Book Review

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Pages: 358
Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Macmillian Publishing
Release Date: 5th June 2012

Buy the Book (affiliate link): Amazon UK

Who’s watched the Shadow and Bone Netflix series yet? I watched a couple last night but then I just had to go to bed but I will be watching more later. I only read the book a few days ago and I didn’t realise it includes Six of Crows as well. Looks like I have to buy and read that series now!

Goodreads Synopsis

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.

What I Loved

And there’s nothing wrong with being a lizard either. Unless you were born to be a hawk.

I had never heard of this series until I found out about the Netflix adaptation coming out. Everyone seems to be reading it at the moment, and I was so surprised to see it was first published in 2012. I didn’t know what to expect going into this, so I was so pleasantly surprised to see that it was a lot darker and intense than I thought it would be. I fell in love with the characters and the magical world of the Grishas. There’s a lot of unexpected twists and it’s very fun to read and easy to get absorbed into the world.

The Story

I hate hiding how much the stupid things he did hurt me, but I hated the idea of him finding out even more

We follow Alina in Ravka, a world of magical Grishas and mayhem in the fold as she discovers more about her magic. She desperately tries to deny it at first and I think this did drag on a bit but I can be a bit eager sometimes. Even so, I still really enjoyed it and found it extremely interesting to the point where I could have read it in ine sitting. If only we didn’t need sleep!

There are a lot of mysteries and myths involved in the story which I also love and didn’t expect. Especially all the secrets about the Grisha and The Darkling. I love when a book can make me love a character and then instantly make me dislike them because their true nature has come out! The story is fast-paced and I loved the description of Ravka, even the frightening shadow fold. It does not sound like a place I would want to pass through at all.

The Characters

I’m sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now.

I really enjoyed Alina’s character, she wasn’t scared to open her mouth and push herself. She is also described as being physically weak and ugly quite a bit, which I did think was a bit much sometimes. However, once she learns to accept her true self and become stronger, It was apparent why they played on her being weak so much and I really liked the concept. I instantly started to like her character more as she becomes this strong female who could go off and save the world.

As Alina and Mal were orphans together, they grew up inseparable and started to rely on each other a lot. I love how Alina’s thoughts and actions are impacted a lot by Mal due to this. You can tell how much she cares about him and is her comfort but he also holds her back. I did like Mal’s character and I was fascinated by his tracker skills, even though it was a bit annoying that he doesn’t realise straight away he needs Alina just as much as she needs him.

I have to mention Genya. She is my absolute favorite! I can just imagine how beautiful she is and I’m very fascinated with her magic. I love how she knows she’s beautiful and doesn’t let anyone tell her any differently. She has taken the time to modify her looks which would be very beneficial for my dark circle and pale skin but her life still isn’t easy. She does get looked down upon and pushed aside which is really heartbreaking because she is such a lovely person. Alina and Genya are seen as the two people who don’t really fit in, so It was really nice to see them become friends.

Overall Thoughts

The problem with wanting is that it makes us weak.

Overall, Shadow and Bone is a unique and dark fantasy. It’s full of enchanting magic and distinct characters that you are sure to love. It’s very fast-paced and easy to get lost in the world of Ravka. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasies with intricate worlds and an intriguing plot!

Rating: 4/5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Now I’m off to watch some more Shadow and Bone. If you’ve read/watched it I would love to know what you thought!

Manchester blogger with a passion for reading, writing and travelling. I always have a book or a cup of tea in my hand.

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