Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo [ARC REVIEW]

Shadow and Bone
(The Grisha Trilogy #1)
by Leigh Bardugo
Summary from Goodreads:

"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.


Have you ever watched Avatar: The Last Airbender series? Or have you at least heard of it? You know, where the characters are given the abilities that wield the natural elements, may it be the earth, water, fire or wind; well say hello to an even greater take on that idea with Shadow and Bone!

Leigh Bardugo introduces readers to a world of magic and discovery along with the spiteful taste of deceit... in more ways than one.

I didn’t think I was going to finish this book. When I first started reading it, the first few pages were a bore. I thought I was in for a story of a girl and guy desperately not wanting to part and the whole soul mate – ugh! – cliché again. Add the fact that the protagonist, Alina, is described to be not pretty, doesn’t fit in, blah, blah, blah. Now where have I seen that before? Hmmm...

I had trouble with some of the words used in this book as well...up until this point I never thought Google could let me down. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Either that or I was probably too lazy to do deeper research. Want to know why? Well let me ask you this, what the heck is a Kefta??? I only realized it was some sort of special cloak as I read through.  I don’t know if the words are Russian or not, yet the setting felt like so. I even sifted through the last few pages to see if there were any appendices of sort describing the unfamiliar words but I sadly didn’t find any. Any chance there’d be one on the finished copy?

Anyway, with all that I felt like setting this book aside. But something inside me told me to keep going... and there it was!

Oh how amazing did this book turn out to be! Reading Shadow and Bone reminded me of Muhammad Ali’s infamous fighting style: Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Yes, I just got stung!

The moment Alina discovers the power she never thought she had, each event just got better and better. I think it’s nice that even though Alina was formed with the usual protagonist features, her personality had a purpose... and it’s not because a guy will make her feel good about herself; a little, I guess, but this story shows what real self-discovery and personal development is.

The love story wasn’t so bad either.  For a minute there I was also fooled by the Darkling. Man, you are real villain! And the way Alina and Mal’s relationship developed was not the usual approach I encounter romantic interests in books develop, so kudos!

Now do I even have to say that I recommend you to read it? I think everything I’ve written above sums that up. Now go get copy, I order you! LOL.

*Thank you, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and NetGalley for the copy of Shadow and Bone


  1. I'm reading this right now actually and I absolutely LOVE it so far! I already can't wait for the sequel, even though I'm not yet finished this first one! Great review!

    My latest post: From the Review Pile (1)

  2. Hmm,, the word issue kind of worries me as I hate having to do research while reading a book. It does sound interesting though and I'll make sure to keep reading hopefully I can enjoy it as much as you did !:)


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