Review: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)

shadow and bone goodreads cover

Cover/Synopsis from

By: Leigh Bardugo

Publication: June 5th, 2012

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis: 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?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance = Shadow and Bone. Perfect description!

Let me say something: I loved this book. It’s one of the best fantasy novels I’ve read, and I look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy (which I just bought at B&N! Yay!).

While reading this book, I found myself laughing out loud at our Alina (the MC)’s humor. Alina is witty, but she’s also one of the meanest heroines I’ve followed in a book. She’s not mean to people all the time, just whenever she feels jealous or threatened. She’s snippy, but hilarious.

Her romance with Mal was cute, and I found myself willing them to have a conversation as they were on the run, wanting to hear more from both of them, wanting them to fall in love. I’m a sucker for best friend romances.

Oh, and guess what? There’s a non-annoying love triangle! I actually liked Alina’s romance with the Darkling. It made him seem more human (during the beginning of the book, he’s quite different at the end), that even he, with all of his power, could still love someone and experience those feelings of love.

Leigh Bardugo’s  writing is superb. She is descriptive, lyrical, and her words sometimes gave me the shivers, they were that powerful. I could imagine scenes in my head as I read them. Visualizing the scene is wonderful, it lets the reader really “touch” the story in their own unique way, and let me tell you, Shadow and Bone does not disappoint in touching you. Bardugo’s settings were beautiful and I, as the reader, felt like I was given every last detail.

I was left guessing about future happenings in the rest of the trilogy, especially when one of Leigh’s characters is killed off almost right after we were introduced to him in the story. I’m guessing and foreshadowing things to come, really wanting to know if the dead character will show up later in another book, but in a different form. Good job, again, Leigh, I’m still guessing!

My Favorite Quotes:

“I’ll meet you in the meadow.”

“You and I are going to change the world. Just wait.”

“I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I’d catch myself walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I’d seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I’d realized that you weren’t there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I’ve risked my life for you. I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese everyday. So don’t tell me we don’t belong together.”

Summing It Up

I highly enjoyed Shadow and Bone and I really recommend anyone who’s a fan of fantasy to pick this one up. I hope the rest of the Grisha trilogy is just a good as this one!

My Rating: 5 stars.









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