Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1)
By Leigh Bardugo
Published: June 5th, 2012
Publisher:  Henry Holt and Co.

Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’re sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.

When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.

Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her . . . and only she can save the future. --

This book is pretty much the perfect epitome of what a lot of YA books should be like. It brings together known elements that are reworked, and though it may not be the most creative or innovative book, it doesn't need to be because the writing is just that good. The premises are not very original, but Leigh Bardugo makes it into something fresh and new.

I absolutely love the world that is created. I picture a map of Ravka, and I see that terrible slash of darkness that is the Shadow Fold (Unsea). There is also the backgrounds, from the royal palace to the deepest part of the wilderness. The social and political setting is also set, how the Grisha are feared, how the king is laughed at behind his back, and how the nation is like in a time of desperation and war. Everything is so detailed and lush, it is really brought to life. 

Alina is someone who I can definitely relate to. She is intelligent and strong, and grows throughout the book. That is one of my favorite parts, Alina's growth as a person. Letting go of the past is hard, but Alina is able to do it and move on, finally able to come into her true powers. She is the poster girl for girl power, powerful, yet humble, ingenious and reliable.

The love interests, Mal and the Darkling. The Darkling is dangerous and mysterious, someone intriguing and totally swoon worthy (at least at first . . .). Mal is the nice best friend who Alina falls in love with, but he isn't some flat boring character, he is really human. He makes mistakes and can be mean and hurtful, but underneath all that is someone who really cares about Alina. It seems like Mal is everything that is comforting and familiar, while the Darkling is new and exciting. 

This book is a must read. You will get swept up in the story and fall in love with it. The pacing is just right (not too fast, but not too slow), and the climax is timed perfectly. The romance, action, and fantasy is also blended impeccably, and I could not put this book down. Major thumbs up for this book.

Purchase this book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository


  1. I've heard a lot about this one and most of it is positive.Adding this to my TBR. Thanks for the review :)

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

    1. Welcome! I'm glad that my review helped you to decide to read it. Enjoy!

  2. Loved your review. It pointed out all the things I loved about Shadow and Bone. Honestly, this is one of my favorite books of the year and everytime I read a review for it I just want to reread it :)

    1. Thanks, and same here! I absolutely loved it and have reread some of my favorite parts a couple of times :)

  3. I agree! I LOVED this book!

    I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Check out my post here: http://theapbookclub.blogspot.com/2012/08/versatile-blogger-nomination.html

    1. I'm honored for the nomination, thanks so much! I'm also happy that you loved this book as much as I did.


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