Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Thoughts on Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

This is the third time I have read this book (once for each time a book is released in the trilogy), and it is still the amazing book I remember from when Siege and Storm came out. Usually when reading a book for the third time because the third book in the trilogy was just released, I am bored with the first book and rush through it as quickly as I can. While I did rush through Shadow and Bone this time through, it was more like greeting an old friend.

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Series: The Grisha, Book 1

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Adventure

Rating: 4.5 stars

Description:

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.

I couldn’t help adding the book trailer too, because I just love it so much:

Review:

This is the third time I have read this book (once for each time a book is released in the trilogy), and it is still the amazing book I remember from when Siege and Storm came out. Usually when reading a book for the third time because the third book in the trilogy was just released, I am bored with the first book and rush through it as quickly as I can. While I did rush through Shadow and Bone this time through, it was more like greeting an old friend.

The world-building in this book is magnificent. I love the Russian influences melded in with the fantasy ideas of Ravka, and the complex ideas of the Grisha order while still being understandable (at least as much as Alina understands it herself). The romance (with Mal) is pitch-perfect, beginning with a close childhood friendship that can only lead in one direction.

The prose is simple and easy to keep reading for hours on end, and there is a perfect balance of action and beautiful descriptions. In other words, the timing is perfect — Leigh Bardugo picks up the pace or changes the situation right before you begin to get bored.

Although Alina is in a difficult situation no book reader would ever be in, it is easy to sympathize with her and understand her feelings and consequent actions. She is a great character that is just a normal teenage girl with normal teenage concerns — a crush on a cute boy who doesn’t seem to notice her, fitting in and making friends in a strange place, coming to terms with her own plain appearance, suffering through difficult schooling, and getting enough sleep with all the stress! — besides being a Sun Summoner, that is!

Additionally, although I realize this isn’t a very good way to judge a book, the cover and graphic design inside this book, especially the map of Ravka, is stunningly beautiful in a dark sort of way.

Highly recommended for fans of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, and Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers.

The Russian influences in this book also got me interested in reading other books about that fascinating country, so next on my to-review list is Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick, a historical fiction novel that actually takes place in Russia, but has magic woven in as well.

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2 comments on “Gwen’s Thoughts on Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

  1. alwaysopinionatedgirl
    August 7, 2014

    Oooh I want to read this one too. I have serious book envy over all your books. X

  2. Nyze
    October 11, 2014

    Excellent review! I have this but havent read it. Glad you like it :)

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This entry was posted on August 7, 2014 by in Author: Gwen, Favorites, Review, Young Adult and tagged , , .
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