Friday, July 27, 2012

Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Macmillan (Henry Holt)
Publication date: June 2012
Pages: 368
Source: Library
For: Fun
Series: Grisha Trilogy, Book 1

Alina and Mal have grown up together, orphans, with nothing but each other. But when the two are sent on a dangerous mission to the Shadow Fold, Alina suddenly finds herself shoved into the spotlight, with powers she never dreamed she had. Pulled from everything she knew before, in the lap of luxury, and at the side of the mysterious Darkling, Alina will discover just how much power she has.

Things I Liked:
I fell completely in love with the gorgeous setting.  I loved the details and the uniqueness (maybe I need to read more Eastern European inspired books) and just how well the story fit into the setting.  I think these are the true details that set this fantasy apart from others I've read.  I loved the imagination in creating the magic system and especially the Shadow Fold.  I did like Alina, though sometimes I was annoyed by her inability to decide sometimes what she wanted or recognizing that she was actually pretty cool (which, you know, is how a lot of us feel).  I did feel invested in how she was going to get out of her situation.  I was more intrigued by Genya, because she seemed complicated and more interesting to me.  I kind of want to hear more about her in the next books.

Things I Didn't Like:
I have to admit, the story was pretty predictable.  I knew almost from the start how things would work out.  Though, to be fair, the very end was somewhat unexpected.  I think what contributed to this was that the story is very familiar.  The arc of the story wasn't exactly original, and the romantic plot was obvious from the start as well.  As I mentioned, the details and some characters kept me intrigued and invested in the story, but the actual plot was lacking for me.  These failings, however, did not prevent me from devouring that ending, reveling in the beautiful details, and overall enjoying this book.

Reminded me of Chalice by Robin McKinley
Perhaps The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson too

s-factor: !
a few here and there

mrg-factor: X
one rather steamy scene

v-factor: ->->
a couple of parts, mostly not described on page

Overall rating: ****

What are your feelings about this one?  

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I was interested in this one when the author came to my library. But then I was skeptical because I don't really care for fantasy. So maybe the plot will seem new to me? I'm happy you liked it overall. Maybe I'll have to give it a look.

    1. Well, I don't know if you don't like fantasy... Then again it is pretty good, so I think still worth a shot!

  2. Great review! i appreciate hearing what did and did not work for you. I've heard some really awesome things about this one, but I'm still not sure what I would think. I want to give it a shot though.


    1. It definitely hit the spot for many people, so I do agree there are lots of good things to make it worthwhile.

  3. I have this one sitting on my bedside table waiting for me to have some free time. I find that most stories are at least a little predictable (there's nothing new under the sun and all that), but if the setting and characters are unique and well-written, the book feels fresh. I'm hoping that will be the case with this book, because I'm very excited about it.

    Great review!

    1. I agree that most books will feel familiar in terms of plot, though there can still be surprises. This one just seemed a bit more predictable than usual. But the great setting and writing do make it feel different. Hope you like it!

  4. I've wanted to read this one for so long now! I actually received a copy quite a while ago and just never found the time, but it seems like a great read for just relaxing and enjoying a fun book. I need that sometimes! ;o)

    Loved the review! I think I'm going to have to give it a go soon! :)

    1. Let's hope you enjoy it when you do find the time!

  5. I'm excited to get to this one...even if it is predictable. ;)

    1. I hope you like it - I'm interested in seeing what you think.

  6. I love your content rating system!! I'm always looking for content rating blogs to follow! I rate the content as well on my blogs. This book is on my to-read list. It sounds good.

    Clean Teen Fiction
    Clean Adult Fiction

    1. Thanks, Kathryn! I like seeing content ratings as well, so I'll definitely check out your sites.


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