Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review

Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publication: June 6th 2013 by Indigo
Format: Paperback, 308 pages
Source: Giveaway Prize

Plot in a Nutshell:
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 fulfil 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.

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Thoughts in General:
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo has received quite a lot of hype and I have heard nothing but positive things about this book. I can now safely say that I understand what the hoopla was all about. The unique world of The Grisha was intricately designed by the author. The richness of the culture and myths Leigh Bardugo presented in the novel made it all the more special. The characters were all fleshed out, especially the heroine. However, I did have a problem with the romance, which I will discuss in detail below. Aside from that I really enjoyed immersing myself in this world and I am enthusiastic to pick up the next books.
Thoughts in Detail (CONTAIN SPOILERS):

~DO NOT CROSS THIS THRESHOLD, IF YOU HAVE NOT READ/FINISHED THIS BOOK! YOU WILL BE SPOILED! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!~
Characters
Shadow and Bone is written in the First Person POV of our heroine Alina.
Alina was such a cool heroine. I really enjoyed her perspective and I didn’t find her annoying. She was headstrong, funny, and really sure of herself. Her friendship with Mal was sweet, but I did find her attraction to him quite cliche. I felt connected with her when she had that realization over her powers. I felt that emotional release and at that moment I felt so happy for her.
I did find myself intrigued and outraged by The Darkling. He was the most complex character within the novel and I really wanted to get to know him. I think he was specially designed for the girls to swoon over because of his tall, dark and handsome shtick. When the big revelation happened, I wasn’t totally surprised by it, but it was still aggravating.  
Mal, who is Alina’s best friend, was sort of a mediocre character. The book did not really focus on him, so I can’t justify my feelings towards his character. However, with all the comments I’ve heard about him in the subsequent novels, I have a feeling he’s going to pull an Adam (from Shatter Me) on us.
The minor characters were well-written. Genya was probably my favorite character in the book. The things that she’s been through was just mortifying.
In all honesty, the characters were not the highlight of this novel for me. 
Setting
The world of the Grisha was just stunning and vivid. Leigh Bardugo’s myths and world-building were unique and I was so fully absorbed in the setting she molded. The magic system was conventional, but the delivery of it and the lore she provided were amazing. The hierarchy of the Grisha wasn’t too complicated to wrap around the head, which was really nice and what made me like this book. 
Story
The plot mainly focused on the self-empowerment of the main character Alina. Her journey from a sickly orphan mapmaker into one of the most powerful Grisha in all of the land, was done really well. Although I did not like some of the troupes within this novel, particularly her sudden infatuation towards the Darkling. I know it was the allure of the Darkling, but it was just too sudden and it made me stop reading and cringe. Another thing I wasn’t fond of was the sudden romantic proclamation of Mal to Alina. I am a hopeless romantic and I do like some romance in a novel, but the way it was done was just jarring and, again, I had to stop and cringe at the moment.
The plot about the Darkling being the bad guy was nice. Even though I had a feeling that it was going to happen, I still felt surprised and I like that. The progression of the plot was relatively average but I wasn’t bored with it. The ending was fun, but I felt that it was too easily resolved and I wished it had more intensity to it. 
Rating:
Overall, I give Shadow and Bone a…
It was a fun and magical book that will make you wish you had Grisha powers (well I did)!
Have you read Shadow and Bone? What did you think of it? What was your favorite part of the novel? Please share your comments down below!

Happy Reading!
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2 thoughts on “Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review

  1. Awesome review, Kevin! I agree with you, the Grishaverse is just mesmerising to read about. It is by far one of my favourite fantasy worlds. My favourite part of the novel – I'm not gonna lie – is the different interactions between the characters especially Alina and the Darkling's. I hope you continue on with the series because there are SO MUCH more in store for Alina plus some really cool characters! 🙂

    Like

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