Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo 

Synopsis – 

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.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy. 

Goodreads rating – 4,08/5 stars 

My Review – 

I heard so many amazing things about the Grisha Trilogy on book tube, Instagram and many of my friends, so when Shadow and Bone arrived in the post I was so excited! 

The book was good overall, however in my opinion it lacked in character development and world building. The narrator frustrated me and I wasn’t sure whether it was because her character didn’t develop throughout the book, or because she reminded of every other protagonist in YA books. There is death and danger all around her in a world full of war and destruction, but she hardly seems to notice it.  A friend of hers dies tragically and she hardly mentions it or mourns him at all. This gave me the impression that he wasn’t really dead and that he would return at some point throughout the book… No such luck. You can imagine my disappointment…

 Typical of a YA novel, the protagonist is obsessed with her looks (as our society seems to think that all girls are, making it more relatable, however this is not necessarily true and just becomes repetitive and boring). For a main character Alina doesn’t really  have a back bone, as she always put herself down and doesn’t stand up for herself. Even towards the end of the novel, she’s still second guessing herself, regretting past decisions, and just seems weak and boring. 

The romance (sexual tension) between the Darkling and Alina was the most interesting part of the novel. He is a brilliant character and was the highlight of the novel for me, and I truly didn’t see him as the villain and was able to get caught up in his charm. When I found out about the treachery, I was shocked and didn’t want to believe it myself. I will admit that I did enjoy the relationship between Alina and Mal, but there will always be a special place in my heart for the Darkling.

The world that this story is set in is great, but I feel like it wasn’t developed enough. The book moved too fast to really develop the world and the characters, so all I can judge on is the plot and the relationships. Even after reading it, I can’t tell  the difference between the Grisha and all the types and Kefta colours. I was just getting comfortable with the plot and the characters when the plot twist was thrown in my face, so I was a little surprised and confused. That said I am excited to continue with the series and then move onto reading Six of Crows. 

My rating – 3,5/5 stars

Instagram – Globalbookmania 

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

YouTube – Globalbookmania 


  1. Chelsea K · November 28, 2015

    I felt the samr way on the first book. I’m glad there is two more books. I fell for The Darkling too! I don’t see him as a villan either!

    Liked by 1 person

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