Book Review | Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 8:16 PM

Series: The Grisha #1

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Publication Date: June 5, 2012

Pages: 356

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?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.
I really didn’t know what to expect going into Shadow and Bone, I had been putting it off for a while because I wasn’t sure that it would be a book I would enjoy due to all of the Russian culture.  And honestly, it did take me a few chapters to get used to the terms and the names, but once I did, the zombie apocalypse couldn’t have made me put this book down.  The world that Leigh Bardugo has created is absolutely breathtaking and I was completely absorbed.

 I loved seeing the main character, Alina, grow immensely during this book.  At the beginning she’s very insecure and she continuously doubts herself but by the end she’s stronger, more determined and she has a lot more confidence in herself and her gift. I have to admit that I really didn’t care for Mal during the first part of the book and it isn’t until he proves how much he cares about Alina that I start warming up to him.  The Darkling…ahhhh, I am SOOO confused about my feelings for the Darkling.  I was very intrigued by him at first, then I slowly started finding him irresistible and then I started to hate him, but yet I still find myself hoping that we are missing something when it comes to him and that he’s not all terrible.  See what I mean, The Darkling has me perplexed!

 The world-building is so stunning; I had no trouble visualizing the Little Palace or the Shadow Fold with its horrendous creatures.  Bardugo’s writing style is incredible and she will have you fully captivated with the dark and suspenseful world that is Shadow and Bone.

 Overall, Shadow and Bone is a wonderful addition to the fantasy genre.  It has everything that is needed to make a great book: strong heroine, adventure, a mysterious villain that you love to hate and a fast-paced plot.  If you are like me and have been putting this book off, do yourself a favor and pick it up.

Favorite Quotes

“I’ve been waiting for you a long time, Alina,” he said.  “You and I are going to change the world.”

If I
told you that I'm trying to save the world, would you believe me?”



  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I just read it last month and like you, was sad I hadn't read it sooner! I didn't think about it, but the Russian references slowed me down a little bit at first as well, just because I didn't know what they meant. Still, once you get used to it you're good to go and it's soooo worth it for the Darkling! Are you going to read Siege and Storm?

    1. Yes, I already have Siege & Storm just waiting to be read :D

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I'm glad to see that you really liked this one! I've had it on my shelf forever yet I haven't read it. I'm hoping to read it really soon because I didn't get to it during the Beat the Heat Readathon. I'm really excited to read about the Darkling. It's really cool that he's actually a villain that you love to hate! Thanks for the review. :)


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