Monday, 4 June 2012

Book Review - The Gathering Dark

Title: 'The Gathering Dark' - aka - 'Shadow & Bone' in the US
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha Trilogy (book 1)
Publisher: Indigo
Release Date: 7th June 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1780621104

Synopsis
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.
Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?
The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.
But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?


 
My Review
I was sent an ARC copy of this book to review. I have to confess when I read the synopsis I really wasn't keen on reading it. Flesh eating monsters sounds dreadful, something from my worst nightmares. Seriously not interested. BUt I decided I would give it a go, the rest of the synopsis sounded interesting and the cover of the book is absolutely gorgeous!
I sat down with this at about 11.30 this morning and had finished it by this afternoon. Was so good I didn't want to put it down.
Alina grew up in an Orphanage with her best friend Mal, when they are 8 they get tested for magic but no powers show. Years later they are both working in the King's army, Mal as a tracker and Alina as a map-maker. Until they have to cross 'The Fold', the stretch of darkness that holds the monsters, when their vessel gets attacked they almost get killed but Alina's strange powers emerge and she is swept off to a whole new world and life, forced to leave Mal behind. 

I was pleased that the flesh eating monsters were actually a very small part of the story, I mean, they were vital to the storyline and make more than one appearance, but they aren't the sole focus and for that I was pleased. This book mainly focuses on Alina's journey through 'Grisha' training and her growing powers and relationships. This book captured my imagination and welcomed me into a magical world. It had a feeling of what I would call 'proper old world fantasy' the sort of story that I can really get lost in, simialr to the likes of Maria Snyder and Christopher Paolini. This book could be up there with them in my favourites.

The Darkling is a mysterious guy, you're not sure if he is evil or good throughout but he's a guy you love to hate. Alina seemed totally real to me, like I could turn and talk to her and she would answer, she was scared and shy but not afraid to kick some serious butt when it was needed. She totally rocks and I look forward to seeing what she can do in the rest of the series. 

Mal is lovely, the perfect guy, well as perfect as you can expect! I certainly see hwy Alina is drawn to him. I have to say that the characters, plot and really the whole world is excellently created and really comes to life off the page.
Leigh Bardugo is a new author and to me a rising star. I just hope it's not too long until the rest of the series is out. She's onto a winner!

My Rating
 

2 comments:

ShreShre said...

Can't wait to read about all the characters! Especially Mel, as i can tell from your review *wink wink* ;) HAHA, Love the review, and I'm so glad you loved it. Sounds a bit spooky, but hey!;)

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Shreya@ChocolateCoatedReviews

barmybex said...

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy the book, it really is awesome!
:D