(Goodreads) 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?
Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.
The Short Story? - Guys. Listen. Listen carefully. THIS IS THE BEST BOOK I READ IN 2012. I can't tell you how in LOVE I am with the characters, the plot, the premise and the writing. Bardugo has written a stunner of a debut, with everything from a beautifully intricate premise, a dark and exciting plot and a dangerous love story waiting to happen. The Gathering Dark completely took me by surprise, I can't find any faults of this debut! I think it's safe to say Bardugo is a literary genius.
The Long Story? - I have a theory that good books leave you feeling satisfied while GREAT books leave you feeling depressed because a) you can never relive the experience of the first read and b) THE WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL. The Gathering Dark left me feeling so depressed I think I might need therapy. There aren't enough words in the english language to describe how beautifully written this debut is. Bardugo, a newcomer to the YA genre has quickly become one of my favourite writers. The perfect blend of romance, adventure and fantasy, The Gathering Dark is everything I seek for in a novel! Fast-paced, unique and brilliantly planned, the plot was so different and refreshing that I completely devoured the whole book! Also the world of the Grishas was inspired by russian history and I found that SO FASCINATING. Be prepared to pull an all nighter because for a novel as sensational as The Gathering Dark, you can't expect anything less! Favourite debut of 2012! Favourite BOOK of 2012 ( well along with The Fault in Our Stars!)
The characterisation was phenomenal. I found that I could easily connect with Alina, for a fantasy novel she was a surprisingly realistic character. Orphaned at a young age Alina is just your average girl, not overly pretty or talented until she discovers that she's a Grisha. Thrown into a world of luxury, Alina undergoes a journey of personal development. Quite simply, I ADORED Alina as a protagonist! If I had to pick "something" to dislike, it would be the love triangle. I really didn't think it was necessary, Bardugo had something magical (haha punz!) going on between Alina and the Darkling. Something dark, dangerous and calling for trouble - SOMETHING REFRESHING and then there was Mai. WHY? I think Mai is great as a character but why can't he just BE the best friend instead of one side of the triangle? WHY? However I can see the appeal of the love triangle, I know many readers would prefer to see Mai and Alina together but not me. NO. Darkling and Alina forever
I don't want to be pushy but you MUST read this book! Even if it doesn't sound like your cup of tea, IT IS YOUR CUP OF TEA. The Gathering Dark is one of those novels that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages and genres. There is something in here for everyone. It's not hard to find a book that does something right but it's incredibly rare to find a book that's done EVERYTHING right ( except for Mai but that might be *right* for some people)! I'm not kidding when I say this is my favourite debut of 2012. Bardugo, you have truly outdone yourself!
What's it Worth? - PRICELESS. ROB THE BOOKSHOP IF IT COMES DOWN TO IT.
Badass Bookie xx