Review: Shadow and Bone

May 2, 2013 Review 19 ★★★★

Review: Shadow and Bone
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Source: Purchased
Pages: 356
Release Date: June 5th 2012
Series: The Grisha #1
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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 fulfil 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?
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I need to start this by telling you this review is for my second read through of SHADOW AND BONE. Right away the fact I reread it should tell you that it’s actually a pretty decent YA fantasy. And upon rereading I actually upped the rating by one star, even though I already knew what was going to happen. I could focus more on the little things I was reading and pick up all the things I missed when I flew through it last year.

So what exactly do I like about SHADOW AND BONE? Well, the magic and the world of Ravka has to be one of my favourite things about it. Ravka really sounds beautiful. A lot of Ravka and surrounding land reminds me of various cultures in our world, mostly ones I wish I knew more about. It’s a great place to build a plot like the one in SHADOW AND BONE. For the first half we get to know Alina, the world, and the magic. It’s nicely paced, never too rushed or too slow, and Alina’s voice keeps you turning the pages. Then you hit the twist which I did not expect at all the first time round, but picked up on clues this time. After that, everything gets darker and faster and you cannot put it down.

The romance is another element that I remember strongly. I have two OTPs in this, and rereading did not lessen my feelings about them. Or the feels I experienced as various things were revealed about their relationship. There’s so much chemistry and tension between these couples. You have no idea what it’s like to read! I still enjoyed various scenes and came to appreciate both my OTPs more with this read. I even began to like characters like Mal more than I did last time. The only thing I have to say in regards to the romance and plot twists:

Overall, SHADOW AND BONE was better than I remembered. All the elements I loved the first time continued to bring me joy, and I came to like some characters and scenes a little more now that I could take my time and focus on them. SHADOW AND BONE is a novel I’d recommend to fantasy lovers who don’t mind a bit of romance.
And with that, I’m going to go read some SIEGE AND STORM:


This if is because I won an ARC of SIEGE AND STORM and you probably didn’t and I don’t feel bad about rubbing this fact in at all.
Rating Report
Overall: 4

19 Responses to “Review: Shadow and Bone”

    • Bec

      I know! I had a streak of a few weeks where I just kept winning things! It has since ended…

      Thanks :)

    • Bec

      aha, I used to think the same. But rereading opened my eyes to Mal. And in SIEGE AND STORM the Darkling is… interesting.


    You got an ARC of SIEGE AND STORM!? No fair! I’m seriously Jelly right now.
    I’m glad you enjoyed Shadow and Bone; I’ve read it too and would give it 5 stars. T’was amazing! (MY favorite character was the darklings mother)

    • Bec

      I can’t believe I won it either!

      SHADOW AND BONE didn’t quite leave me with the “OMG WHAT DO I DO WITH MY LIFE NOW I HAVE A GAPING HOLE IN MY CHEST AND IT’S ACHING BECAUSE DANG THAT BOOK” feeling which is what I need to give a book 5 stars.

    • Bec

      Now Alise, I was thinking about sending this to you when I finished. I think you need to think carefully about your actions…

      Plus, if you hurt me, I will send my army of marsupials, emus, and crocodiles after you.

  2. rivie bleu

    There are many new things to see the second time reading it, without having to worry if you’re going to like it or not. This happened to me as well with Unraveling

    • Bec

      Exactly! I think I should make it a goal of mine to reread all the books I own at least once. That’d take a long time… (I own over 200)

  3. Lauren Elizabeth

    These gifs are hilarious :D

    So glad you enjoyed this, and yay! Siege and Storm time—hope you loved it on the re-read. I definitely need to make time to re-read my copy soon. Great review!

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