Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Good morning everyone, I hope you are all having a wonderful morning. Spring is coming, which means the weather is finally starting to warm up a bit here in the frozen north. Nothing gets me into the reading mood more than a little spring fever.
Now this book has been on my shelf quite literally since last year and still smells like the bathroom floor in my old dorm room. Since I have run out of books to read I decided it was time to stop being picky about what I was reading and get through the books I started a year ago.
I had no expectations for this book because in the year since I bought it I had forgotten what it was about. I long since lost the paper cover for it so unless I wanted to look online for the description (which I didn't) I was reading blind. In the end that was probably a good thing.

Alina lives in a post apocalyptic world where unless you are born a powerful Grisha, a warrior with magical abilities, you are nobody. With her childhood friend Mal she is ready to go on a journey through the dangerous Shadow Fold, a sea of darkness filled with bloodthirsty flying creatures who kill all who dare enter.
Things don't go well for Aline and get worse when a blinding flash of light drives the horrid creatures off. Those who witnessed the chaos swear that the light came form Alina but she doesn't remember doing anything.
She is brought before the Darkling who has been alive for over a hundred years despite the fact that he looks no older than Alina. She tries to explain that she can't possibly be a Grisha because she was tested as a child and surprisingly, he believes her. She may not be a normal Grisha, which would explain why her powers never showed. If he is right Alina is something called the Sun Summoner.
With the help of the Darkling Alina will hopefully be able to master her powers and together they will be able to banish the Shadow Fold once and for all, bringing peace to their miserable land. Alina is brought to the capital where she is to train with the best even if it means leaving Mal behind.
But things, as always, are not what they seem. Her powers are something that few would pass up killing for. Assassins and thief alike would love nothing more than to see her dead so that her powers do not end up in the Kings hands. But the biggest threat lies closer to Alina than she could ever know.

What can I say about this book? The Darkling was hot and mysterious, the ending was slightly unexpected, and the post apocalyptic atmosphere was to die for (not literally obviously).
My Prof must have known I was on the last few chapters since she specifically pointed out that I was not to read in her class. This book was intense enough that I downloaded another copy onto my phone so that I could finish it without her knowing. Then I continued reading on the bus giving myself a bad case of motion sickness. In the end though I think it was worth it.
If you love post apocalyptic novels with a hint of magic and dark romance this is a great teen book for you. There are 3 books in the series and it is completed now. I don't have any intention at the moment to continue the series because I have heard a lot of bad reviews on the next few books. Who knows, this took me a year to read so maybe in a year I will read the next few.
I might try something new here and give different aspects of this book a grade:
Characters: A-
Setting: B
Story: B+
Pace: B-
Ending: A
With all of that I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.
Have a great day everyone and happy reading!
- K
P.S. I might continue with the grading of the aspects of the story in the future if this does well. 

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