Title: Shadow and Bone
Leigh Bardugo
The Grisha, #1
 Henry Holt and Co.
Publish Date:
June 5, 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal

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?

general thoughts

The first half of the book was intriguing, although nothing much really happened. The first half was kind of an introduction to the world of the Grishas. At first, I was prepared to give this book four stars, because it was one of those books where I would keep on reading even if there was minimal romance. And that’s saying something, since I’m a huge romance junkie.

I really liked Leigh’s writing style. It was simple, but it was captivating. The world she created was full of magic, fantasy and I could just imagine myself living there with all the Grisha, but sadly, I am just a mortal!

The second half is where I started having major problems. There was no insta-love, but rather an insta-kiss, which is just equally as frustrating. I will talk more about this in the discussion section of my review.

The three main characters (Alina, the Darkling and Mal) were okay. I liked Alina in the beginning, but her character had inconsistent personalities and that kind of bothered me. The Darkling, of course, did a pretty good job of being evil and cunning and did I already say evil? Mal was a pretty cute love interest, but nothing special. My favorite character was Genya, who sort of played the role as Alina’s nanny. I would’ve loved to read more about her.

Overall, the story was very engaging, but I had problems and didn’t love it as much as I would’ve wanted to. But is it weird that I still want to read the sequels?


I love discussing cover art with people. The cover for Shadow and Bone is absolutely gorgeous. I love the color scheme, the text and how it seems very mysterious. The cover alone would make me want to pick this book up at the bookstore. I’m not a big fan of the cover for the sequel, Siege and Storm, probably because the white text looks kinda off.

3 stars



9 thoughts on “Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

  1. i love the Russian influence on the cover and the stag horns. Fantastic. But unlike you, I loved the book. Gave it 5 stars. Just as well we’re all different. You commented on my post on The Goddess Test. If you are looking for Greek mythology, please don’t bother with it. It is as far removed from the real thing as polar bears are to Emperor Penguins – a whole planet’s worth of distance.


    1. The cover is gorgeous. I’ll still read the sequel, though, and hopefully I’ll love it.

      I’ve seen mixed reviews on it, so I’ll do more research before I decide if I’ll read it or not. Thanks for the input. :)


    1. I really liked it, actually, but I had a lot of issues, with it. I’m really excited to try out the sequel. :)


  2. Too bad you didn’t like it much :( I pretty much loved this book. It was a bit slow in the beginning with all the Grisha stuff, but Leigh Bardugo’s writing was really good so I kept going. If you pick up the sequel, I hope you’ll like it more!


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