Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo



Leigh Bardugo. Henry Holt and Co.. May 17th 2012

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.


Shadow and Bone mech_des2 high resFirstly, I would like to bow down to Leigh Bardugo’s mastery of the whole ‘showing-not-telling’ thing!

The world building in the book was totally fresh, unique and original for me. The first few pages overwhelmed me so much for the loads of information and like I said ‘show-not-tell’. But no, I wasn’t discouraged. Not at all. Instead, it made me feel like I was there, watching everything.

The only problem I had with this book is.. the lack of depth. I had read some of the reviews around and I still felt like I was the only one who didn’t grasp it. It was as if the whole book opted to be “safe”. You know how some heroes or heroines just annoy you to no end? That was it, they totally didn’t here. They were the “safest” characters out there.

Alina was headstrong and witty enough for people to love her, sensible enough for people to relate to her and she made mistakes often enough for people to feel that she’s real. Ideal girl, no?

Mal was your perfect, sweet, caring, and again “safe”, childhood friend. He had those bad boy charms, kind heart, good looks that sent girls drooling and was the best tracker out there. He’s someone you couldn’t hate albeit being a bit boring on later part of the series.

And Darkling was your smoky bad boy. Sexy, dangerous, intelligent, charming and a big mastermind. One you would just love to hate.

So yes, the book felt like a surface overview. When it was sad or happy, it wasn’t that sad or happy. Because while I totally understood Alina and her decisions, I couldn’t relate emotionally with her. Same goes with the other characters. It was such a shame because I could really dig the story, the guys and basically everything.

But still, Darkling I’m totally attracted to you when I know I’m not supposed to. facepalm. The guy could charm like nobody’s business.

Is it a triangle love? Not really, since Alina had made it clear who she wanted from the very first. But hey, it’s only the first book. Looking at how the author writes, I think anything goes.

“I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I’d catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason , just out of habit, because I’d seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I’d realize that you weren’t there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I’ve risked my life for you. I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don’t tell me why we don’t belong together,” he said fiercely.




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