May 19, 2014

Review of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: May 17, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Page Count: 358
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA/Fantasy 
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 first found out about the Shadow and Bone trilogy thanks to Lauren DeStefano (author of Fever, Perfect Ruin, etc) because she was tweeting about how she wanted to steal the final book. Seeing how badly she wanted the final book I decided to buy a copy and read it (plus the cover IS gorgeous). After finishing it I can say that it is as good as and even better than everyone has been saying.

Leigh Bardugo paints a large and very unique world with Shadow and Bone, no matter how long I kept on reading the world still kept on shocking me. It's not that it was just large, it was also VERY different from most books I've read about. Starting with the Shadow Fold and and ending with the different cities/towns everything was interesting. If you're looking for a book that focuses a lot on world building and settings than you will definitely enjoy Shadow and Bone.

The characters were also very interesting to read about, with the majority being a type of magician and the rest soldiers or other people. The magicians are called the Grisha and are the magical elite, they are the best and are sort of like minor royalty. Their leader (and the strongest) is The Darkling who can create the same type of "shadow" that the Shadow Fold is made of. He controls all of the Grisha and as we learn later is aspiring to take over the kingdom. While he is mostly portrayed as evil I feel like he has potential to become "better" especially now that Alina is there. Alina is the other main character and finds out that she also has powers. Hers is the power to create a type of sunlight that can clear the shadows that are in the Shadow Fold. She originally works with the Darkling but then eventually gets betrayed by him. She was personally my favorite character and I felt like she was written very realistically (or, as realistically as possible in that situation). There wasn't really much romance in Shadow and Bone but it is obvious that there is chemistry between the Darkling and Alina as shown in several scenes. Overall, Leigh Bardugo does a very well job in regards to the characters with compex and realistic characters that are interesting and enjoyable to read.

I recently bought a copy of Siege and Storm and the final book comes out in June or July so I plan to binge read the next two books. If you're thinking about starting Shadow and Bone than it's the perfect time since the whole trilogy is almost out. Shadow and Bone is perfect for people who like world-building, fantasy, and magic.

4.5/5 - Really good book

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