Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review

by - 15:16


Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release: 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating★★★

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Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

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How has it taken me so long to read this trilogy? Six of Crows was one of the first fantasy books I read and is still one of my absolute favourites. I loved its characters and fun plot, but I did always feel as though I was missing a lot of the backstory from having missed reading the Grisha Verse. And I am so happy to be finally getting more into this world. 

It has one of the most unique magic systems in any of the books I've read. Yes, there is a lot of elemental magic which is pretty typical, but the way it works is so interesting. There are three main groups, which are then specialised further. The Corporalki is the order of the living dead. They are split into two, Healers and Heartenders. The former is pretty obvious and the latter can slow your heart down and kill you. They literally have death stare. Then there are the Etherealki, the order of Summoners. They are split into three, the Squallers who control air pressure, Inferni who control fire, and Tidemakers who control water. Finally, there are the Materialki, the order of Fabirkators, who are split into Durasts that can manipulate metal, stone and pretty much any other solid material. There are also the Alkemi who dabble in poisons and explosions. Pretty cool right?

I loved following Alina as she is thrown into this world of magic and her attempts to try and fit in. To be honest, she's a bit all over the place and doesn't really know what she's doing or who she really is. But for me, I thought this made her much more believable as a character and I liked her more for it. Who really has their life all sorted out at 17? 

I do want more from the villain. I feel like this book only brushed the surface and I want to know more about them and their motive. At the moment it's a bit clique with the whole hungry for power and destruction vibe but I hope I will find out more in the next two books. I won't say who it is as big spoilers there but I'm not sure yet. I also feel like he needs to do more evil. We didn't see a whole lot of evil actions from this character until the end and I want some more please!

Finally, the love interests. This is one of the things our main character is confused about and I have to say I did like one over the other. But that could never work and I'm not too keen on where it left off. Which I think makes me a bit evil as it is quite nice but I'm just not feeling it. I also don't feel like it really can work in their situation which makes it slightly less believable. I feel like that very abstract but I am really trying not to spoil anything! If you've read it, I hope you know what I mean and comment if you agree or completely disagree and are currently cursing your screen. Sorry!

And there we go! What did you think of the first book of the Grisha Verse or are you like me and so far behind you're only just getting to it/ haven't picked it up yet?

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