Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

So I finished reading this book weeks ago and I was supposed to make a book review two weeks ago but the impromptu blog-cation happened so… Let’s get on with it, yeah?


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha Trilogy #1)10194157

Published on: 5 June 2012
Published by: Henry Holt and Co.
ISBN: 0805094598
Pages: 358
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure
Add it on: Goodreads

Buy it on: Amazon | Book Depository

Favorite quote: “What is infinite? The universe and the greed of men.”

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.


I’ll be honest here. The reason it took me this long to start reading this popular trilogy was because of the hype. I have this thing with the hype. But that’s a discussion for a future post.

That said, this was actually a good novel. Let’s start with the world-building. The world of the Grisha is just full of possibilities. I loved being in that world. All that issue with war and the Shadow Fold but there’s also the small tinge of magic and myth.

I admit, it was hard to settle into the world the first few chapters. I was like, “What in the world is a freaking kefta?!” But I realized not explaining every little thing made you feel like a part of that world. You know?

And there’s the characters. I honestly don’t find Alina to be anything unique. She felt like a Katniss with superpower, in my eyes. You know, that same “ordinary” girl with extraordinary power who’s like, “I don’t want this! I want my normal life!” I don’t like Mal either. But I am interested with the air of mystery surrounding their past.

My favorite character, by far, is Genya. And, if you know me enough, that’s no surprise at all. She’s quick-wit and strong but she’s also kind and vulnerable and will do anything to get what she desired. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like she’s one of the few most well-developed characters in the book.

And I see that the book did not lack the wise person trope through the existence of Baghra. Although, she does remind me fondly of Mama Odie from Princess and the Frog. Like Mama Odie’s broody sister, probably.

And of course. The Darkling. Oh my Clark Gable, the Darkling!  Yep, I’m one of those people who love themselves a mysterious man. Probably won’t go near one in real life, but man, I’ll gobble every page and scenario the Darkling is in, spit it out and gobble it again. I like him that much.

Don’t really have much to say about the story. Since it’s the first book in the series, I know everything in this book is just introductory. Still it was an engaging book. I already read the second book so look out for my review of that.

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