A review of Shadow and Bone (by Leigh Bardugo)

This novel was amazing. It’s instantly unique, intriguing, and engrossing. The world that Alina Starkov lives in is breathtaking. You’re immediately immersed in this epic fantasy. Shadow and Bone is unlike anything I have ever read, and I’m so eager to read the other books. Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy, which is followed by book two, Siege and Storm, and book three, Ruin and Rising.


From the book Shadow and Bone:

Shadow 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.

My thoughts

I actually have read Ms. Bardugo’s novels before. Perhaps you’ve heard of them. I first found out about the Grisha trilogy after I read the duology, Six of Crows. I was so engrossed in the Grisha world, I wanted to know more. Even though Six of Crows takes place after Shadow and Bone, I didn’t encounter any spoilers about the Grisha Trilogy, so I can say in great confidence that if you want to read the duology first, go for it!

I really liked Alina, she’s a complex character. She underestimates herself, but slowly learns that she’s much more than she realizes. She doesn’t have much, but she does have one thing: her best (and only) friend, and she will do anything to keep him safe. She’s smart, resourceful, and loyal. It’s really interesting to see her evolve throughout the book.

To sum up

Shadow and Bone is a thrilling and unique fantasy novel. The world of Grisha is stunning, and the characters are intriguing. Alina can’t tell enemies from friends, and she can’t decide who to trust. It’s up to her to make a difference. I recommend this novel to fantasy or adventure-loving readers.


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