BOOK REVIEW: Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Posted January 9, 2019 by wildandw in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW:  Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone #1) by Leigh BardugoShadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone, #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Shadow and Bone #1
Published by Square Fish on June 5, 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchase

Alternative cover edition of ISBN13: 9781250027436.

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 am ridiculously late to the Grisha train!  This is a series that I purchased as a set years ago then proceeded to let sit on my bookshelves — unread — for too long.  I’m kind-of thankful that King of Scars is releasing soon, as the hype for that finally pushed me into reading Shadow and Bone.

I’m going to preface this by saying I am not a stranger to Bardugo’s writing — I adored Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom.  With that being said, Shadow and Bone fell a little short for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it enough and I plan to continue the series, but it didn’t WOW me.

The elements of this book that stood out to me were the world building and the development of the male leads, Mal and The Darkling.

The Grisha Verse is amazing with Russian influences intricately woven throughout.  The magic system and political intrigue are simply fascinating!

I really enjoyed seeing the relationships between Alina and Mal and Alina and The Darkling unfold.  I grew quite fond of both Mal and The Darkling, definitely for different reasons, but I thought Alina was a bit annoying.

The plot as a whole was kind of bland and predictable.  Like I mentioned, though, I enjoyed it enough to continue, but I’m hoping for more from book 2.


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