An absolutely breathtaking book! The worldbuilding in Shadow & Bone was fantastic: a rich tapestry of friends, foes, kingdoms, language (I loved the language influences so much, they really established the vibe of the story), and magic. I haven't read a solid fantasy book in quite a while, and this book reminded me of how lovely and well-crafted they usually are. This story follows a poor, overlooked girl (Alina) who accidentally reveals her world-changing powers and is whisked away to a palace to start her life anew. While this isn't the most original storyline, it was executed well, and I liked that while romance wasn't the focal point of the book, it complemented it in a way that it carried the plot. The development of Alina and the Darkling's relationship, in juxtaposition with Alina and Mal's, was so electrifying and uncertain that it felt like standing on top of a skyscraper and nearly falling at every moment. The ending was what truly had my heart racing, and it took all my effort to put the book down in the dark of night.