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Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

August 1, 2013
Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) | June 5, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Source: Bought
Series: The Grisha
Shadow and Bone
Siege and Storm
Ruin and Rising

Goodreads | Purchase
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.

Review:


Great world. Swoony love interests. Meh MC.

     Where do I even begin. There are so many things I didn't like in this book, but a few of them I did, ended up making all the difference. Starting with Alina, I don't think I've read about a more dull character than her, she was plain and boring with zero personality. But here's what made me really mad-- the number of times she downgraded her physical appearance for no damn reason. I get that she's not the most beautiful girl in Ravka, but does she have to stress it out that much. Come ON. If Alina was a much stronger and smarter heroine, then I have no doubt that Shadow and Bones would have been one of the best books I'd read this year. But alas, not everything is perfect.

     Leigh Bardugo created a very beautiful, aery and mystical world of Ravka where Grisha's (people with powers) serve the King and are given a higher status than anyone. Alina, being an orphan, was unaware of her powers until she accidentally discovered them in presence of other Grisha's and turned out to be a major key player in removing the evil from Revka and bringing it back to it's original glory. Within moments of introduction, I was in love with the world. It was creative, complex and unique. Though I have to say that the author went a little overboard with the complex part by the addition of foreign terminology. I loved certain words, but most of the time I was lost figuring out what meant what and wished for a glossary at the end of the every chapter.

     Someone I liked a lot and made the story 100 times more interesting was----The Darkling!!! Oh.My.God. I have the biggest crush on him! His mysteriousness and the level of power is what draws me in. Even though I know he's bad, I can't help but admire him. The Darkling was the best part in this whole story and I'm dying to read about about him, not as a love interest though. I like Alina and Mal together, they have a very natural bond that is rarely found in romances, so they are the one I'm rooting for. Overall, Shadow and Bone is a good book. Does it deserve the hype? Absolutely not in my opinion. Alina really ruined what could have been a great read and even though she did grow a little by the end, I don't think it's enough. I will continue the series because of the epic ending, but not with the same enthusiasm.

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22 comments:

  1. I just saw your review on Goodread and I must say that I'm surprised. I have heard only worships about this book and I need to read it soon. I really love good fantasy but I'm afraid that I won't like Alina either. Great review Aman :)

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    1. I was bummed out by her character too, but I hope you have better luck with it. Though be prepared to be swooned by The Darkling :) Loved him!
      Thanks!

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  2. It's funny that you were meh about Alina and loved the darkling! It's usually the opposite in all the reviews I've read! You always ease my mind Aman lol cos we both tend to not be completely in love with the books everyone else fangirl over so I always love to read your reviews before I tackle one of the BIG books! I'm glad you did enjoy this tho, I'm hoping to read it soon!

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    1. The Darkling was such a great character, I'm surprised most of the readers didn't like him. Oh, we do have similar taste, right? I'll look forward to your review.

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  3. Love this series so much but I appreciate your honesty :) Not everyone will love the same books, and that's okay.
    Definitely try the next book. Lots of interesting developments!!!!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. True! I'm glad you enjoy it more than I did, it was a good book overall. I just want Alina to either go away or get a backbone. Oh, now I want to know those developments O.O

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  4. Awww I'm sorry you didn't really care for Alina Aman, but I'm THRILLED you loved the Darkling! He made the book for me as well and I just couldn't get enough of him. He was all dark and interesting and mysterious and I felt like I could have read a whole book just about him and not have been bored once:)

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    1. Ah, The Darkling was THE BEST! I hope there's a novella or something from his POV.

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  5. GAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH. Won't read your review *tries to pull away* I'm going to read this pretty soon and I don't want to know anything. I have the paperback and I only know that it's an original world and there's the Darkling. I know nothing else and that's the way I want it to be. I'm sorry you didn't like it that much though, but I hope that (ok, read the last sentence) you'll love the sequel:)

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    1. Awww, I hope you enjoy it more than I did, Siiri! It is a very interesting and innovative series. Good Luck with Alina though :P

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  6. I liked this one just a tiny bit more than you did, but it was on audio and that usually works better for me. I must agree with you about Alina, though. When compared to my favorite YA fantasy heroine, Seraphina, she seems even more faceless and dull.
    I didn't much care for Mal either, I thought he didn't deserve his second and third and fourth chance, but that's how it works. I'm quite unforiving, I'm afraid.
    Great review, Aman!

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    1. Oh, I really need to try some audios. Books appear to be even better in that version. Though I'm so glad I'm not the only one who wasn't a fan of Alina. Mal was fine for me, but we don't really know a lot about him.
      Thannks :)

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  7. Aw, this is one of my favorite reads so I wish you would have enjoyed it better! At least we both can agree in our love for the Darkling :D Unfortunately he's not in the second book much but a new cool guy is :)

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  8. I definitely felt different about Alina, I liked her. But I read the second one not long ago and I think she was much stronger in it. I also loved the Darkling, but you need to read the second book, there's another character (a new one) that I LOVE and I think you would too.

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  9. I haven't read this book yet. I was unsure about it because I don't love dystopian type books. Now I'm even more apprehensive if I'll like it...hmm..

    Haha thanks for the review I love reading different opinions :)

    Dee @ Dee's Reads

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  10. Oh, I actually loved this one, but I know where you're coming from! Plus, let's be real...the Darkling is just fantastic! I think you might love book two even more! Great review, Aman! :)

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  11. I just read another review ont his one that was super positive. I'm sorry to hear that you hated it but i"m definitely going to have to read it! Great review, Aman!

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  12. Haha it's fun to read a non raving review on that one and actually makes me feel better to have given the sequel a 3 star as well. I felt so black sheepish!! >.<

    I didn't love Alina as much as everyone else so I can see how easy it would be to get annoyed at her self deprecating nature. she does grow a lot stronger and more confident in the sequel but it's the plot that suffers in that one, so slow and dull I found (though I seem to be alone in that opinion lol). And like, The Darkling is only in the book for a few pages in book 2. Wtf? I'm also a huge fan of him his character is so atmospheric and mysterious!! I love what he offered the first book!

    Great review, doll! :)

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  13. I've asked for a copy of Shadow & Bone in a recent giveaway I won and I'm very interested to read it. But boy! I can't stand people who keep degrading themselves. Seriously, like you say, come ON. I'm sorry this didn't live up to the hype for you. BUT, on the plus side, it's great to now the world building is strong and powerful and hahaha! The Darkling! I can't wait to read this book honestly, but I wish it had been better for you. Nice review, Aman!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

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  14. It's hard to fully enjoy a book when the MC is disappointing. I also have issues with complicated made up terms. They can be confusing and slow down the plot for me. This does sound like a wonderful series and I probably will pick it up someday, but I may wait because it's best to read a complicated series one right after the other. Otherwise the year spent waiting for the next book makes all the details fuzzy and it's hard to fully appreciate the book. Great review, Aman. :)

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  15. I'm sorry you didn't care for Alina much but yay for loving the Darkling! He was awesome. I'd love to see how you find the sequel. :)

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  16. I agree with you, although I do love this series. There are a lot of standard elements in here, and Alina doesn't seem like anything that unique or special. UNTIL you get to the Darkling. He is the character that sets this book apart. I hope you end up liking the next one better!

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