Here’s another one of my mini reviews compilation. Today’s time for Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo and Uprooted, by Naomi Novik.
Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo
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This was pretty much one of the reads I was most excited about for this year. I’ve heard so much about it from Tumblr and the fanart is usually gorgeous! Also, pretty cover alert! Bardugo is writing an YA novel on Wonder Woman, one of my favourite ladies ever, so I thought it was definitely time to get into her books.
Shadow and Bone is set in a world where some people have magical abilities and are responsible for trying to destroy a place of great danger and darkness, the Shadow Fold. Our protagonist, Alina, discovers that she isn’t the simple orphan and cartographer she thought she was, but Ravka’s only hope.
As you can see from the synopsis, this book can be inserted in a pretty used formula of YA fantasy books. But you know, that’s not particularly bad. The formula is as popular as it is for a reason. I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe I’ve read this story before but that didn’t made me dislike it. I though it was a pretty ok read. Most of all, I still want to continue reading this series. The world is absolutely fascinating. I can’t talk about the accuracy, or lack of it, to the Russian society and culture that inspired this setting but as a separate thing, is very interesting to read about. The world building is very good, complex and strong. I didn’t really cared for Alina or her childhood friend, Mal, but I totally understand why everyone’s fascinated by The Darkling, he is a very interesting fellow. I also though the writing was interesting. It had so many beautiful imagery! Specially related to the Stag!
Although this was a kinda ok read, I enjoyed the whole process of reading it. I will get Siege and Storm soon enough!
Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
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Being on Tumblr is the only way to really understand how much this book is hyped there. It’s unbelievable! Since there’s not enough stand alone fantasy books, I had to give an opportunity to this one. And, besides, the cover is beautiful. I’m a sucker for pastel colours. I had my reserves going into this book but I was overall excited af.
This story follows Agnieszka, a girl living in a village at the border with the big, bad Wood. Every ten years, the Dragon, the protector of that village, takes a girl to his tower to be his servant. Agnieszka isn’t expecting to be picked but, when she does, she discovers she has a great deal of magic in her, which is most likely to be the only hope against the Wood.
Let me just say that I really enjoyed this book. I loved how it feels like this beautiful, epic song. The words are so carefully chosen and the way they’re written is really poetic. I loved the world and specially, I loved how complex and entertaining the villain was. And the magic, oh boy! I wanted to cry, it was so gorgeous. This book is so vivid, you can really see everything coming to life before your eyes. Be careful though, this book has some steamy parts. Although, I feel like people make this book to be perfect and there’s not many reviews focusing on the not so good aspects of it, so I’m going to play the devil’s advocate on this one.
My main problem with it was probably the typical chosen one trope. It’s a bearable one but still, kinda annoying after a while. But what really didn’t appreciate was how overly extended the ending is. I feel like it took way too many pages to tell what really happened. I guess you can say that for the whole book but only in the ending bothered me. I know that was the style but urgh, I just wanted the book to come to a close at that point. Also, I was really disappointed to find out that the Dragon wasn’t really a dragon but a man. Don’t play with my heart, man. I love dragons!!
With everything said, this is a great book. Above all, it’s a great read, refreshing specially to the genre it is included in. I would absolutely recommend it.
These are more of my tiny reviews! I still have a few to go but don’t sweat, I have some full length reviews to come too!
See you soon,