REVIEW: Shadow and Bone (Book 1) – Leigh Bardugo

shadow and boneShadow and Bone

Leigh Bardugo

Book 1

Paperback, 308 pages

Published June 6th 2013 by Indigo

ISBN: 978-1-78062-141-8

 4.8 stars

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?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.”

This is the start of the Grisha trilogy, of which, I knew absolutely nothing about. I knew it was set it Russia and that was about it. But it took me only about 20 pages to be truly, irreversibly hooked on this book. I honestly didn’t think I would like it as much as I did. It opens just before Alina is about to cross the Shadow Fold and we see the dangers that presents. As she and her team are crossing the Shadow Fold, they are viciously attacked by volcra. Alina faints, but when she awakes people are afraid of her; but more importantly she has drawn the attention of the Darkling. And he isn’t going away.

I think the pivotal reason why I loved this novel so dearly was the setting. I have never read something set in Russia before, and it completely blew me away. It was just so different from anything I have ever read before and kept me enticed throughout the whole book. The book gave off really great tones. For the first half it was very dark and felt almost like you were seeing things through a black and white lens. But as it progressed the colours got richer and richer and it was such a stark contrast from the beginning. I loved it! I also loved the mystery maintained in Shadow and Bone, and there was a lot of mystery. Namely the Darkling. I had a hard time figuring him out; I wanted to trust him, but at the same time I really didn’t feel that he was the trust-worthy type of person. And I completely connected to Alina’s inner battle about the Darkling.

Shadow and Bone was written from Alina’s point of view, in the first person except from the “Before” and “After” chapters which are placed before the story begins and after (basically, a prologue and an epilogue). These are written in the third person. And I feel that they add mystery at the beginning and hold the suspense at the end; effectively making the reader want to run to the bookstore to buy the next book. Something I will definitely be doing soon!

All in all, I loved the characters and can’t wait to find out more about them. Alina was realistic and I felt that I could connect to her. We didn’t really find out masses about her or any other characters, as this book is mainly a starting point for world building and setting the plot. I did feel however, that there were a lot of characters and sometimes it was a little hard to keep up with who was who. In the next book Siege and Storm I would like to see more character development, so that they become more distinguishable and unique. I also can’t wait to see how Alina overcomes the Darkling and the struggles she faces.

So, to wrap up, this is an amazing book! I would recommend it to any YA addict, especially fans of The Mortal Instruments. This will definitely pick you up after City of Heavenly Fire! And the good thing is all three books from the trilogy have been released, so you can marathon them without a horrid wait for the last book. The final book Ruin and Rising was released on June 17th 2014, so is still relatively new. I know I’ll be buying the last two books ASAP!

Please like and comment below if you have read this trilogy, you want to buy this book but need more persuading or if you agreed/disagreed with my review. I’d love to hear from you! Or you can contact me here.


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