Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Hey everyone! Since I (Sarena) just finished reading SHADOW AND BONE, a YA fantasy novel by Leigh Bardugo, I thought I would post a mini review on what I thought! This book has gotten enormous praise, and I can certainly see why. It’s the first in a trilogy which is now complete (the subsequent books are SIEGE AND STORM and RUIN AND RISING). I plan to read the following books next week!

As for SHADOW AND BONE, I didn’t know what to expect when I started it. I was simply reading the book because a) it’s YA fantasy, which I love; and b) it had quite a bit of hype. I had to pick it up.

The world I was plunged into at the start of this high fantasy is undeniably unique. Our main character, Alina Starkov, does not know she’s Grisha–meaning she has some sort of magical power. Her power, we soon realize, is important to the fate of all of Ravka. (You could say the book takes place in a sort of alternate Russia, though it’s a fantasy world).

The plot was completely intriguing; Alina learns about her power and her ability to save her land from the dark, brooding Shadow Fold, full of ominous creatures like volcra. I was also completely taken aback by the imminent love triangle–or I guess love pentagon, as some say–with Mal, Alina’s friend, and the Darkling.

The Darkling … oh. I can’t say much about him, but I know his role in this trilogy is vital. I just can’t wait to see where his character goes!

If there’s one thing I didn’t like very much about this book, it’s that there weren’t a lot of events. Mostly Alina is learning about her power and the Darkling. The plot is interesting, don’t get me wrong–it’s just, at some points, I was waiting for more to happen. That said, this is a very fast-paced, quick read. I gobbled it in a few days, though you could easily read it in a sitting.

Overall, I give this book 4.5 – 5*

Fantasy lovers should pick this up for sure!


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