2015 · 5 Stars · Book Reviews · Fantasy · Young Adult

Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo

Book Cover - Shadow and Bone5 stars


Shadow and Bone (Amazon)


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.


Wow… this was an amazing book. I couldn’t put it down. No, really… I sat on my couch for about 3 hours and read this book in one sitting.

Lets start with the amazing world building that Leigh Bardugo did. Ravka is a country scarred by war and the Shadow Fold. Everything was just so detailed that I felt like I was standing right there on the sand skiff along with Alina as she took on the monsters in the Fold. The carefully detail is consistent throughout the book, but the author doesn’t go crazy in detail, (spending pages going into detail how a Grisha’s robes look) which was nice.

On the topic of the Grisha, I was a little worried that I was going to get confused with all the ranks and powers. But, everything was explained very clearly, so thank goodness for that! There is a hierarchy for the Grisha, and at the top is the Darkling. The Darkling was definitely one of my favorite characters throughout the novel. He had so much character, and plus I love a well written bad boy (not really a boy when he is centuries old… but ya).

The Darkling wasn’t the only well written character. I found almost all of them well-developed. I loved how Alina had flaws that didn’t cripple her as an enjoyable character, but they added onto to make her seem more real.

My favorite quote from this book:

“There’s nothing wrong with being a mapmaker.”

“Of course not. And there’s nothing wrong with being a lizard either. Unless you were born to be a hawk.”

Overall, I really liked this book and it is one that I would recommend to my friends. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo

  1. Ooo I like the idea of the poll at the end of the review, I love knowing what people thought of the book.
    I enjoyed this one, but I thought it lost steam a bit towards the end – mainly because I was more invested in the Darkling than any of the protagonists. I hope I have better luck with the sequel. Glad to see that you enjoyed it, though!


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