Monday, 25 February 2013

Review: The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo

The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Indigo
Publication date: 7th June 2012.
My rating: 4.5 stars

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?

The Gathering Dark is fantasy at its best. Luckily I had the day off when I picked up The Gathering Dark so I was able to lock myself in my room and devour this book much to the annoyance of my sister who wanted a good natter. But you know that adrenaline rush when you get with certain books when your eyes are just gulping the words in a frenzied pace, that before you know it you’re already halfway through the book and you’re like how the heck have I read so much already? Your hearts thrumming against your chest and there is so much chaotic-ness going on around you, but you’re lost in a world where it’s just you and your precious book? This is exactly how my reading experience was with The Gathering Dark. When I first heard about this book I honestly didn’t pay it much attention, it was not my typical genre to turn to and so I wasn’t really sure whether it would be my thing. But my great blogging friends changed my mind and I’m so thankful for that, otherwise I would never have discovered this gem of a book.

Alina and Mal are two orphans who’ve grown up together, they’re getting by in life, but everything changes when crossing the Shadow Fold and Alina makes a startling discovery. Alina’s ripped away from the life she’s known, taken away from Mal to Little Palace a world so different to what she’s known, she’s surrounded by beautiful Grisha, given a beautiful room, a kefta and spends time with the enigmatic The Darkling. She’s taught to make the most of her ability and promised great things.

Alina found herself in an extremely difficult situation, but her character development over the course of this book paid off for the tough times she had to deal with. Initially she was a clumsy girl but developed into this strong, kick ass protagonist. But what I loved most about her was that despite getting everything luxurious thrown her way, she still didn’t forget who she was, where she came from and who mattered to her the most. At times she did find herself slightly distracted by The Darkling, but who wouldn’t?

I seem to have this habit lately where I seem to be falling for the guy everyone else isn’t. First it was Warner and now The Darkling, don’t get me wrong I adored Mal, but The Darkling left the greatest impression on me with his big booming claps, dark velvety voice and his constant darkness, it’s bound to make a girl go crazy, his commanding remarks honestly sent shivers down my spine. And I know with the way things went, I should have jumped teams, but come on its The Darkling I won’t give up on him that easily.

Leigh Bardugo has created a gorgeous book in The Gathering Dark, her world building is exquisite and writing is just effortlessly beautiful. I didn’t realise that it would evoke so many feelings in me all in one go! In a way I’m glad I picked up The Gathering Dark up, because it’s given me the extra encouragement to pick more fantasy books right away, but I’m also left a bit glum, as how I have to wait torturous months like everyone else for the next instalment!

This gif describes me perfectly when I was reading this book.

funny gifs


  1. Don't worry, Jasprit! love the Darkling too. I like Mal but yeah, bad boys, huh? But actually, I've seen lots of Darkling fangirls around the blogosphere too! So we aren't completely alone <3

    Lovely review, Jasprit!

  2. I need this book right now! Your review made me want to read it so badly! Oh, and I also have a thing for liking the wrong guy, or even a guy who's not a lead in a book at all! It's weird, but it's how it is!

  3. Love the photo! I just bought a copy of this book and I can't wait to read it. Nice review! :D


  4. Hahah, the gif is fantastic, Jasprit! I'm glad you enjoyed this. I have a copy, but I never really got around to it. I'm not even sure why I was so hesitant to read it, but you've pretty much erased most of it. And here's a secret: I'm totally Team Warner too! So I suppose I'd like Darkling too.
    Fantastic review! I'm so happy you had a good time.

  5. I think it was silly of me to overlook this book so quickly but it just didn't appeal to me, but everyone has loved it, so now, I have finally added it to my tbr :) I'm dying to get to know The Darkling and Alina and Mal. Awesome review Jaspirit :)

  6. Wait, is this the same book as Shadow and Bone (is that the right title?) in the US? I was confused, but I think the character names are the same. I haven't read this book, but I can definitely relate to the feelings you described.

    Lovely review, Jasprit.

  7. YES JASPRIT!!!! TEAM DARKLING!!!! I was rooting for him the entire time too, even when certain things were made clear. He's just so complex and interesting and I want more of him:) That gif definitely sums me up while reading this book two. And likely the next one as well:) Fabulous review my friend!

  8. Yay! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this one, Jasprit. This is one of my favorite reads from last year and seeing people I know enjoy it makes me really happy!
    The Darkling made quite an impression on you! ;) But I agree that he is a very interesting character. I can't wait to see more of him in the next installment.
    But, Mal is definitely the one who stole my heart!
    Great review, Jasprit! Your review makes me want to go read it again!

  9. Haha, I love the gif and I definitely know that feeling! I recently experienced it with Scarlet from Marissa Meyer. I have had this book on my shelves for a while now and I can't understand why I haven't read it yet! I will change that very soon, it sounds fantastic and everything I look for in a book :) Great review!


  10. You need to come over to Team Mal, Jasprit. It's where all the cool people are! I loved this book to pieces, as you know, and it makes me so happy to see that you loved it too! I finished the sequel the other day and can't stop thinking about it... and Mal. ;) Lovely review hun!

  11. I loved this book when I read it last summer. The world building is great and I liked the characters. The Darkling is definitely delciously dark and hard not to like even though he is pretty evil. I can't wait to see where the next book goes!

  12. I love books that you can get lost in. I haven't heard of this one before, but it's definitely making its way to my TBR pile.

  13. Omg that gif! bahahahah. So I was reading this review and I was like.. OMg this is a total rip off of Shadow and Bone! Baha. I had no idea the UK edition had a different title. Well then I'm happy you enjoyed it I loved this book too! And I'm really iffy about fantasy so it's rare when I do love one >.< Great review, muffin!

  14. YES! :D I am so happy you loved this one, Jasprit! Like you, I think one of the best aspects of Alina is her ability to stay true to herself, despite her new stature. I'm also very torn over The Darkling and Mal. I think I prefer Mal for Alina, but I definitely swooned over The Darkling more...who wouldn't? ;)

  15. Sounds like you have the underdog syndrome, but that is okay, because then you don't have to share with so many others, lol.
    Love that gif, and glad you enjoyed so much. Adding to tbr now.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  16. Great review, Jasprit! BTW, Dreamworks last week commissioned a screenwriter for the film :)

  17. I liked The Darkling for a bit, but I admit I jumped ship and now I'm kind of Mal/Alina... I love best friends/fellow __ (in this case, orphans) turned into something more. So many girls go crazy for the whole dominant/submissive relationships so I understand the appeal with Darkling/Alina.

    Yes, the romance aspects play a huge part in the book but I'm more interested in Bardugo fleshing out the world a bit more. The little glimpses we get just had me wanting more. I love the description of the Fold and the volcra. Frightening as hell and it's going to translate brilliantly on the big screen.

  18. I read this AGES ago and I think I wrote something along the lines of "Mal and Alina are destined to be together but I'm Team Darkling". YES. I'M TEAM DARKLING. I LOVE THE DARKLING.<33333 I'm thrilled you liked this so much Jasprit!<3 I need to re-read this and then Siege & Storm!! Fab review, hun<3

  19. The animated gif is so cute :)

    I honestly don't think many can resist the charm of The Darkling ;)

  20. I still haven't seen a bad review for this book and my copy is still waiting to be read! I know I know....a lot of people told me that I must read this one :) I'll asap :) Great review Jasprit :) ps lol for the gif at the end xD

  21. I'm glad you broached out into fantasy Jasprit and really enjoyed it. Your gif made me laugh a lot, I definitely need to pick this up if it has you so engrossed.

    I never realised I have it on my wishlist because it's also know as Shadow and Bone. How strange... I hate when one book has multiple titles.

    I have heard other people being in love with The Darkling so I don't think you're alone. Lovely review, Jasprit! :)

  22. Yep I was pretty much like your GIF reading this too! I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much as it was my favourite of last year as for Teams I don't think I can choose between The Darkling and Mal, I love them both in different ways! Excellent review Jas!

  23. Aw I'm so glad you really enjoyed The Gathering Dark, Jasprit! It definitely ranked among my favorite YA fantasies last year and I can't wait to read the sequel in a few months! I agree - the Darkling is quite the enigmatic character. Who can blame Alina for being so distracted by him, after all?


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