Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Written By: Kellie - Apr• 15•13

shadow and boneSeries: The Grisha, #1
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publish Date: June 5th, 2012
Source: Purchased

Rating: 5/5 – A fantasy setting as epic as it is awesome.

Synopsis: 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 unravelling 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 fulfil 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? -Goodreads

Thoughts: What a cool story!!! I can’t believe I put off reading this one for so long, especially since I had nothing holding me back. The setting, the politics and the system of magic were all unlike anything I’d read before, which isn’t something I can say very often (not that there’s anything wrong with the old standbys).

Alina lives in Ravka, a world with a dark history and some interesting (if not fully explained) systems of magic. Bardugo started with the essential ‘some among us are chosen’ form of magic and then twisted into something wonderfully new and compelling. I enjoyed pretty much every page. Shadow and Bone has everything you look for in a fantasy book, while also adding in a lot of the elements that make for a great young adult story. The good guys are complex, the bad guys are cunning, and Alina is still trying to figure out how she fits in.

I gave this book a five out of five because it was fantastically entertaining, and I couldn’t put it down. But it wasn’t flawless. I didn’t feel incredibly attached to any one character, but they were still strong enough to carry the plot. I’d like to see both Alina and Mal developed further in the next book by showing some of their wants and needs beyond each other and the fate of their nation. Having everything in the first book be so big and high stakes, it was occasionally (and I do mean occasionally) difficult to see them as people rather than pawns in the larger scheme.

Shadow and Bone seems to have fanned the flames on my fantasy obsession. I took a long, long detour into the world of urban fantasy and the paranormal, but with books like this out there it’s obvious that I should be spending more time in worlds other than my own. Leigh Bardugo did a fantastic job of creating a rich and engaging world that is easy to lose yourself in. I can’t wait to read more.

Buy Shadow and Bone @The Book Depository

Second Opinions:
@Candace’s Book Blog
@Blue Sky Bookshelf


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One Comment

  1. […] from The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo I only recently fell in love with this series (check out yesterday’s review), but the world Leigh Bardugo created is just so cool! A great setting and unique magic system […]

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