Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

From Goodreads: 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.

My Rating: 4.5 hearts

Thoughts on the Novel: After reading all the positive reviews for Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, I was a little hesitant to start it because I didn’t want to risk being disappointed by it. I can safely say after reading Shadow and Bone though that it was totally worth the hype (even if the plot was a tiny bit predictable)!

Bardugo’s writing sucked me in right from the start and kept me hooked until the end. I loved the way she was able to create such a detailed world that was unveiled slowly, allowing me time to understand all the terms used. I may not want to live in the fictional world of Ravka with its volcras and terrifying Shadow Fold that expands over time, but I was definitely enchanted with it.

I also thought the character of Alina was very well-developed. She really did seem like an ordinary girl who realized she happened to be extraordinary which is why I could relate to her insecurities and feeling out of place at the Little Palace. It was even nicer that rather than becoming a pro right away after some Grisha training, it took Alina time to master her gift.

As well, I liked that Alina stayed true to her heart. Too often, I read books where the main character is torn between two guys and can’t make up her mind as to who to choose, thereby appearing wishy-washy. (Seriously, how often does this happen in real life?) Alina, however, continues to love her best friend, Mal (who I’m looking forward to seeing more of in the sequel), despite being tempted by the Darkling. This suited me just fine because not only did I find the romance between Mal and Alina sweet, but it left hope for me and the Darkling :) (Okay, so maybe he’s evil with a capital E, but I can pretend that he’ll redeem himself with me at his side ;) As you can see, I’ve been reading a little too much paranormal lately.)

The start of another fabulous fantasy series, Shadow and Bone was released by Henry Holt and Co. in June 2012.

Comments About the Cover: The cover suggests that the story will be a fantasy full of intrigue. I love its simplicity and the colours used since I think it captures the tone of the novel perfectly! 

In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (Macmillan Children's Publishing Group) for free via NetGalley. 


  1. I LOVED reading Shadow and Bone too! It's one of the few fantasy books I also convinced my sister to read. (She also really liked it too!)

    I love how it was inspired by Russian history and learning more about the different abilities of the Grisha was definitely cool too. And the romance was also very well done! A sort-of love triangle, but not exactly in your face about it. I cannot wait to see what direction Leigh Bardugo will take the next book in the series. Great review, Zahida!

    Liz @ Midnight Bloom Reads

  2. Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! This is one of my favourite reads from this year so it's good to see you weren't disappointed. I agree with you about Alina. I loved how easy she was to identify with and I can't wait to read more about her and Mal in the next book. The Darkling sure was tempting but you're welcome to have him to yourself. ;) Amazing review! :)

  3. Thank goodness you loved this one too! I was also having second thoughts whether I should buy this or not since most of the time, well-loved YA's don't click to me. But I have faith in your taste, Z! Thanks for the review. :)

  4. LMAO! Of course he'd be "good" with you by his side!

    Z, I love this review. You're so funny. I've been hesitant to read this one too, *whispers* I'm not a big fan of fantasy, but with all the glowing reviews, I now feel like I can not not read it. Yanno?! And, like you, I don't mind a bit of predictability. It doesn't bug me so much as long as the story keeps moving.

  5. "This suited me just fine because not only did I find the romance between Mal and Alina sweet, but it left hope for me and the Darkling :)"

    Hahahahah YES Z! I love the way your mind works, I was thinking along the same lines as I was reading ;-) So glad you enjoyed this one as much as I did, I adored Alina, and the whole world was super interesting. Like you, I'm hoping for more Mal in the next book!

  6. You loved this one too. I've seen so many great reviews for this one but it just doesn't appeal to me at all. Maybe I'll pick it up someday and see what all the fuss is about :) Great review!

  7. YES times a million! I seriously loved this book too, Z! Even though I felt some parts were predictable too, this is one of those books that are just so good that none of that really leaves a negative impact! (Maybe one the size of a baby shoe.) LOL and about the wishy-washy love triangle thing: I know! But I totally wish it DID happen more in real life x)

    This is one of my favourite of your reviews, Z! You're so funny and awesome (s'all right, I LOVE the evil, awesome Darkling too LOL) -- you make me want to re-read this all over again! :') <3

  8. What, you mean you DON'T have dozens of guys following you around all day, begging for your affection? *hair flip* I guess not everyone can attain this Bella Swan level of fabulous. LOL seriously though, awesome point. I loved Alina and Mal as a couple <3 It just felt so right.

    Soooo glad you loved this one! :) I thought it was spectacular for all the reasons you said in your review. Thanks for sharing! :) <3


  9. Like you I've been hesitant to pick this one up because it's been so well received from reviewers. I love a great world building and a sexy, evil guy? Yep, I'm all in. :)

  10. Anonymous10:44 pm

    Yay, you loved this too! It was one of my favourite books this year, so I'm thrilled you enjoyed it! I loved the characters too, the writing was wonderful and I was really immersed in the plot. Brilliant review. :)

  11. I know, this was a big surprise and so good! You and the Darkling....He was definitely a conundrum. I didn't know how to feel about him, I can't wait for the sequel either. Alina and
    Mal are wonderful together!

  12. Like you, I have heard great things about it. Thankfully it deliverd. Yay for the girl loving her best friend. We like that! Great review.


I love comments and will reply back via either email or stopping by your blog. Please note that this is an award-free zone.