Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo



356 pages

Published June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Source: Purchased

My Rating: 5 Stars

From Goodreads:

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.

I resisted reading this book for quite a long time. I haven’t done so well with high fantasy in the past, and frankly, was certain I wouldn’t like it. But, when it was the Kindle Daily Deal awhile ago, I figured I should buy it “just in case”, since I’d heard so many great reviews.
Fast forward a few months, it still sat unread. But then Ruin and Rising was set to be released, and no matter where I turned, I could not shake this series. So, I caved and started reading it. By the first couple chapters, I’d ordered Siege and Storm. I was simply that captivated by the world that Leigh Bardugo created.
My problem with high fantasy generally is that often, I know that what I am reading is fantasy, and my logical mind can’t let me just enjoy it. But with The Grisha series, Bardugo made me feel such a connection to Alina that I didn’t need logic, I didn’t care that the world didn’t actually exist, I just knew that I needed to read more about her story and the world she lived in.
First, Alina is such an incredible main character. Not only is she likable and relatable, her growth throughout the story is stunning to read. It is so believable, even in a completely unbelievable world. And can we please talk about Mal for a minute? I need more Mal in my life. He is not your “typical” love interest (though their circumstances certainly make a romantic collaboration seem plausible). He isn’t spending his time pining away, he is his own person, and it is really quite refreshing. The Darkling.. well, I have no idea if I’ll end up loving or hating him, and I did some of both during this book. But the characters were written so amazingly well, even the secondary characters, that it made me unable to put this book down.
The story moves so nicely and is so captivating that I simply had to know what was happening next to these beloved (or in some cases, loathed) characters. The fantasy concept quickly became a moot point as I was completely propelled into the world that Bardugo had created. It all just felt like it belonged. The Grisha, the strange world, these characters, as much as they were fantasy-driven, when they came together, it all just worked.  I would like to know a bit more about Ravka and the world around it, but since there are two more books, it wasn’t really a problem for me.
Bottom Line: As if my gushing weren’t enough, if you’d had any reservations about this series, simply stop having them, and read it. I am so, so glad I did. Thank you, book community, for peer pressuring me into this series!


Posted July 7, 2014 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review / 9 Comments

9 responses to “Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

    • Oh yes, you must! I am almost done with Siege and Storm, and I feel like if I wait too long to read Ruin and Rising, I will forget some of the stuff, since it is such a complex world.

  1. I’m glad you liked it! I read this early this year and loved it so much! I haven’t read Siege and Storm yet because I was planning on reading it right before Ruin and Rising came out and then I ran out of time and…so many books, so little time! =)

    • I hear you! I have kind of put all my reading plans on hold because of this series. I seriously hadn’t even planned to read it, picked it out for me 😉 I am so glad it did!

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