Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | Review

title: Shadow and Bone

author: Leigh Bardugo

series: Grisha #1

genre: YA, High Fantasy

page count:356

publication: June 5, 2012 

publisher:Henry Holt & Co (macmillan)

format: Hardcover


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.

Book Depository

This book has been on my TBR for awhile so I just finally decided to pick it up because I’m in a fantasy mood. I just finished reading Heir of Fire (it was awesome, that review is probably already up) so anyways since this is also fantasy I couldn’t help but compare Alina to Celaena, and I have to say Celaena is a lot more badass, granted she is an assassin, but Alina is a soldier so I expected her to be better, but once she actually tapped into her power, she was great. I absolutely loved Leigh’s writing, it flowed so nicely with the story, I finished it in practically one sitting, it was like watching a movie, before I knew it I was turning the last page. I’m so excited to read the next 2, I don’t own them but I’ll pick them up at the library.

I finished this book last night feeling highly confused and betrayed, I mean literally everyone I’ve seen talk about this book mentions how much they love The Darkling, and I did too, I mean even after the Baghra scene, I thought she was lying. I’m really confused, I mean maybe things will change, I don’t know. Nevertheless, he’s a very very interesting character. I do ship him and Alina, even now I still do. Mal, he’s cute, I like him too, but I feel like her and The Darkling have more chemistry.

This world is a bit complicated, with Throne of Glass I feel like I got into it more quickly, not the book, just the world, this one is a bit more complex and harder to get. See the Grisha have 3 different categories and then within those there are subcategories, so at the front of the book there’s a page listing them all so I found myself having to flip back a bunch of time, but then as the story progressed I understood a bit more the 3 main categories, but the sub-ones I’m still not 100% on, but by the next book I’ll probably be a pro. I flipped back to the map as well a couple of times, but that’s expected. At first I was really confused as to why they couldn’t just go around the shadow fold, but a closer to the map revealed that Ravka (the country) is surrounded by 2 enemy lands, so they couldn’t travel through either way.

I really enjoyed this book and this world and these characters, though I didn’t really feel much attachment to them just yet, I don’t think I’m going to list this as one of my favorites yet, but I think if the story keeps going as it is now, it’ll make it.

My favorite character was probably The Darkling, because he was the most interesting one to read about, I wish we’d gotten to read from his perspective, but the story is told in first person, so that’s not likely to happen unless there’s dual narration in the next books.

I’m excited to finish it and if I still love it by the end then I’ll definitely get Six of Crows her newest book once it’s out,because I do love this world and her writing.

Now I’m going to go into some spoilers, so you’ve been warned (:

Okay so Mal, from the moment I realized Alina was in love with him, I knew he also felt the same way, even though it turned out he didn’t know it. I like them together, that scene before the stag was adorable, and him deserting the army for her, all he did was pretty touching, they’re cute, but like that’s it. Her and The Darkling though, that’s like fire, the chemistry is so real.

That scene with the stag was so stupid, I mean it ended up working for her anyways, but she knew the stag was going to die anyways, so why not just do it, I mean yes that sounds cruel and I love how her showing it mercy meant she could still control the stag, but if that hadn’t worked then she would’ve been fucked.

I still loved The Darkling up until that point when he said he’s throw Mal into the Fold, and when he did…… it’s not that I loved Mal so much, but there’s a line and if Mal had died at his hands, there was no way I could’ve forgiven him, ever, because that’s cruel and there’s no going back from that. When he pushed the fold into the border, I honestly was still confused at that point, because I couldn’t understand how it all came to this, like who is this guy?….

When we found that he was actually the Black Heretic, I was like she’s lying, there’s no way, how could I have been played like this?…

I don’t know, I just don’t…

But when Alina actuallly realized that her power was hers and that he doesn’t control her, I was just like finally. That was a nice scene.

I’m so glad Mal survived though because if he hadn’t I wouldn’t of continued because there’d be no point, like there wouldn’t have been any salvation for him, but I’m glad he’s fine for now.

So yeah, have you read this series? What are your thoughts?





14 thoughts on “Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | Review

  1. Mari says:

    Hahaha. Oh god. Yeah. I fell in love with the Darkling, and I do not regret it. He’s such a well written character IMO. Even with that ending in Shadow and Bone. I do agree with the Celaena vs Alina comparison, though. I liked Alina okay once she got her powers, so hopefully she gets a better grip at things in the later books.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bbooksmartblog says:

    I read this book as an ARC yeaaaars ago but never continued on with the trilogy. I feel like I absolutely need to! I remember loving the first book! I will have to reread then continue on with the trilogy soon:) I’m so glad you loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bogdana The Bookend says:

    I recently read the entire Grisha Trilogy and I absolutely loved it. I was thinking the same thing about Alina and Mal; I didn’t think they had that much chemistry. I can’t wait to see what you think of the rest of the series. 🙂 Awesome review!


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