Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: StarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Fantasy

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.


Two things that made Shadow and Bone reading close to bearable:

One. I was conned by the Darkling. I was rooting for him, then well, you know… let’s just say Leigh Bardugo has a mean streak in Darkling’s character.

Two. The action scene in the Fold at the end of the book. I admit it was cool.

Other than that, Shadow and Bone is one big disappointment for a fantasy lover. Little and so few action scenes. Such a downer.

Alina has self-esteem issues. I cannot understand why almost 2/3 of the book is dedicated to Alina being conscious about her looks! What a useless heroine. She spent half the time swooning over the Darkling when she should’ve been training rigorously as a Grisha! Alina is annoying, irritating, and always in need of someone to help. Is this the kind of fantasy heroine I want? NO!

The plot was unique but it was poorly executed. And while i read some of the not-so-glowing reviews, I agree that the research behind the story was poor, as well.

Shadow and Bone = a lot of eyeroll = palpable distaste.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo | reading is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

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