Shadow and Bone [Book Review]

Shadow and Bone [Book Review]
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Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)

Author: Leigh Burdago 

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Published Date: 5th June 2012
Rating: 4 Stars

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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.

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Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Burdago is a book I bought back in
October 2015 and I then – with a lot of other books – dumped it on my TBR pile.
Since that time I read countless reviews raving about this book but didn’t feel
compelled to pick it up until I saw jilyourlife from bookstagram had it to and
proposed that we do a buddy read together. And boy, did this book blow me away!
The beginning was
a little bit rough in my opinion. I felt like we were being thrown a lot of
phrases and I was temporarily lost in knowing what was what for a little while,
but things did pan out in the end. After quite a bit of information being
crammed into the first few pages, things start making sense and from then on
you can simply enjoy the rest of the book for what it is.
The world
building was done fairly well. It wasn’t incredibly detailed, but the all the
rules of the elements and how the Grisha worked had me pretty intrigued. I
loved the idea of the Grisha being the elite with these “powers” that the
peasants didn’t possess. We also get to see how the Grisha live and how it is
almost a mockery of what the peasants have to go through all the time. The
dynamics of the court was pretty interesting as well, when it comes to trying
to understand who is actually in power although there is a King as well. On top
of all of this, we have a gorgeous map on page one. Maps always have me falling
in love!
The Darkling sort
of stole my heart in this book. I love a dark and mysterious kind of main
character… let alone villain! I finally understand why everyone loves the line,
“Fine. Make me your villain.” I definitely shipped him and Alina (but not
anymore. Now I just ship myself and The Darkling.) He was perfectly twisted,
perfectly villainous and definitely someone to contend with. Also, all the time
I was reading I couldn’t help but think of how scary it would be to have him
and Queen Levana in the same room. *shudders*
At first I found
Alina’s character to be a bit ‘oh, woe to me for this and this and this,’ but
after a few pages you sort of get over that and you can like her. She’s really
just someone who has a power she never knew she possessed, and is thrown into
this new world and society she is unfamiliar with. Power changes people, and
Alina gets her fair share of side effects as well. I think we’re only seeing
the beginning of those in this book really, and the question of her character
will come back more in the future books.
The writing style
managed to suck me in. Burdago is brilliant at setting the scene. I felt like a
few of the characters were the black and white type of good and bad, but that
all changes pretty soon! The climax was full of suspense but felt a little bit
rushed at some point. I have to admit though, I questioned some things.
Spoiler, so highlight at your own risk… When it came to Mal needing to kill
Alina so that the Darkling wouldn’t kill the stag and have the power of her… I
couldn’t help but wonder why Mal didn’t just shoot the stag himself instead of
her. I mean, it was right there! In that scenario he wouldn’t have had to kill
Alina, and then he would have the
power over her. It’s sad that he would have that power but he could just
destroy the collar easily and it would be safer for him to have that power than
the Darkling. So that did make me wonder.
I feel like I
need to mention Mal here just because well, it seems required. But I didn’t
really feel much for him if I am honest. He was an okay character and got
through some difficult times. He pulled through for Alina all his life even
though he didn’t know it until she was gone. But I wasn’t feeling him too much,
so maybe that will change in book two?
Which, speaking
of book two, I ordered the day I finished this book. Oh, and I got book three
as well 😀

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Gif Summary:

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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

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Olivia’s
Question: Who’s your favourite villain?
Olivia-Savannah x


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