Saturday, June 21, 2014

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha Trilogy, Book #1
Publisher: Henry Holt
Publication Date: June 5th, 2012
Source: Bought

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.


I’m always pretty wary going into books that are super hyped, but this one definitely lived up to all the buzz! It ended up being one of the marvelous books where you start to root for the villain, which shows how good the author is at creating multi-dimensional characters, plus I absolutely loved the side characters. I’m so excited to read the sequel and see how it ends!

The Plot:

This book took place in an alternate Russia high-fantasy setting, which was really unique. I also was intrigued by the aspect of the Grisha, the people with powers, living in luxury while the rest of the country was poor, and Alina’s thoughts on this as someone who lived up as a normal, not-Grisha citizen. The plot was really fast-paced and really kept you on your toes and I was never bored while reading it. And if you need another reason to read it-The Darkling.

The Characters:

Most of the characters where really well developed and thought out, which is always nice. Alina, the main character did become slightly irritating at sometimes, but overall she was a lot better than some protagonists. I loved the Darkling so much, and I really loved Genya. Even though she was just a side character I wanted to know more about her and I loved how she carried herself, despite what everyone thought of her. The one character I don’t understand is Mal. I don’t know what it is but he seems like a really flat, filler character to me, and you don’t know that much about him other than the fact that he grew up with Alina and she has a giant crush on him. Hopefully we get more about his backstory in Siege and Storm. 

The Writing:

I really enjoyed the writing in this book. It wasn’t anything completely poetic, but it was still really nice and enjoyable and there were some quotes I really loved. I also really enjoyed how, despite the high fantasy setting, Alina’s inner-dialogue sounded modern and she could be pretty sassy at times.

The Romance:

There was a bit of a love triangle in this, and if you know me, you know I’m not very fond of love triangles. Despite this I wasn't that put off by the fact there was a love triangle. Part of it is probably because the book isn’t over flowing with romance like most YA but also because Alina didn’t have any annoying inner dialogue about how she couldn’t choose who to be with. But I’m definitely Team Darkling!


This book was amazing! I would definitely recommend it and I’m super excited to pick up Siege and Storm and then Ruin and Rising, since right after reading this I pre-ordered it (even though it was the day before it came out). If you’ve read Shadow and Bone make sure to comment your thoughts on it in the comments and if you link your review I’ll be sure to read it! If you haven’t read it, are you planning to? 

5/5 Stars 


  1. Thanks for the awesome review. I've owned the first two books in this series for ages but never got to them - something I definitely need to change. Your review has convinced me that I need to hurry up and get this asap! :)

    1. I'm so glad I could be helpful! I would definitely recommend picking them up, especially because Ruin and Rising is now out!