Saturday, 30 June 2012

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone
Leigh Bardugo
Henry Holt and Co.
[June 5, 2012]

Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, all she’s ever been able to rely on is her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’ve been sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.

When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. She is torn from everything she knows and whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes that she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the Sun Summoner. Only her power can destroy the Fold.

Overwhelmed by luxury, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to keep her wits about her without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her mastery of her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha—and the secrets of her heart.

Shadow and Bone was nothing like what I expected. While I was expecting fantasy and a very old-Russian feel, I got so much more magic and adventure and not as much Russian.

I'm gonna be honest, I didn't LOVE this book the way many others did. I loved the book at first, but several months later I look back and realize it was just an okay book for me. It hasn't stuck in my head.

Alina was a pretty strong character. But there was nothing really remarkable there for me. And the Darkling was always skeevy and wrong to me, even though I wanted to like him so much. It was just too perfect, you know?

I really liked the world they were in. It was well crafted and complex and very interesting and different. It was fascinating and beautifully described. Definitely original and wonderful and I'd love to dive in there again.

I also really enjoyed the ending. Those last couple scenes really stand out to me as fantastic and action-y and insane and just...perfect. It made me eager to pick up book 2 and see where their lives go and how the events of book 1 follow them. And I really want to see more of Alina's world.

While this wasn't a major sticking book and I don't have a lot of passion (or memory) for it, I enjoyed Shadow and Bone and hope to read the sequel next year.

(EDIT 12/12: Thinking about it even more, I enjoyed it quite a bit more than it sounds like here. Especially the ending. And the characters were mostly really well crafted. I'm kind of ridiculously excited for the next book.)



  1. Awww, that sucks that you weren't head over heels in love with Shadow & Bone. Personally, I loved it, but I have very particular tastes, ya know?

    I hope you love the second book, though.

  2. I totally get what you're saying. I haven't read this book but from what I have read, i know that there isn't much Russian in it or that it's done badly. I'm going to check this one out but not any time soon.



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