Review: Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo






Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Pub Deets: June 2012, Henry Holt
Source: Gifted from Heidi at YA Bibliophile






In a sentence or so: Alina has crazy amounts of power that could possibly save her country from the Shadow Fold which is full of monsters that will EAT YOUR FACE, if only she could discover how to tap into her power without being forced to and find the courage within herself to be the powerful Grisha she is destined to be.

Alina and Mal have been best friends since they showed up as orphans on the same doorstep as children. Mal is everything Alina is not. He is confident, charismatic, and skilled. Alina...not so much. At least, that’s what she thinks. When their military troop is attacked crossing the Shadow Fold, Alina looks deep within herself to protect Mal and something incredible happens. She becomes light. Something that the Grisha had thought would never happen. Something that makes no sense to Alina and certainly no sense to anyone else.

After getting swept up by the Grisha and the Darkling (who is like the Grisha HBIC but a dude), Alina is off to train to become a Grisha. Which sounds like it would be super cool, if not for the fact that she has NO idea how to channel her power, she misses Mal like crazy (and maybe finally admits she kinda like likes him), and she thinks maybe the Darkling is flirting with her? You know, the immensely powerful and living through multiple lifetimes (Dalai Lama/Avatar Aang style) Darkling? NO BIG DEAL.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo marks the beginning of a trilogy rich with magic, Russian influence, and lots of feels. Alina is a solid main character who has a whole world dumped on her shoulders and doesn’t feel worthy of the task. We’re with her as she struggles to find her place among the Grisha and find confidence in herself. And of course a little love triangle/swoony times on the side doesn’t hurt the book either...

I’ve heard lots of raves about this book from the likes of my blogger friends such as Heidi, Kristi, Amy and April. Yeah, how’s THAT for some praise? Naturally, they were right. I was immediately swept away into Shadow and Bone thanks to Leigh Bardugo’s world building. I loved the Russian influence and of COURSE I always love anything to do with magic and fantasy and dark creatures so that was fantastic.

If you’re looking for a YA fantasy that has solid relationships, rich world building, a strong female lead and a diverse supporting cast, give Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo a shot. I think you’ll become engrossed in Alina’s story and start casting your lots pretty quick!

Fave quote: "I wasn't nervous or frightened. I wasn't anything anymore." (335)

Pairs well with: Something about the richness of this book and the cold climate made me want hot chocolate the entire time I was reading it.
Fix er up: In the spirit of avoiding spoilers, I have many questions about the final resolution with the Darkling. Mainly that I do not agree with what I THINK happened and need someone to tell me that what I WANT to have happened be true. Sorry for being vague - but NOT sorry for avoiding spoilers!  

[FTC Notice: I was not compensated in any way for this review. Clicking through on links does not provide any financial benefit for me.]

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

27 comments:

  1. LOVED this book soooo much! The Darkling killed me!

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    1. YES! Surely I'm mistaken about what happens to him...

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  2. LOVED this one! So glad you enjoyed it!!! :)

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  3. This is one of those books that I have had for months, but still haven't read. It seems to be universally liked and some of my students even like it, but I still haven't plunged in. Maybe soon?

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  4. I read this book in a day over the summer. It's a sneaky one. It gets and better and better, and then the end just suddenly screws with your head because it goes somewhere totally different than you would have expected it to. Awesome review!

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  5. Great review! I loved the book as well!

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  6. I have heard wonderful things about Shadow and Bone too, but haven't gotten to it yet. I really need to get on that :)

    Glad you enjoyed it.

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  7. This is on my "read soon" list so I like that you just blogged about it. AND I like that you liked it. I'm a little bit nervous about the Russian-ness of it because I get confused with names and the verbage, but I'm hoping that won't be a problem for me!

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    1. I think you'll enjoy it a lot without it being overwhelming.

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  8. World building! Strong female lead! RUSSIAN INFLUENCE! I'll read almost anything with a Russian influence. I think I have got to read this book very soon.

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  9. There are so many positive accolades given by my blogging friends about this book, now I feel like I HAVE to read it! I took Russian in college and consequently, ended up learning quite a bit about the culture, so I'm really intrigued to see it woven into a fantasy novel. The fact that there is super strong world-building AND character growth just makes it even more lustful. Can't wait to read it!

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  10. This is 100% on my "I am reading this next" list. Like, I am picking it up RIGHT NOW seriously. I'm thinking this is a book that I'll end up LOVING. Excellente, my friend!

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  11. Mwah ha ha ha ha!!! My plan to make ALL THE PEOPLE read this book is taking shape! Glad you liked it.

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    1. I did! Thank you for making it happen!

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  12. This book was awesomepants. I totally loved it oh so much!

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  13. I wasn't enthralled with this book when I first read it (back in May?) but the more I think about it, the more I really loved it and am excited for the second book. Will need to reread the ending to see what might have happened...

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    1. I could see that. It took me awhile to get swept up into it. The ending was definitely O_O though!

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  14. LOVED IT. Love the magic-twist & Russia is a great backdrop.

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  15. I'm pretty excited to start this one! It's definitely one of the fantasies that I look forward to reading soon, because everyone I trust seems to love it. Plus, it's RUSSIA. How could I not be excited?!

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  16. Holla! So glad you loved it! We'll have to confer on your thoughts later. But YAY! (And thanks for the shout out, my dear).

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  17. YESSSSSS to this review! I freaking loved this book! Great review and I'm SO GLAD you loved it. Those monsters are legit.

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  18. This is like the second review for this book I've seen this week.

    You know what that means?

    The internets are screaming MAGAN GET ON IT ALREADY.

    So I will, Lisa, I will.

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  19. FRICK YES. Mal is my favorite because you know I like nice people like that.

    And OMG THE DARKLING. Yes.

    I like your Aang reference. I see what you did there.

    NOW FOR SEIGE & STORM. Although I kind of feel like I'm not allowed to read my copy because it's not out until like May or June.

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