Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo Book Review

Sunday, July 22, 2012 11:26 PM
Title: Shadow and Bone 
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. 
Series: The Grisha #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: 358
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

“People, particularly big men carrying big rifles, don't expect lip from a scrawny thing like me. They always look a bit dazed when they get it.” ― Leigh BardugoShadow and Bone

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. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts
Shadow and Bone was amazing! I don't know what hooked me. I guess the premise is what really lured me in, but there was just so much to this book that I loved.

I loved the Grisha in this story. Their different colored robes and ranks were neat, and I thought their different callings were interesting, like the Inferni and the Tidemakers. I really would love to hear more about the history of the Grisha. Is there any explanation for their existence? But I figure we will learn more about them in later books.

The characters were very well-developed. I loved Alina. It was nice to have a heroine that didn't annoy me for once. She was a very strong character, even with her flaws. I also really loved Mal. Mal could be so adorable at times, and he was a loyal friend. Who doesn't love a friendship formed between two orphans who had no one else? It's so sweet and it is wonderful to see how strong their friendship is when it is tested by change. The Darkling was very persuasive and alluring. I found myself loving him, and I thought he was sexy. How could he not be? He was so powerful and seductive. You will fall for him too if you haven't read this yet.

The setting is dark and yet so alluring in its dark beauty. Bardugo does such a great job with the world building. I especially thought the use of foreign words like kefta and such was a nice touch. The names were also creative and unique. Everything had a distinct Russian influence, making the book so original in setting. The only complaint I had was with the one name, David, which kind of stuck out like a sore thumb.

So, I was looking at Leigh Bardugo's site. It's just amazing. Not only was she born in Jerusalem, but she also moved to Los Angeles and attended Yale University. She's also the singer of the band Captain Automatic, and she's a talented makeup artist fascinated with glamour and ghouls.

She's as adventurous as this book! Here's the site: It has some new features on the way, but it currently has the book trailer, some news about where Bardugo will be next, and even some recipes from Ravka. Not to mention Bardugo reveals some of the historical inspiration for her world.

This book is a new favorite! Definitely my favorite so far for the year! I cannot wait until Siege and Storm in 2013!

Happy reading,



  1. I'm dying to buy this book. I love the cover so much. And the fact that it's a fantasy setting not based on medieval eastern Europe. It sounds so refreshing.

    This was such a nice review to read. I got here 'cause I saw your Waiting on Wednesday. :P

    ~Akira @ The Literary Path

    1. Wait, no, I meant western Europe.

    2. Thanks so much Akira! I'm glad you enjoyed my review! And I know what you mean. The setting really stood out for me. You should definitely read it when you find the time! I look forward to hearing your thoughts! :D


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