Sunday, April 13, 2014

Review: Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Released: June 5, 2012
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 fulfill 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?

Taken from Goodreads

Start: 4/10/2014 | End: 4/13/2014 | Pages: 358 | Rating: 5 Stars   

My Thoughts:

I have read two amazing books in a week. I was blown away each time, and left in a crumpled heap of emotions. I am done. I have an essay due in two days that I have not started, and all I can think about is "What's going to happen to Mal and Alina?"

I've had Shadow and Bone on my list for a really long time now, however, I never fully looked into the blurb to actually see what it was about. All I knew was that 1) It was really good 2) It was about magic 3) It had something to do with the Grisha, which I had no idea what that was at the time. I also bought it on Amazon without knowing if I would like it or not, which is something I usually don't do. But do I regret it? Was it a mistake? 


Shadow and Bone exceeded all of my expectations. I'm starting to regret reading Cinder and this book back to back, because both of them are breath-taking and amazing, but also completely different in plot and concept. My brain is fried.

Right from the start (excluding prologue), we are introduced to our heroine, Alina, and her childhood best friend PLUS secret crush, Mal (I've already forgotten the last names, ha). Those two have grown up together in an orphanage, and are now helping out the army. Alina is working as a mapmaker, while Mal is the best tracker in Ravka. Although Alina is constantly seeking Mal's attention, he doesn't seem to pick up on the fact that she likes him. Until they cross the Fold.

The Fold, created by the darkest, most powerful Grisha ages ago, is a dark strip of wasteland dividing the east from the west in Ravka. Guarded by monstrous creatures living in this darkness, called volcra, one must only cross with Grisha on board to fight them off. Alina and Mal aren't so lucky. They are attacked, and in order to save Mal, Alina accidentally unleashes a powerful light, eliminating all volcra from sight. We discover that Alina is a one of a kind Grisha, and is able to destroy the volcra once and for all, if she can summon her power again.   

First off, there are a lot of terms and city names to deal with. The book even comes with a map you can refer to (which I did, a lot). The good thing, surprisingly, was that I rarely got confused. Bardugo has written it so that the reader is able to follow along with the MC. When Alina was introduced to a new topic on the Grisha world, so was the reader. There was no info dump in the beginning of the book. 

And the characters. I just, I don't know what to say. I loved Alina, but since the book mostly focused on her, I didn't get much on Mal. I do know the next book will focus on him more, so I'll probably form an opinion on him later.

And then there was also the Darkling. I don't want to spoil, but here's a gif to show you how I feel about him:

Bardugo does a terrific job showing us the world Alina finds herself in. The world-building is phenomenal, I absolutely loved the concept of being a specific type of Grisha, like a Fabrikator or a Healer. It kind of reminds of the houses in Harry Potter, because every Grisha is assigned a role, based on their powers, and then they receive a kefta in a specific color. 

And I had no idea that this book was based off of Russia, kind of. I mean like the names and the terms of everything, and the buildings and landscapes too. If you look at the cover, it looks very Russian-like. I don't know why I didn't notice it sooner.

To sum it up, it was amazing. I want to read it again (I also want to read Cinder again), and I also want to get my hands on the next book (which isn't even in paperback yet...) Siege and Storm. I really don't usually do this, and this is the second book I've said this, but everyone should go read it! Okay but actually, I do recommend this to anyone who is ready to enter a new world full of magic, deception, and romance. 


  1. Yes Yes Yes! I Loved this book so much too. I still haven't read Seige and Storm yet because my library still hasn't got it in stock yet GRRR.

    1. Haha I'm also debating whether or not I should borrow or buy it. I really want it for my collection! Maybe you could request it? It's been long enough haha.

  2. Yeessss! I LOVE THIS REVIEW SO MUCH. I kind of had no idea what to think about Darkling...except he is an amazingly written character! I LOVE it when characters kind of walk in a grey area...they seem so much deeper then. And omg, I really want to read book #2 as well. NEED more time.
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    1. Thanks Cait! And you're right I have no idea what to think of him, ugh. I reallllly can't wait until I read book 2!

  3. I loved this book too! I really need to get to the sequel soon :)

  4. Yay! This is such an amazing book and I'm so glad you loved it! I'm behind in the series, but everyone says that it just gets better. Your descriptions of the Fold, world-building, and characters makes me want to pick it up again. LOL, I love your giff about Darkling too! :) Wonderful review, Val.

    1. Thank you! I'm really excited to read the second book, the first one is just as good as everyone says it is.

  5. Oh man - that damn Darkling! That GIF is perfect for my feelings toward him too! I loved the 2nd book too - cannot wait for final! SO super glad you loved it!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. I can't wait until I read the second book, I'm hoping it's in the library over the summer!

  6. Oooh! I am going to buy this next week in order to participate in the read along and this review escalates my interest! So glad you like this one!

  7. I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK! My library doesn't have it and god knows when it will get it because it still doesn't have Shatter ME, but I need this book in my life.

    1. You should go request it from your library now! Or buy it from amazon, which is what I did. OR FIND A NEW LIBRARY


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