[Review] Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

The first novel of the Grisha trilogy, written by Leigh Bardugo. Shadow and Bone was published on June 5, 2012 and it’s a YA fantasy-adventure book.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Series: The Grisha Trilogy (Book 1)
Paperback: 416 pages
Language: English
Age Range: 12 - 18 years


Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold―a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.

Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite―and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.

As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.

Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.


Where should I start?


I was really disappointed after I’ve finished this book. I really thought it’s going to be a great book, but unfortunately it wasn’t.


Cover: Look at this cover, it’s beautiful! Before I bought this trilogy, I didn’t even know what it is about. I just want the Grisha trilogy, because of these amazing covers. Shame on me. I’m a victim to beautiful book covers.

There’s also a beautiful map and bonus content inside, which I enjoyed.

Story and World: After I bought this trilogy I’ve read the synopsis of the first book and it sounds interesting, but I also have had this feeling, that it is going to be predictable. Guess what! It was predictable and obviously for me – not everything, but a lot of it. So that was kinda annoying.

I do have some more issues... Just wait for it.

The writing style was okay/good. The novel is narrated by Alina Starkov.

Firstly, I really liked the book idea *here we come*, but it wasn’t well crafted. Which is truly sad, though. This book has the potential to be really great, but Bardugo hasn’t worked out the world very well. For me it was like that Bardugo just thrown the reader into the book and that’s it. Of course there were declarations, but not enough to visualizing the full setting. I don’t have problems getting thrown into a new book, but if this should happen then there should be more declarations with time.

And now, why was it predictable and obviously?

I’ll tell you why.


This book is ordinary, because we’ve the Chosen One, the main character thinks she’s ugly and untalented and you should take a seat, because this will knock your socks off! Hold on. The main character, do you sit? is exactly the opposite. I know, it’s really knock your socks off right? But that’s not all, we also have a love triangle between her best friend and the evil one. By the way the evil one is actually not so evil, but pssshh. But is that true? Perhaps he is evil. You will not know, until you read the book.


Another issue I have with this book is that it is not getting more fascinating or more boring. It was like a straight line, u know? Let me show you:

It’s just stay straight – from the start to the end.

Okay to the end it is not true. The end is getting more fascinating. Let me show you it again:
I’ve to admit that I almost cried at the end. Almost. I didn’t. But it was sad though.


Characters: The main character Alina Starkov was a little bit boring and ordinary, except from her powers of course. She’s the “Chosen One” and of course in love with her best friend Malyen Oretsev, short Mal. Like I already said, she thinks she is ugly and untalented, which isn’t true, because she is exactly the opposite.

Alina’s best friend Malyen Oretsev is also a little bit boring and ordinary. Both of them are teenage orphans, who grow up together in Ravka. After Alina was with the Darkling, Mal realized he had feelings for her. *ordinary*

The Darkling he’s the evil one. He’s falling in love with Alina, but don’t want it bla bla… Love is weakness… bla bla... He wants her power bla bla…

I think I don’t have to tell you more about them, because you can guess by yourself what characters they are.




I did like the characters, just didn’t love them. They could be better. Maybe in the second book. I like the Darkling more than the others, he’s sometimes so mysterious. Maybe because of the reason that I also listen to the audiobook and the Darkling voice was so mysterious. Shrug.


I will continue this trilogy, because I want to know more about the world and characters. This kind of review was really negative, I didn’t mean to do that. However, I’m sure that the second book will be better. It has to. Please don’t disappoint me again. I don’t know why I’m so sure that the second book will be better, I just have the feeling.


I’m sorry for grammar mistakes etc… English isn’t my native language. Please don’t judge me. Have mercy on me hahah.

Yanisa (acityofbooksblog)

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