Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo

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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.

Review by Jessie

The New York Times bestseller Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is a beautiful telling of a young girl, Alina Starkov, finding herself and fighting for her country amidst a world of magic, monsters and villains.

First of all, let’s start off by saying I LOVED this book – and the rest of the trilogy! I gave Shadow and Bone 4.5/5 stars. In the genre of YA fantasy, this book does not offer anything distinctly new. However, the telling of this story is so wonderful and engaging that I personally had no complaints about it. The characters are surprisingly deep and detailed for a book written entirely in the main character, Alina’s, perspective. Bardugo does an excellent job of providing a detailed backstory of each character. We do not get the full story behind each character until later books, but that’s what makes the trilogy as a whole an interesting read.

Most of all, I really enjoyed the plot of this book. Learning about the Grisha orders and history was my favorite part. While reading this book, I felt like it was Harry Potter all over again in the sense that I was trying to decide which Grisha order I belong in rather than which Hogwarts house I am in (squallers all the way!)

My one complaint, though minor, is enough to bother me. I had a difficult time with the meaning of certain words. I would love to have had maybe a glossary in the book explaining what each word is. Sure, through using context clues I was able to figure it out, but it still would have been nice to know the meaning. With that being said, this by no means deterred me from enjoying the book.

Overall, it’s safe to say I love Leigh Bardugo and Shadow and Bone. This book is an easy read and flows nicely. Some parts of the story are a bit predictable, but Bardugo also throws some twists at you as well! I really felt like I was a part of this world. Leigh Bardugo uses beautiful imagery in order to help the reader feel immersed in the world. After reading this, I totally want to live in Ravka. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

What are your thoughts on the book?

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