Thursday, 19 July 2012

#132 Book Review: The Gathering Dark

The Gathering Dark
Release Date: June 7th 2012
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Indigo
Source: Publisher for Review
Format: Paperback
Where to Buy: Fishpond | Booktopia | Dymocks
RRP: $22.99
More Info: Goodreads
Summary from 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.
GORGEOUS. I can't stop staring at the cover. It looks even more gorgeous in real life! The gold swirls is so pretty and Alina's dark blue kefta is perfect! I think I prefer the UK/AUS cover more than the US one!


"You and I are going to change the world."

Dear world, meet my newest favourite YA novel of the year, The Gathering Dark.

Even after finishing this book, I still get tingles reading the quote from the back cover of the book. 

"I've been waiting for you for a long time, Alina," he said. "You and I are going to change the world."

The Gathering Dark is unlike any other novels I've read before. It's a beautiful and wonderful addition to the world of YA. Leigh Bardugo's writing is simply put: enchanting. When I first read the first page, it felt like I stepped into a world of fairytale. But this world is not just a simple world where evil and good is clearly defined. This world is a clash between the darkness and the light. 

Once upon a time, The Black Heretic created the Shadow Fold. And that was the beginning to an end.

The concept of the book is truly well-written and unique. Imagine people with different powers called Grisha. Now, imagine a girl who can summon light from within her called the Sun Summoner. Then, imagine a guy who can summon darkness called The Darkling. This is the world of Ravka and Alina is about to change the destiny of this world. What I thought was particularly wonderful about this book was Bardugo's combination of darkness and light. A symbolism of good and evil which can work together towards a greater good, or towards greater evil.

I have so much love for this book. It hooked me from the first page and didn't let go until the very last page. I am already desperate for the sequel because I want to live in this world forever.

There was once an orphan girl and boy who have lived their whole lives together. Their destiny changed the moment the girl was discovered to be more than just who she was.
This is Alina's story. I love reading from Alina's perspective. I really connected with her and I understood what she was going through. When she was discovered to be a Grisha, she was separated from her childhood friend, Mal. I feel sad for Alina and I cannot imagine how it must be like for her when she was brought to the "Little Palace" to live a life as a Grisha and train herself to use her powers. She also found herself attracted to The Darkling although she can't forget Mal, her childhood friend. 

Onto the boys! I am in love with The Darkling. It's safe to say I'm Team Darkling. Even though I find most people love Mal, I love Darkling more. There is something about him I can't forget and I always kept looking for him when I read the book, always awaiting for beautiful scenes between him and Alina. I love his words and how fascinating he was. But Mal was amazing too. I didn't quite liked him in the beginning but towards the end of the book, I fell for him. He truly cared for Alina and was willing to do anything for her, just like what a true best friend would do. The characters are absolutely well-written!

Once upon a time, a Sun Summoner was discovered. With or without The Darkling, she will change the world.

The Gathering Dark is my newest favourite YA novel of 2012. Set in the wicked world of Ravka, Leigh Bardugo has crafted an enchanting story of darkness and light with brilliant characters. A step into the world of The Gathering Dark was like a step into a fairytale story. Truly magical.
5 Forget-Me-Not flowers for The Gathering Dark!
Thank you Hachette Australia for the review copy!

Check out the book trailer below!


  1. Alright, I fell in love with your review <3 I loved the quotes you've used. This might be your best review I've read so far - and they are so good! I have this book waiting for me and after reading this, I can hear it whisper 'read me, read me, you know you want to!'

    "Step into a fairytale" that's actually all I need to know. I love fairytales and if this book gives me such a feeling, I know I'll devour it <3 And I like the fact that the characters are well-written, that's so important!

    Thanks for sharing this awesome review ^^

  2. High fantasy! I LOVE FANTASY. This review makes me want to go call our local bookstore to get one reserved. :"""> This sounds so fantastic. Yes, I realize I am being redundant but asdfhjkl; I've been looking at this book for a while now but your review really made me WANT IT. DESPERATELY.

    And, oh, I usually fall for the best friend but Darkling sounds sexy too.


  3. I completely want to live in this world too. ;) Amazing review, Celine! Seeing as though this was one of my favourite fantasy books this year, I'm so glad to see you loved it! You're welcome to have the Darkling, by the way. More Mal for me! :D

  4. Such a beautiful review Celine, I really need to get my hands on a copy asap, I also remember you saying the Darkling was your new literary crush, I can't wait to find out why! :)

  5. I absolutely love your review for this book, Celine. I think you perfectly described all the important parts of it. You know, I am so confused of who I like the most : The Darkling or Mal, but since Alina and Mal have been friends for such a long time, I might have a slight preference for him. I agree that he was absolutely fascinating ! :)
    Great review, Celine ! <3

  6. "Dear world, meet my newest favourite YA novel of the year, The Gathering Dark."

    YES CELINE!!!! I absolutely adored this one as well, I just couldn't stop reading it once I started, I had to know everything there was to know about Alina and the Darkling. And oh, the Darkling, how I loved him. TEAM DARKLING! I enjoyed Mal, but I always gravitate toward the dark ones:) Fantastic review, so glad you loved this one as much as I did!

  7. I love love love the sound of this worldbuilding! I've heard a lot about this book, of course, and I even own a copy, but I can't seem to get around to it. It does sound wonderful, and I loved your review, Celine!

  8. YEP! Mal didn't quite do it for me in the beginning either but he grew on me. I find Darkling to be a fascinating character and I can see why people like him so much. I'm so glad you loved this one so much!

  9. CELINE! THE DARKLING! ASIFJDKDJVGNK! THIS BOOK! JKLSGNSJFK. (about as coherent as I can be at 8:30am :P) I was on Team Darkling for nearly the entire book, until things happened and GAH. MY EMOTIONS. I DON'T KNOW HOW TO FEEL ANYMORE. I've switched to Team Mal after he proved himself to be so effing wonderful, but I cannot. CANNOT. Forget the Darkling. He's just always there. His precense doesn't leave even when he's not on the page. Ugh, damn you Bardugo! *shakes fist*

    What I thought was particularly wonderful about this book was Bardugo's combination of darkness and light. A symbolism of good and evil which can work together towards a greater good, or towards greater evil. YES!

    Fantastic review, Celine! I am so excited to see what's going to happen in the sequel, given how things ended!!

  10. I've heard sooo many good things about this book and I am so excited to read it! But then I remember that there's a love triangle here - that's a love triangle over there, right? - one that I think is well done. And I hate that especially when both guys are lovable. Ah, first world problems. :(


    Oh goodness, I'm with Brodie! That bit you wrote about the symbolism between good and evil? *GASPS*


  12. Whoa!! excellent review sweetheart!! I also loved reading from ALina's perspective! She is definitely one of the best heroines I have come across this year. Truly an enchanting review my dear!! YOu do this book justice =D cant wait for the next one!! ^.^

  13. Yay! I'm so glad you liked it! I was a little confused when I started reading your review because I keep forgetting that The Gathering Dark and Shadow and Bone are the same thing, even though they have different titles and covers! Lol. But I REALLY liked this one too! Such a great read! If only there wasn't such a wait before book two...Lol

  14. I'm so glad you loved this, Celine! It was one of my favourites novels this year! I really liked Alina for her strength and intelligence, though I'll have to disagree with you about the men- Mal all the way! I connected with him much more than with the Darkling. :)

    I LOVE your review. ♥ The UK/AUS cover edition is much more visually appealing and it actually relates to the content inside the novel. On the contrary, the US cover is mediocre and I wouldn't pick it up if I saw it on the bookshelves!

  15. OH MY GOSH, CELINE, I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH TOO! (Yes, all of those caps are definitely warranted!) It's one of the few books on my list of Books I'd Marry If Legal for all of the reasons you pointed out in your review I'd marry if legal! :') Hahahaha and I just ADORED what you had to say about the boys! I have to admit that I love Mal like crazy because I'm a sucker for childhood friend romances and he was just so sweet, but your little bit about the Darkling? A MILLION TIMES YES!

    Absolutely amazing review, Celine! :) <3

  16. Wow, new favourite of 2012? Now I'm dying to read this! I've seen nothing but positive reviews for it, it sounds absolutely amazing. The world the author has created sounds brilliant and I love well-written characters! Great review, I seriously can't wait to read this one.

  17. Ohhh my god, Celine! This book sounds FABULOUS, especially since it's your new favourite! I LOVE the sound of it and have a feeling the quotes you included in your review will give me the shivers when I come across them in the book. Love love love your review! And the cover is indeed gorgeous <3 Can't wait to check this book out, Celinee!

  18. I loved this one...except it is A different U.S. title and cover. I like the UK cover better. The world building is great the the romance awesome and The Darkling is so dark and he just draws you in! I think this will end up on my list of favs for 2012 as well!

  19. Wow, Celine! You know I love all your reviews because they're extraordinarily BEAUTIFUL, but I this one is one of my favorites! <3 The UK/AUS title is different but somehow I like the difference! The cover is very pretty too. <3 The premise of this book sounds amazing too, and if you say you want to live in this world forever, then I have to discover what makes the world so magical. <3

    Fantastic review as always, Celine! I'm glad that you enjoyed this book so much! x)

  20. I really must read this Celine. I've seen so many wonderful reviews and this being your favorite of 2012 really sways me! I think you're the first one I seen to proclaim to be a Team Darkling. I think I'll probably be Team Mal but you never know. Excellent review. :)

  21. The setting sounds so intricately constructed-- I always appreciate it when the author takes time to build a detailed world for the characters in the book. The same goes for the characters themselves! Alina,the Darkling, and Mal and the romance that ensues between them seem amazing! Great review:)

  22. I have not heard too much about a gathering dark, but your review made me really want to read it. Thanks for introducing it to me and thanks for the great review :)


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