The TV series of Shadow and Bone is coming out later this month, so I’m rereading the series! So far I’ve only read ‘Shadow and Bone’ and ‘Seige and Storm’ before, so it will be great to see what the ending of this series will be.
Onto my review though of ‘Shadow and Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo!
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.
I quite liked this book, in the sense it was an easy read and there was really only one main plotline. Alina Starkov finds out that she’s different from everyone else around her, and suddenly is pulled into a whole new world of Grisha and magical powers. It seems beautiful at first, but there is something ugly going on beneath the surface, and Alina begins to realise the people around her are not as they seem.
Yes, it’s a good book to read and I liked it, but I felt the worldbuilding fell a little flat. Leigh Bardugo pulls in Russian themes and the idea is nice and all, but I just felt there was more needed. There was a fair bit of the Little Palace life, but I would have liked more of the teachers and characters there. But perhaps this is developed further in the next few books. After all, this was her first book!
The characters were ok. I really liked Genya, and also some of the teachers in the Little Palace were well described, but again I’d like to see more development in further books. Mal felt like the standard love interest, and while at the beginning of the book he seemed indifferent to Alina’s crush, it suddenly turned as soon as she disappeared off to become a Grisha. Their love of each other was clear as friends, and it developed a bit during their travels together, but I’m keen to see that developed more in the second book.
I think overall this is a really easy read, and classic Young Adult Fantasy. If you’re keen on a book that isn’t overly complicated and quick to pick-up, I’d recommend Shadow and Bone. I’m keen to see how the TV adaptation will progress, especially as the book’s plot needs a lot more development – perhaps this will be addressed in the TV series.
Overall, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Kate @ Kandid Chronicles x