Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: June 5th 2012

Published by: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Read: November 9th 2012

Pages: 358-Hardcover-Library


  1. Shadow and Bone
  2. Siege and Storm
  3. Ruin and Rising


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.

What I thought:

Alina was so easy to get attached to as this book started. She’s a regular girl in the war making maps, who has no particular talent or strength. She grew up with her best friend Mal, both orphans raised by a generous man. As the story progresses though, we see so much from her; doubt in herself, feeling alone and missing her friend, and then eventually confidence. There’s also of course some romantic-ness possibly going on, and the confusion that always accompanies it. When she finally finds her inner strength and the power that is inside her, she changes completely in her attitude and physique.

The Darkling on the other hand was much darker and he seemed almost not human, which they mention in the book. He had charm and power and he sends fear to those around him. When he finds Alina she becomes his favourite and he wants her power for his own, to destroy the Fold as he says. He does have his secrets though, and quite a few of them.

The world was so beautifully built, and I really appreciated the map at the beginning so I could peek at it once in a while if I forgot where something was. The Grisha and their unique abilities were definitely cool, especially Alina’s because she’s the only one who has it. When she goes to the Grisha school to learn her powers, everything seems set against her but I love it when she proves them wrong. There are of course those that would want to harm her so she has to be careful.

There is a twist and things change suddenly in the book closer to the end, I won’t say what buy you might not be expecting it, but it definitely brought on some action and excitement. if you love fantasy books, and want to engage in a new world full of interesting people, wars and a bit of magic then go read this book!