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

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)
by Leigh Bardugo
Summary: 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.

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Source: I purchased a copy for Kindle


I loved Shadow and Bone and found it to be wonderfully unique and exciting. I loved the world building and the setting. Everything was so different from anything I’ve ever been exposed to in YA fantasy!

I am extremely unfamiliar with any Russian mythology, so as to whether the novel did a good job of using Russian elements well, I can’t really comment. There seems to be a sort of Goodreads opinion that it was horribly executed as far as introducing Russian elements correctly, but I think the author did a great job of introducing awesome fantasy elements for a Western culture. (And to be fair, even though I’m very knowledgeable about Greek/Roman mythology, I love it when those elements are changed around, used in unique ways, even if certain myths are completely incorrect in the retelling. So… yeah. I don’t understand the bashing.)

Shadow and Bone was awesome. The world was unique and so were the characters. I liked Alina, although she started off quite weak. She grew a lot along the way and she learned to develop her power. I liked the way her character was developed and her journey from orphan to Grisha. I absolutely loved The Darkling. His character was fantastic. I think he might be my favorite villain ever. I swear I see some good in him and I could read about him all day. He was so fascinating. Genya was another amazing character. She was sassy, firm, and incredibly helpful. Her personality really radiated and I think she was crucial to Alina’s development. The only character I didn’t really like was Mal. I think perhaps he was under developed, but maybe I just didn’t really care because he’s not The Darkling? I’m not sure.

And perhaps the best part of the story was the incredible twist. Not much in the world of fiction surprises me anymore because I read so much. And I was truly surprised by the way the story just shifted in direction. I won't say anything else regarding plot details, but you guys that have read the book know exactly what I'm talking about!!

If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend picking it up. It’s awesome, unique, and a bit romantic, too.


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