself being pulled deeper and deeper into the story with every page I read. I got completely sucked in by the Grisha world and I was extremely intrigued to find out what kind of Grisha's there were and what they could all do. It was fascinating learning about it all.

Alina was amazing. I just seriously loved her so much! At the start, she was just a normal girl and then suddenly her whole life changed when she's out in the Fold. She finds out that she's actually a Grisha - a Sun Summoner - and The Darkling has been looking for her to help him save the kingdom.
She gets swept up into the Grisha world. She starts to realise that she can do some good for the kingdom and get rid of The Shadow Fold. She trains and learns to control her powers and she became such an amazing character. She was powerful, confident and she was so happy. I really loved seeing Alina happy and finally feeling like she fit in.

The Darkling was an extremely charming character. He was so charismatic that I found myself being drawn to him like Alina and every other Grisha was. He oozed power and I let myself be completely won over by him. He seemed to genuinely care about Alina and helping the kingdom that I started to really love his character. And then when his true nature was revealed, I felt like I'd been smacked in the face with a wall. At first, I truly didn't want to believe it. I wanted Alina and The Darkling together SO BAD, that I didn't want to believe that he wasn't who I thought he was. And then I saw what he would do for power and my feelings towards him did a complete 180. He was a fantastic villain though because I just didn't expect it. And, although I hate him for what he did, I'm still kind of really looking forward to seeing more of him...

I never really got a good feel for Mal at the start of the book because he wasn't really there long enough for me to get anything other than he seemed like a great friend for Alina. But then when he reappeared at the Little Palace, I didn't like the way he talked to Alina. I get that he was upset, but still. It wasn't until the last couple of chapters when Alina and Mal were together that I started to really love Mal. He was such a sweet and caring character. He would have traveled the whole world to get Alina and he captured my heart. Seeing how far he would go to rescue and protect her and how deeply he cared for her made me instantly love him. I loved Alina and Mal together <3<br/>
I'm also hoping I'll get to see Genya again in the next book. I really loved her character. Her and Alina were great friends, and I'm hoping that they'll meet again in the next book.

The world of The Grisha was so fascinating that I flew through this book. I loved learning about the different Grisha's and learning what had caused The Shadow Fold. I adored seeing the Grisha's demonstrating their powers at the King's banquet. It was fascinating to read about and it was beautiful to imagine it all in my head. The revelation of The Darklings true nature, Alina's BADASS powers and when they clashed at the end was superb! I'm so excited to get my hands on the next book!

Overall, this was such an amazing and unique novel. I haven't read many fantasy novels, but this is definitely one of my favourites. I just really want to get the next book and read more about Alina and The Darkling... :)