Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Book: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #1
Pages: 358
Publisher: Henry Holt and CO.
Date Published: June 5th, 2012
Source: Owned
Date Started: February 13th, 2015
Date Finished: February 15th, 2015
Other Books Reviewed: Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising

If you’ve been following my reviews, then you know that I’m kinda fairly new to the fantasy genre. Once I started reading fantasy, I quickly added Shadow and Bone to my TBR pile. People have been singing praises of this book up and down ever since I started reviewing books, but maybe the hype got to me a little bit. But only just a little bit.

“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.”


When I first started reading this book, I struggled with it a little bit. There is so much vocab thrown your way, it becomes hard to navigate the story. You have Russian vocab thrown your way on top of Bardugo’s own vocab for her fantasy world building. I ended up getting lost and unable to picture some of the world building because I was unsure of the words. I ended up having to google a lot of the words (which was easy to do on my iPad.) After I had a handle on the vocab, I was able to navigate the story with ease. The story read so fast and kept you on your toes the entire time.

It was about halfway through that I started questioning the story. There had been no villain revealed and I didn’t know where the story was going. If you start to feel like this when you read the book, I urge you to keep going. There is a huge plot twist that changes the whole story and really gets it going. It basically sets up the entire series once you get to this plot twist.

I loved this book because it was unique with its Russian themes. I had yet to read a book that had Russian themes before Shadow and Bone. It was nice to enter a new world and imagine the luxuries of the Grisha world.

I don’t want to talk about the romance aspect too much because I don’t want to reveal anything.
I was unsure about Mal, her best friend, because I just felt like I didn’t know him enough and he always overlooked Alina. That right there made me not like him, but he grew on me towards the end when he started redeeming himself. And then theres the Darkling. And just… blegh. You’ll understand enough when you read the book.

Shadow and Bone is a book that quickly added itself to my favorite Fantasy books. I recommend it if you like action packed books with great world building.

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