In the spirit of full disclosure, I should say that I have met [a:Leigh Bardugo|4575289|Leigh Bardugo|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1325565916p2/4575289.jpg]. We were on a panel at the 2014 Eurocon together. Leigh is charming knowledgeable and wise and I fully admit that it was meeting her that prompted me to read this book. However it is not why I’m writing this review.
When I opened [b:Shadow and Bone|10194157|Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)|Leigh Bardugo|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1339533695s/10194157.jpg|15093325] I was scared. I saw a detailed map followed by a list of the different ranks of the second army. I was scared that I wasn’t going to like this book written by the lovely person that I’d met. I could not have been more wrong. I’m not usually a fan of intricate worlds with strange references that you have to keep flicking back to look up, but I needn’t have worried.
Within minutes of starting the book I was hooked, because while the author has created an amazingly intricate world rich with details, the book is ultimately about one girl, Alina, and her struggle to cope with the fact that everything she knew in life has been turned upside down.
I usually take a while to read books, not having much free time. With Shadow and Bone I was finished in days, I simply could not put it down. It wasn’t just the amazing writing, I had to keep reading because I thought I knew what was going on and I needed to find out if I was right. The author manages to create a narrative where you are almost as lost as Alina, constantly wondering which way she should turn and what she should believe.
I cannot recommend this book enough, as soon as I was finished it I ordered the sequels, because with writing this good, you have to follow the story.
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