Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Warning: This review may contain spoilers!

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?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

Source: Goodreads

My review:

After I have read and loved The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, I searched for similar fantasy novels. I don’t read too many YA fantasy books, because as you know, I rather read paranormal books, but since The Bone Season was so awesome, I wanted to read more fantasy. And that’s how I heard about Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.

I’m probably one of the last persons who hasn’t read this trilogy, but I am glad that I finally picked up the first book because I really loved it. I should have read it sooner and should have trusted my Goodreads friends and all the people who have recommended this trilogy to me.

So let’s talk about the things I liked about Shadow and Bone. First of all, I loved the whole setting of the book because it had a unique feel to it. I just loved to read about this intriguing world the author has created and I wanted to find out more about the Grishas and their powers.

Alina was a great protagonist, very likable and I am curious to see how much she will change in the next two books. At first, she is overwhelmed by the unexpected turn her life has taken, but then she accepts her power and is determined to do anything in order to safe Ravka.

The Darkling was very mysterious and I didn’t know whether Alina could trust him or not. I was intrigued by him and I can’t wait to read more about him.

Mal was a great character too and I loved how his relationship to Alina developed. I liked the fact that they have known each other since they were little and that it takes Mal some time to sort out his feelings for Alina, because when he finally realizes that he’s in love with her, he’ll do anything in order to protect her.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book were these foreign terms the author used. They were very confusing at first, but I got used to them eventually. Also, the world building is great, but at the beginning, it was a little confusing.

All in all Shadow and Bone was a great and suspenseful YA fantasy novel with a gorgeous setting and intriguing and mysterious characters. I am definitely looking forward to reading the sequels in the near future.


4.5 out of 5 stars


How about you? Have you read this book? Did you like it as much as I did?



12 thoughts on “Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

  1. I totally agree with you this book was a bit confusing. But then again, I don’t read a lot of fantasy so when I do I always have to pay attention to the world building. I got a bit annoyed with Alina at points, did you get that too?


    1. Yeah, I don’t read a lot of fantasy either, so that’s why I always find the fantasy worlds a little confusing, but I got used to the world of Shadow and Bone after a while. Yes, Alina was at the beginning a little annoying, but then I started to like her, especially when she decided to embrace her power and finally use it. I think she will grow (or at least I hope so) in the next books and I am curious to see how she will develop as a character.

      Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by!


      1. Yeah, I know what you mean. If you don’t read the sequel soon after you’ve finished book one, you forget a lot. Happy rereading then!


    1. Yeah, you get used to the terms at some point. I just bought Siege and Storm and I can’t wait to read it soon! Hope you get to read it too in the near future.


  2. I don’t read a lot of fantasy either, but this trilogy is top on my list of “fantasy for people who don’t read much fantasy.” It has a fascinating yet accessible world, a really strong plot, and amazing characters. Can’t wait to see what you think of the second book. It’s amazing!!
    Jen @ YA Romantics


  3. Lovely review!

    I’ve had my eye on this one, and I am very intrigued by the sound of the plot and the characters. But, like you, the foreign terms would through me off a bit. But I think I must check this one out when I can!


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