Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and BoneSource:  Library
Publisher: Macmillian
Series: The Grisha #1
Edition: Hardcover, 356 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

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 unraveling 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 fulfill 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

I FINALLY got around to reading this after seeing so many people talk about it and move on to the second book. I’m slow when it comes to that, as most of you have probably figured out, but I’m really happy I finally decided to grab this one. I can finally say I know what Grisha are and who The Darkling is!

The world in which Alina lives is tense and full of danger. Ravka is split in two by the horrible Shadow Fold, which is a shroud of darkness that many people do not ever leave. It’s filled with these horrific creatures called Volcra and I actually managed to have a nightmare about them. We got a taste of how and what the Shadow Fold is and I’m so ready to see what role it plays in the Siege & Storm. Ravka is also surrounded by those who would invade or declare war. The barrier between these threats lie with the Grisha, people with amazin magical ability. They are varied and powerful, and they have their own social standings and army. I really loved the fresh take on a fantasy magic system and I loved the different ‘jobs’ that everyone holds within the Grisha.  We also have The Darkling, who is the dangerous yet charismatic leader of the Grisha. I have already added him to my harem of book boyfriends. He has his issues and he’s clearly not someone to trifle with, but I’m pretty sure I’m love with him.

Alina is a smart and witty with a bit of a stubborn streak. I loved watching her grow from someone who feels invisible and inferior to someone who becomes comfortable in her own skin and more confident in her abilities. The one problem I had with her was her self-depreciation around the other Grisha, who are beauty obsessed. It fades a bit by the end of the book but I really wanted her to buck up and stop caring. Mal is Alina’s really loyal and really sweet best friend. He goes through a lot for her and he doesn’t really expect much in return, and while he took a while to warm up to I really liked him in the end. I would love to see some more depth from him in the next book though. There are quite a few characters that fall into a weird grey area of mortality, which I find to be fantastic! No one wants characters who are constantly good or bad, give me an in between and make me guess!

I’m so glad I listened to everyone who recommended this one to me because it turned out be right up my alley!

4 stars

This entry was posted in Book Reviews (2013) and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

  1. Haha I’d totally be in the grey zone of morality. …. OH THIS is the book that the Famous Darkling is in?! * facepalm * he is talked about EVERYWHERE. So glad you enjoyed this one! I do own it because a friend gifted it to me.. but it’s kinda just been sitting in the dark abyss that is my nook haha. I should fix that ya? Great review!

  2. So glad you liked this! You’re not alone on team Darkling 😀 I thought the magic system was awesome, too.

  3. Glad you liked it! This was one of my first fantasy reads and I LOVED it! I agree though, I hope Mal has more growth in book two. At least you don’t have to wait for book 2 to come out haha.

  4. I tried to get my daughter to read this, but she reached for The Hobbit instead, and I didn’t disagree. Glad you liked it!

  5. jeneaw0716 says:

    Loved the Darkling too. Can’t wait to pick up the next book. Great review, glad that you liked it.

  6. I definitely have to read this soon~

  7. I can’t wait to read this, I have heard endless good things about it! I think once I read it I’d understand what the Grisha and Darkling are too 🙂

  8. Charlotte says:

    I’ve been planning to buy Grisha 1 and 2 due to the excellent reviews I’ve been reading about it. But since I don’t know Leigh Bardugo, what I’m doing right now is search for good reviews about her books. I need to be convinced. 😀

    Thoughts and Pens

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