young adult book reviews & more

Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Alina Starkov grew up an orphan with only one real friend, another orphan named Mal. Now they serve together in the King’s Army, Alina as a mapmaker and Mal as a tracker. Alina has never really thought that she was much of anything, but when her regiment is attacked by a brutal flock of volcra while crossing the dangerous Shadow Fold and Mal is injured, she somehow reveals a dormant ability—one that marks her as Grisha, a group of people with seemingly magical abilities led by the secretive and enigmatic Darkling. Alina is convinced that there has been some sort of mistake. She can’t be a Grisha—she’s just an ordinary girl, a mapmaker in the army, and not even a good one at that. But whether Alina wants it or not, she is now hopelessly caught up in the lavish world of the Grisha, in its petty squabbles and in its more sinister mysteries. Alina struggles to hone her power, with the hopes of the Darkling and all of nation of Ravka resting heavily on her shoulders, only hoping that she’ll be ready to face the dark intrigues threatening to claim her heart or her life.

Shadow & Bone is an incredible debut that introduces readers to an addicting new fantasy world, that of the Grisha. Bardugo’s image of the Grisha world is a seductive one, where an ability to manipulate the elements such as metal or air elevates you to an elite class and where the second most powerful man in the country is directly descended from the most evil Grisha ever known. Readers will have a difficult time not getting sucked into the lavish world of the Grisha along with Alina, especially because of Bardugo’s lush descriptions and brilliant plot. I’ve actually already read Shadow & Bone twice now, and I can honestly say that the story was just as gripping the second time around as it was the first. I attribute this to a combination of skilled writing, smart plotting, vivid characters, and the dark sexiness of the entire story. Shadow & Bone is without a doubt a pageturner of a fantasy, full of sinister charm and dark romance sure to satisfy every reader and leave them gasping for more.

Shadow & Bone should be snatched up by all dark fantasy fans, especially readers who also liked Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood, Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, and the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.

Rating: 5.0

Review copy from publisher Macmillan

10 munch(es) :

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Ooh I've been excited for this one. So excited you liked it. BTW--miss you! Had a blast hanging out with you at BEA!

Danmark said...

Shadow and Bone started out a bit confusing - it took me about 40 pages to completely grasp what was going on. After this, Leigh Bardugo spins a tale that is so enticing and intriguing that doesn't let up until the final page has been turned. The plot of this book was SO GOOD. Even after I finished, I couldn't exactly wrap my head about it. I couldn't decide who I wanted to trust exactly and who had been at fault entirely and who I wanted to completely succeed. Shadow and Bone is storytelling at its finest and I loved every page. There were so many twists and turns throughout the book, and I am really excited to see where Leigh Bardugo will take her characters in the next chapter of their story.

Leigh Bardugo's writing is just gorgeous. This was probably the first thing I noticed about the book and I found myself reading some sentences over, as I just loved her writing so much. Along with this, Leigh Bardugo has created a world so real that I felt like I was walking on the pages alongside the characters. Everything about it was so intriguing and I cannot wait to see more of it in the next books in the trilogy.

molly.frenzel said...

Fabulous review! The more reviews I read of Shadow and Bone, the more antsy I get about moving it up on my TBR.

Christina Kit. said...

Everyone is raving about Shadow and Bone! It's been on my wishlist forever, and I love all the excerpts I've read. I love how Leigh Bardugo based the world of Ravka on Russian mythology, it's so unique, and all the characters sound incredible:)

Hannah said...

Oh YAY! That's an awesome review. I'm DYING to get my hands on this book! So excited! Great job!

Inky@ bookhavenextraordianire.blogspot.com

Samantha R. said...

It's the Poison Study comparisons that have me longing to read this one.

Sierra said...

Awesome review.
I've been wanting to get this book for so long. All I have heard is amazing things about it.

Ashley said...

I love your review! This totally makes me want to read the book even more! I keep hearing amazing things about it but unfortunately I don't own a copy (yet!).

Bridget Howard said...

I have heard a lot of good things about this book and it will be interesting to see if I like it. I loved the mortal instruments but I wasn't a huge fan of daughter of smoke and bone so I guess I will see when I read it!!!!

holdenj said...

Between the review and author post, this definitely sounds like something I am more and more interested in reading ! Thanks!

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