Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone
The Grisha Trilogy #1
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy/Magic
Released: June 5th 2012
Review Source: Purchased
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’re sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.

When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.

Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her . . . and only she can save the future.

Shadow and Bone is my first 5 tree review and it definitely earned the rating. The story begins with an excerpt taking place “Before” where several Grisha show up at an orphanage to test the small children and determine whether they may or may not be Grisha as well. Our main character, Alina, is one of the small children tested that day along with Mal, another orphan who she grows up with and considers her only family. No powers are found within the children on that day.

Many years later, Alina and Mal find themselves and their regiment crossing the Shadow Fold of their divided nation, Ravka. Being attacked by flesh eating flocks of voltra, she saves Mal’s life using a power she never dreamed she possessed. With that dormant power coming to life, Alina is suddenly taken by the soldiers to the Darkling. The character of the Darkling is both intimidating and alluring at the same time. I cannot imagine what Alina felt being in his presence, but it is powerful. The Darkling is an amplifier and he can amplify Alina’s power to an extent she never thought possible. Their connection is beautifully written.

As she gradually accepts the fact that she is the Sun Summoner, she cannot imagine ever being strong enough to be able to save Ravka alongside the Darkling. Her fear of failing her people is palpable, even though the Darkling is persistent. Throughout her acceptance of this new life, Alina undergoes training with several potent Grisha masters and struggles to control her power of light. Until the evening that she learns what the Darkling’s intentions truly are and has a terrifying choice to make. The secrets of the Grisha unravel quickly and Alina isn’t quite sure where she belongs and what her role truly is among them.

There is only so much of the story that can be told in a brief review, such as this one. You’ll have to pick up a copy of Shadow and Bone to really appreciate the BRILLIANCE in Leigh Bardugo’s debut novel. The world of Ravka as she creates it, is dark, magical and the characters are perfection. I can honestly say this read has been one of my favorites this year.

1 comment:

  1. I've been wanting to read this one so badly! I think this will be one of the next ones that I buy! Thanks for the review!


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