Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Book Review: The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo

Title: The Gathering Dark (Grisha #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Indigo
Pages: 308
Release Date: 7th June 2012
Read In: June 2012

Goodreads - - Book Depository

*This is the UK edition of Shadow and Bone*
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 Gathering Dark pulled me in and wouldn’t let me go.

“He stood unflinching before the gathering dark.”

The best thing about this book had to be the world. It was so vivid in my mind; it felt like I was watching a movie. I could imagine the Small Palace, I could imagine the Fold, I could imagine all the Grisha, in their colourful Keftas; it was also so clear inside my head. Everything felt so real. 

I love the fantasy world that Leigh Bardugo has created. I was sucked in straight away. I wanted to know about the different types of Grisha and the way they live. I have had a record of not being able to follow the world building in a High Fantasy, as the setting is less relatable; forgetting place names, magic systems e.t.c. However, this wasn’t the case here. I understood and was able to follow everything (the list of the different groups of Grisha at the front actually helped). I am hoping there is more to discover. 

The story was also so enticing. The action at the beginning absorbs you in and you can’t stop reading. The background information is revealed at just the right pace; I wanted to know more. Things got a little slower in the middle but don’t get lulled into a false sense of security. This book went in a direction that I didn’t expect. 

Alina was just as na├»ve as I was. We learned things along with her. That really helped me to connect. Her sense of humour also helped; it is almost the same as mine. Alina may cover up all her inexperience with sarcastic quips but we get to see her grow in confidence. I can’t wait to see what her character is like at the end of the series. 

One of the original things that drew me to book, from the synopsis, was the mention of a character called The Darkling. On that point alone, I wanted to know who he was. Chapter one did not help lesson my curiosity. I wanted, no needed, to know more about him. I’m a sucker for a mysterious guy; maybe he’s a little too mysterious. The Darkling is alluring and straight out sexy. It may be down to the fact he is more mature than most teenage character.  He may look young but he has the knowledge and wisdom; that is something I find attractive. 

Oh Mal. When a character is only introduced and discussed, in the few chapters, and then becomes absent, I find myself struggling to correct. However, I fell in love with Mal straight away. I felt his and Alina’s connection. I can’t wait to see more of them together. 

Overall, I really enjoyed The Gathering Dark; the first time I really enjoyed a High Fantasy that wasn’t in a fairy-tale like setting. This is a lot darker. Maybe there is hope for me yet with the genre. I’d better start exploring. I can’t wait for the next book. 



  1. I can't wait to read this book! I keep hearing such good things about it.

  2. Hey! I'm Amanda from Vivalabooks! I can't wait to read this! By the way, I wanted to let you know that I tagged you for the Liebster Blog Award! For details follow this link:


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