Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Pages: 353 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Published on: June 5th 2012
Source: Bought from Fully Booked
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

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.

(Summary from Goodreads)


Shadow and Bone is a treat for any Fantasy fan out there. The world Leigh Bardugo crafts in it is completely astonishing and will take over every crevice of your mind. Vivid and expertly built, anyone would want to get lost in the beautiful Ravka. I for one would like to give up humanity and become a volcra, but that's just me.

The vividness of Shadow and Bone made the very fantastical experience all the more realistic. The descriptions that Leigh Bardugo put in the book with explicit detail really added to the beauty of it. And the map that's included in the book is so beautiful.

We have Alina Starkov, a simple girl in love with her best friend, traveling through the Fold to get across Ravka. And then BAM! her world is suddenly turned upside down where she is no longer that simple girl anymore. Alina possess a great power that can either save Ravka... or destroy it. The lines are no longer clear for Alina and when she meets the Darkling, it gets even more blurred.

When I was reading the first few parts of Shadow and Bone, the first impression I had of Alina was weak. Especially when I saw how much she cared for Mal but was forced to tolerate him flirting with other girls. I really felt sorry for her. But what I really admired about Alina was that she tried. There was a clear effort in her struggle to be a stronger person, this was during the time when she lived with the Grisha. I've always appreciated that sort of transition.

I absolutely fell in love with the Grisha. I cannot even comprehend how astounding the concept of the Grisha are. The Grisha are basically these people who are "gifted" with different kinds of powers. There's the Corporalki, the Order of the Living and the Dead (the Heartrenders and the Healers,) who are just below the Darkling in the Grisha Order, then the Etheralki, the Order of Summoners (Squallers, Inferni and Tidemakers,) and lastly the Materialki, the Order of Fabrikators (Alkemi.) There's a structured caste system within the Grisha but that doesn't mean that not everyone is important because they're all important and they all have a role to play in their society. Oh, and they also wear this really cool cloak called "kefta" which just sounds so cool, I need to steal one of these from the Grisha. They sound so comfy.

Now, I'm pretty sure everyone is curious about the dark and dangerously sexy Darkling. Well I can't really tell you much about him except that he's dangerous and sexy and if you put those two words together, you get: dangerously sexy. Because he is. Dangerously sexy. And he's also one BAMF, enough said. As much as I know that I should dislike him, I can't because deep, deep inside of me, I know that he's a good guy. Note: deep, deep inside of me. I think he's just misunderstood and that just because he commands the dark that people immediately assume that he's evil. Pssssh.

I loved Shadow and Bone and I will never stop loving it. It's literally one of the most unique and enthralling books I have ever read. The idea is completely fresh and absolutely tantalizing because it's  served in a platinum platter still hot and delicious. You will seriously love every single moment of this book and you will just eat it right up!

Leigh Bardugo creates a novel that bursts through the darkness and outshines other novels of this genre. This fresh and new contribution added to the Fantasy genre is welcomed with nothing but open arms and warm smiles. Trust me, you need this book and you'll need the sequel as well. I have nothing but high praise for this book and you will too.



  1. The review is really good. No spoilers and your review made me guilty bec i was going to read it but had other books piling... Now i think others can wait, OH LOVE HERE I COME! *grins at the book!*

  2. I have been waiting for a chance to read this book. It just sounds like my kind of book. I love fantasy novels. I'll surely look for this one whenever I drop by at our local bookstore. I really can't wait to know more about this Darkling. ;) Great review, Louisse.