Monday, 13 May 2013

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release date: June 5th 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Source: Bought

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 fulfill 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?

After months of being bugged to read Shadow and Bone, I finally did it this weekend, even though I'm swamped with schoolwork. And I don't regret it one bit! This book is so freaking amazing, guys. I know most of you must have read it already but if you haven't, go for it! I finished this book in a day, since I literally couldn't put it down.

Firstly I want to say that Leigh Bardugo's writing? So. Incredibly. Beautiful. There aren't a lot of YA books with such amazing writing and vivid descriptions, and Shadow and Bone was a very nice change from the norm. I could almost see all the scenes happening in front of me, and I fell in love with the characters immediately. They just felt so real to me, even the Darkling! Although I didn't like him much. I also really loved the Russian feel to this book. The character and town names were mostly Russian, and there was even some Russian spoken in the book. I spent two years of high school learning about Russian history, so I found it really cool to revisit some of that stuff.

Alina Starkov is a mapmaker in the First Army, alongside her best friend Mal, who is a tracker. The First Army is on its way to entering the Shadow Fold, an area shrouded with mystery and danger. Not many come back from the Shadow Fold. Alina is terrified, but she knows her duty. However, when something unexpected happens out there in the Shadow Fold, she is taken to none other than the Darkling, the most powerful Grisha in existence. She finds out that she's not who she always thought she was, and her life changes forever.

I loved Alina's character. She's just so easy to like! She's very realistic, as well as kind-hearted and strong-willed. Alina develops so much in this book. She goes from a weak, frail girl to a strong and powerful Grisha. She has so much potential, and I can't wait to see if she reaches it in the sequel, Siege and Storm. Alina becomes really kick-ass in this novel, and I was cheering for her every step of the way.

Mal has got to be one of my favourite YA guys ever. I seriously loved him from the beginning, and even though he was pretty distant in the middle, I warmed to him again in the end. I wish we could have seen more of Mal in Shadow and Bone, he's such an amazing character. He's funny, sarcastic, caring, and incredibly talented. I loved Mal and Alina's relationship. They went from being best friends to two people who care deeply for one another, and it was just so sweet to see!

I'm quite torn about the Darkling, though. I thought he'd turn out to be someone like Warner from Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me, but he wasn't. I kind of liked him initially, but that soon went away. The Darkling is pure evil, and I just can't bring myself to empathize with him. Which surprises me, because I usually like the bad ones! But yeah, if the Darkling doesn't change in Siege and Storm, there will definitely be no love triangle in my eyes.

I can't stop thinking about this book, even days after I finished it! And I now want to re-read it. That's how captivating this book is. There's so much action, so much suspense... It keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. And I loved every second of it. I finally know why everyone keeps going on and on about this book, and I'm so glad that I don't have long to wait for Siege and Storm! To all of you who read this book when it came out - I don't know how you manage it, waiting for months until you can read more of Alina and Mal. I know I wouldn't be able to! I loved, loved, loved this book and the incredible world-building in it, and I'm already impatient for the sequel.

Rating: 5/5


  1. So glad you enjoyed this book - I loved it too! And although I did read it months after it came out, the wait for Siege and Storm is still excruciating! :) Great review! I'll look forward to your review of the second book in the future!

  2. Oh, I loved this one SO MUCH! Easily one of my faves of 2012. And I heard S&S is even better! Yes, I loved Alina and Mal is so sweet and sincere. I gotta say though, I still kinda like the Darkling and am hoping for some interesting things on his part. Great review!

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

  3. Thanks, Vi! I honestly cannot wait for S&S :D Haha, the Darkling is definitely an interesting character :P


Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! I love reading your comments :) Make sure to link your blog (if you have one) so I can visit you back!