This book had been sitting on my shelf for so long. Despite hearing so much good about it from several people, I just didn’t know what to expect, so I stayed away from it. Now I’m glad I finally picked it up and could kick myself for letting it sit there for so long.
First of all, the characters are amazing. I think I’m in love with all of them, even the antagonist. He really confused me and I’m still not 100% sure whether to hate him, or love him, or just be a fangirl of his powers.
Speaking of which, the powers. The whole magic system was entirely new to me, and as I don’t read fantasy regularly, complex magic systems usually confuse me and put me off books. But this one was well thought out, and properly explained through show instead of too much tell. I really liked the idea of the elements playing a big part, but also that everyone can still have their own „thing“ apart from that.
Going into this book, I also thought I wouldn’t enjoy the setting at all (it’s set in a fantasy version of Russia, I think), but that was luckily not the case. The setting is merely background noise (except that it’s cold, but it could be cold anywhere in the world), and the Russian words might as well be just made-up words from a fantasy realm.
I think „Shadow and Bone“ was a great start back into fantasy, and it’s definitely on the PRO side of the list of whether I will read more fantasy this year or not.
4 out of 5 Stars, because it was really good and interesting, but not mind blowing.