Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha: Book 1)

Original Title: Shadow and Bone

Year Published: 2014

Published by:  Indigo

Number of Pages: 352

First Sentence: The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest, and because they haunted the duke’s house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last summer peaches.

Goodreads Rating: 3/5


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 fulfil 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?

My thoughts:

I wanted to love this book so much, especially since pretty much everyone who has mentioned it has loved it, but I just couldn’t. That’s not saying that it was bad, but there was something missing for me. Or perhaps it was the fact that it felt like the plot just took random commercial breaks and we stood waiting in the same spot for some time before moving on with the story.

The world of this book is fantastic though, and it is easy to tell that Bardugo has put in much time and effort into creating it. The system of the Grisha is thoroughly developed and easy to follow. I loved the Grisha and seeing the hierarchy between them all. If anything, the book is worth reading just because of the beauty of the world in it.

I never really connected with the characters either. I didn’t dislike them, I just didn’t click with them completely. It might have been because I did feel slightly frustrated with the story.

Do I recommend it? 

Sure, like I said it’s not a bad book, I just thought the plot felt slightly repetitive. I do own the other two books and will read them as well.


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