Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | Review

October 27, 2014 Book Reviews 14 ★★★★½

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | ReviewShadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Indigo, Orion on June 6th 2013
Pages: 358
Format: Paperback
Source: Loaned
Goodreads

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.

Dear Danielle.

There is a book out there with your name on it…well not really, it’s called SHADOW AND BONE and it contains everything you love – sweeping epic plotlines, swoony men, awesome females, gorgeous writing and did I mention RUSSIAN influences. Remember your obsession with all things Russia, thinking you were Julie Christie in Doctor Zhivago? Yeah all that? THIS BOOK and you are an idiot for letting it languish on your TBR while you read mediocre NA after mediocre NA. IDIOT! Let’s never have to have this conversation again? Mmm ‘K?

Love, Your Brain.

Yes, I get it now. I get the flailing, the misread tweets I thought were about an awesome “duckling”, I understand now and I have a bone to pick with all you so called book pushers who didn’t chain me up and water-board me until I read this. Pfft! Anyway…

I have been staring at Siege and Storm for weeks, aching to open it and continue this amazing journey (Gawd I sound like I’m on X Factor) but I simply couldn’t until I got the words out about how much I loved this story and look FAILING (but plenty of FLAILING)! So instead you’re getting crazy rambling until I get to a point where I can justify being happy and reading the next book.

SHADOW AND BONE is set in a land called Ravka which is under siege from a menacing darkness filled with monsters that is slowly overtaking it. The magical elite known as The Grisha whom are ruled by the enigmatic leader The Darkling are the only people capable of keeping the Shadow Fold at bay. When a young orphan called Alina and her best friend Mal who serve in one of the army’s many regiments are attacked, Alina reveals a long dormant power which may be the key to defeating the Shadow Fold. Taken under the wing of the Darkling, Alina joins the Grisha but soon learns that all that glitters is not gold.

I loved Alina’s character, she was so relatable and I immediately connected with her. When she’s taken from all that she knows and dropped into the lavish, privileged world of the Grisha, you get a real sense of her vulnerability but also her inner strength and the steely nature that is unearthed as she gains confidence and trust in her power. At times I admit I did get quite the “Bella” vibe off her as she did the usual YA heroine handwringing as to why people thought she was beautiful and special and oh my were attracted to her. Despite this she remained intensely likeable and Bardugo didn’t focus on the over-used trope.

Let’s talk about The Darkling. So utterly charismatic, mysterious and oozing power, his interest in Alina is almost addictively seductive to read and despite his anti-hero status I couldn’t help but fall for him. Despite this I am firmly on the good ship Malina and have many life buoys ready for what I anticipate to be a rocky sailing. I have a definite soft spot for Mal whose sweet nature and friendliness make him instantly likeable. I love the chemistry and tension between Mal and Alina, how well they know each other, every moment is weighted with their history and deep knowledge of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

The world building was stellar for me, I loved the Russian influence and Bardugo’s beautiful, effortless style of writing that makes it so easy to get swept away in the story. The complex hierarchy of the Grisha and their history is another highlight and I am eager to learn more. Never once did I feel like the pacing faltered and the last third was especially intense and wonderfully played out through skilful story-telling and heightened emotion.

Mesmerising, sultry and utterly captivating, SHADOW AND BONE is simply fantastic and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Danielle

14 Responses to “Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | Review”

  1. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    Shadow and Bone definitely had a wonderful feeling about it, and The Darkling was definitely a swoony character. But to be honest, the thing that put me off the series (I’ve only read the first one so far) is Alina! She definitely had that helpless Bella vibe about her and it was annoying! It’s great you enjoyed the world building though. Can’t wait to see if you enjoy the rest of the series Dani 🙂
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey Review: Sci-fi Zombie OverloadMy Profile

  2. Lily

    Oh i’m so glad you gave this book a chance! I ALSO LOVED the world building in this one and it just completely worked for me too. Love that you loved it! I ended up serousily falling for The Darkling in this lol! I can wait to see your reaction to the sequels! Lovely review 🙂
    Lily recently posted…Hothouse Flower (Calloway Sisters #2):ReviewMy Profile

  3. Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros

    Damn Dani. I’ve been staring at these on my shelves for awhile now, thinking- I really should make time for these. And alas, I haven’t. But hell if your review doesn’t make me want to metaphorically throw all my books in the air and go for those!

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, the characters, and the fantastical element to it! I hope I can make time for these this year!
    Jessica@Lovin’ Los Libros recently posted…Review: Losing Track by Trisha WolfeMy Profile

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