Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


Title: Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

My Rating: 4.45/ 5 stars

Goodreads rating: 4.08/5 stars


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.

Cover: 4/5

I have the beautiful paperback cover which has the one of the coolest  fonts I have seen on a book.


So a lot of you guys will know that I finished Six Of Crows and I loved it so much! The Grisha world is so interesting and intriguing, Bardugo did a brilliant of building up the countries and cultures and so on and so forth in SoC and this was my first time reading any of her novels. 

I was having a bit of of book withdrawal and I needed to pick up a book quickly which followed a story similar or a familiar scene. Shadow and Bone was the first thing that sprung into me mind. Yes! A trilogy set in the world that was intriguing and fresh and based on Russia! 

I know that I probably did the unwise thing and read SoC before the Grisha trilogy, but I couldn’t care less and I picked up the book the day after I finished SoC.
Though you can tell that Bardugo’s writing has improved since the trilogy, Shadow and Bone is still a great book and her are my thoughts broken down.


I thought the plot was very Red Queen-esque or should I say that Red Queen was inspired by the novel loads.

The story follows a girl called Alinea who discover she has Grisha powers and she gets swept up in Grisha court life and the dark and seductive Darkling who has taken a keen interest in his ‘Sun Summoner’. 

I really enjoyed following the story through Alina’s eyes and I was surprisingly comfortable in the first person POV. Sometimes I did wish that why had the Darkling’s POV or Mal’s POV because that would add another dimension to the story. I mean imagine being in the dark and merciless mind of the Darkling…*gains composure * anyway…

The plot was really fast and such a page turner, I read this book in two sittings and I have no regrets.The story I feel was broken down into two parts and I have enjoyed the the second part my than the first. The second part of the story was just quick and always moving and I think developed the characters more. 

And before I forget, the plot twists were so bloody shocking and executed brilliantly!


The writing was rather simple and standard of a good YA author. Nothing felt jarring, but smooth each scene moving on without any stop starts.

My one complaint I think I have about the writing is that the descriptions weren’t as engaging as I hoped it would be. I felt myself skipping over passages of description because it said things that could probably be summed up in one word.


I had very strong feelings towards the cast of characters in this novel which I guess is a good thing. Alina was a solid protagonist. Sometimes you were cheering her on and other times you wanted to throttle her. Overall she was pretty likeable and I can’t wait to read on about her story  in the Storn and Siege.

The next character I want to talk about is Mal who was your typical I-grew-up-with-main-character love interest which was fine because his charming character and unwavering loyalty was great to read. Though he did have an angst couple of pages which was kind of explained but I still wanted a better apology for it.

I would talk about the Darkling but I think it would unleash too many spoilers so I will just say I LOVED HIM, BUT I HATED IT TOO.

What I liked:

  • The different aray of characters 
  • Gripping plot 
  • Lovely world building
  • The plot twists!

What I disliked:

  • The sometimes lengthy descriptions

Verdict: This was a brilliant first book for a trilogy that I have a big interest in reading on. I recommend this book to people who have or haven’t read Six Of Crows because it does an amazing job in building up the Grisha world loads and the plot twists and characters were more than intriguing to hold up such a big storyline.

I’ll write soon.


3 thoughts on “Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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