Monday, January 4, 2016

Review: Shadow and Bone

Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date:June 5th, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co (BYR)
Pages: 368 pages
Rating: 5 Cows

Goodreads Description: 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.

            How I managed to remain ignorant of this series for quite some time still remains to be seen, but I am pleased to say I have officially hopped on the bandwagon that is the Grisha series fandom, and I couldn’t be happier.  The first book in the series, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, was not my first introduction to the Grisha world.  Unlike the vast majority of my bookish friends who finished the Grisha series and were eagerly awaiting the release of Six of Crows, I received a signed copy of Six of Crows as a gift, which was how I ended up reading it prior to this series.
            LOVES: The world building and the characters.  Although I recognized the Russian influence in Shadow and Bone as I was reading it, it wasn’t until I read the interview with Leigh Bardugo that I realized to what extent she based the world the Grisha series is set in on Russian culture (tsarist Russia of the 1800s specifically).  From the descriptions of food, to the clothing and jargon in the book, I loved every Russian cultural influence that showed up in Shadow and Bone and it was unlike anything I’ve picked up before in the YA genre. One of my favorite characters was obviously Alina, which should be expected considering the depiction of her in the first book. Alina is another great example of a strong female character in YA  (with lots of cute suitors banging on her door I might add), but I love that she doesn’t start off this way.  At the beginning of the first book she’s awkward and unsure of herself.  In fact, when she learns of her powers she can’t believe it.  Grisha are beautiful and powerful in their world and she can’t imagine herself as one of them.  As the story goes on though she slowly gains some self-confidence and becomes more sure of herself and her powers.  I loved watching her grow, especially throughout the whole series. 
             Another big shocker: I fell in love with the Darkling.  As someone who was rooting for Death in The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole, I was not surprised to find myself so obsessed with the Darkling in Shadow and Bone.  Both characters are extremely similar and play a part in a love triangle in their stories.  From the second Alina first meets this powerful Grisha, my Mal and Alina ship went out the door.  For Vampire Diaries fans, if you love Klaus or Damon, I guarantee you will find the Darkling to your liking! 
            After finishing Shadow and Bone (in 2 sittings mind you), I was THRILLED to learn that this book has already been optioned for a movie deal, which is SO EXCITING! I am nervous to see the cast for it, but I think this series will be incredible to see on the big screen.  Anyone already casting their votes for who they want to play for the Darkling? I wouldn’t mind seeing Ian Somerhalder play him! *crosses fingers 



  1. I *cannot believe* I still haven't read this book/series! All three books have been on my shelves for quite a while. And I hear so many great things about it. And it's great to see that you loved it! I had no idea it had been optioned for a movie... pretty exciting! I have something of a fascination with Russian history/culture so you'd think I'd be all over this. Your review definitely makes me want to get right on it!

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    1. That's how I felt after I finished reading it! I was like "how did i ever let this series go unread for so long?" especially since there was so much hype surrounding it! I hope you get to it soon Tanya because it really is as fantastic as everyone says it is! thanks for checking out my review!


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