Review Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Review Shadow
and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo

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.

Rating: 5+/5 Stars

Must read! Must buy! Must have! Must fall in
love with!

Other books in the series:
Siege and Storm


Ruin and Rising (to be published in 2014)
Short stories in the series:
The Witch of Duva
The Too-Clever Fox
The Tailor


Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Recommended for: fans of Sarah
J. Maas
, Tahereh Mafi, Veronica Roth and Kristin Cashore
Book Trailer:


My opinion:
Have you
ever loved a book so much that you remember every single detail even after a
whole MONTH since you’ve read it? No joke. Every single one.
was his soul made flesh, the truth of him laid bare in the blazing sun, shorn
of mystery and shadow. This was the truth behind the handsome face and the
miraculous powers, the truth that was the dead and empty space between the
stars, a wasteland peopled by frightened monsters.”
Well, if
you have, then you probably get my feelings now. If you haven’t, here’s a short

I adored Shadow and Bone! Devoured it in like 7
hours – and I was disturbed from my reading only by life-altering decisions
(what shall we eat?) and emergencies. But let me explain a little bit more
about what I loved *grins*

1. The world building & original mythology

Guys, the
world building is phenomenal! We’re introduced to the world of Ravka (which is
inspired by Russia and its folklore), a country ruled by royals. You see, Ravka
has two Armies: the First Army and the Second Army. And the last one is made of
powerful Grisha – people with magical abilities.
There are
terms that could be a bit complicated to understand (Oprichnik,
Corporalki, Etherealki) but
trust me: in two chapters tops, you’ll have the hang of it and you’ll know who’s
who. There’s fashion (kefta) and
drinks (kvas). Oh, and monsters (volcra). Brr.

But let’s
not forget the actual Ravka. It’s amazingly described and totally original. Its
lands, Os Alta (the capital), the architecture, the politics. Plus, The Fold! Wowza.

2. The characters

Alina – she is the main character and the one that
narrates the story. An orphan who doesn’t remember her family, Alina is a
cartographer in the First Army when she discovers she has a latent power – she’s
the Sun Summoner. And in the kingdom where darkness makes the rules, she’s the
missing piece of the puzzle.

I loved her
to tiny pieces! I connected with her and I ended up considering her a
long-time-no-see friend. She’s shy and candid, but smart, witty and brave. She
has this innocence that matches her power and exudes light. At the end of the
novel, you can see she’s stronger and more confident.
did you fare with the Queen?” he asked.

“I have no idea,” I said honestly. “Everything she said was
perfectly nice, but the whole time she was looking at me as if I were something
her dog spit up.”

Mal – Alina’s best friend and her only trusted
companion. He’s great and swoon-worthy! I wasn’t much of his fan initially, but
he grew on me. His natural charm, his good looks, his funny jokes, his deeply
care for Alina… Plus, he knows how to use big guns. Hmm. Yep, Mal is the
epithome of the perfect boyfriend, but I always thought his relationship with Alina
is a little bit forced. He doesn’t understand her. Still, this boy is wonderful
*batting eyelashes*

don’t care if you danced naked on the roof of the Little Palace with him. I
love you, Alina, even the part of you that loved him.”
The Darkling – oh my GOD. Let the rambling begin.
From the
beginning, I loved him. He was alluring and mysterious. The Darkling is
hundreds of years old, we don’t know his true name, he is the leader of the
Grisha and the Second Army and he controls darkness. He takes Alina under his
wing and offers her training and new life. And believe me, bookworms everywhere,
those two… Together? Light and darkness? Ying and yang? Incendiary. There’s a
certain kiss that involves them and I was hyperventilating. Holy sweet baby
Jesus! Squeeee! I actually did squeee. And I never did that. NEVER.
problem with wanting,” he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until
it hovered over my lips, “is that it makes us weak.”

BUT there’s a little detail I won’t give away that
changes absolutely everything. I’m not gonna leave you hanging so I’ll just
show you how I felt at the revelation:

Sigh. The only thing that is missing is
the little gesture that he’s human. That he’s redeemable…

And my love for him did waver then,
but not enough to lose my faith in him.

“I hope you don’t expect fairness from me, Alina. It
isn’t one of my specialties.”
But nonetheless, I’m Team Darkling. So please
excuse the following obsession evidence. Muhahaha.


The Darkling is COMPLEX.
To shake
any confussion… THE ULTIMATE BAD BOY!

“I’m not used to people trying to kill me.”

“Really? I hardly notice anymore.”

Genya – aww, I liked her! Beautiful, sassy, sharp-tongued
and a little bit broken. She doesn’t care what other people think about her and
she always follows her gut.
Zoya – Arghh. That biii…ngo. *cough* Oh, damn it.
I’ll just say it – she’s a bitch. And a vain one too.
The Apparat – that man is creepy as hell. I get chills
down my spine just remembering him.
Baghra – she was actually one of my favorite
characters. She earned my respect with her no-comments attitude (which was kind
of funny)and I ended up missing her training sessions with Alina. Old lady or
not, she’s a bad ass.
3. The relationships – well, we have a love triangle. But
it’s a conflicting one, because, let’s be honest, the Darkling’s evil
(deliciously so) and Mal’s the best friend turned love interest. It’s very similar
to the love triangle from Shatter Me
by Tahereh Mafi where I support Warner, the bad boy. Again.
I’m the Darkling’s prisoner?”

“You’re under his protection.”

“What’s the difference?”

“Pray you never find out.”

Darkling understands Alina better and even if he wants her for her power, I
believe that somewhere deep, deep, very deep inside him he really cares for
her. Maybe even love her a little.
been waiting for you a long time, Alina” He said. “You and I are
going to change the world.”
this triangle is well written and gut-wrenching. You’ll be in for a hell of a ride!


also the friendship between Alina and Genya, little glimpses of joy in our
heroine’s grim life. They were wonderful!
4. The atmosphere, the plot, the twists &
the pace
Shadow and Bone is good at details. The author plays out the
events nicely and there are no confusions regarding the plot.

constantly this weight on your shoulders during the book. It keeps you engaged in
the action and at the edge of your seat. The suspense was KILLING ME,
especially at the end. I turned on the lights at some moment, because all that
talk about darkness and its monsters were scaring the crap outta me.

The pace
was… perfect, may I say. Considering S&S starts with some introduction and
then BAM! the domino pieces start to fall, the story is really balanced. It’s
not rushed, so the readers aren’t overwhelmed. It’s not slooooow – otherwise you
wouldn’t be reading this review, because I often don’t finish such books. We have
lots and lots of action. Epic battles, training, jaw-dropping twists and turns that
changed everything. They weren’t just simple “Oh, I didn’t think at that” kind
of twists, but full bombs with revelations that toyed with my heart strings and
made my eyes go O.O.
But we also
have dancing, gossiping, parties and jokes. And the mix is hands down amazing 🙂
much champagne?”


“Silly girl,” she said, looping her arm through mine. “There’s no such thing as
too much champagne. Though your head will try to tell you otherwise tomorrow.”


OH. And
there’s a tiny cliffhanger. Nothing major, but you’ll want book 2 nearby.
5. The writing style is pure awesomesauce. The words were
flowing easily and everything felt natural. The descriptions and the dialogue were
great! Leigh Bardugo created a great story with her new elements and the simple
idea of darkness. Or most likely, what awaits
in the darkness. I am soo thankful she wrote this book! I’m definitely a fan!
the memory of the Darkling’s kiss blew through me and rattled my concentration,
scattering my thoughts like leaves and making my heart swoop and dive like a
bird borne aloft by uncertain currents.”
Shadow and Bone was an exquisite blend of action, romance,
suspense and fantasy! Seriously unputdownable. Unique. Incredibly dark.
Addictive. Epic. One of the best books I’ve read this year and definitely one
of my all time favorites.
I never
wanted it to end and I can honestly say I was blown away by it. I laughed, I
gasped, I was left shocked and in denial and I was mesmerized by this gorgeous
new world!
Read it
ASAP! I know I regreted not reading this for a freaking year… Also, there’s a
movie in the works, so what better time?? Especially since the sequel just came

Soon, this amazing book will be published at Editura TREI. (Thank you!)


One Comment Add yours

  1. MillaReading says:

    Great review!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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