Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Burdugo

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

  • Pub. Date: June 5, 2012
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.(BYR)
  • Pages: 368
  • Series: The Grisha Trilogy #1

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.

First Line: "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 of the summer peaches."

ReviewI had no real intentions of reading this book but after seeing so many rave reviews all over the blogosphere I had to pick it up. And let me just say this book was breathtakingly amazing. I can't believe that this is a debut novel, by far one of my favorite debuts this year. Even if you don't read much high fantasy I recommend you pick it up. Bardugo is seriously one hell of a writer, she created a world so magical and freaking brilliant all I remember is opening up Shadow and Bone and getting lost in a time filled with magic, royal courts, wars, and secrets along with betrayal, love, and characters you can't help but be captivated by. 

The book is centered around the Fold...the Unsea, a place which at least the way I perceived from the description is one very terrifying place. Rarely does anyone make it pass the Fold, it's dark and there are creatures called the Volcra in there that will kill off anything that tries to make its way through. In comes Alina, she discovers a dormant power she didn't know she had and due to that discovery her entire life is changed. She becomes part of the magical elite, the Grisha which is something she never fathomed but neither did she also ever imagine being ripped away from her childhood friend Mal and living within the perimeters of the Darkling the most powerful and feared magical being of them all.

I can't began to explain how much I loved the world Bardugo created, and the characters in them especially the Grisha they were the most interesting of the bunch. They had some pretty cool powers but I do admit it took me a minute to get all the details about them down since they all had different titles based on what they could do ( Corporalki, Etherealki, Materialki) and they also wore different color robes as well based on what their power was.

The love triangle, I liked it. I didn't expect a love triangle going in and was surprised by it but it worked well with the story. Lets just say things are definitely not what they seem and even I didn't see the twists coming. And that is all I am giving away.

The Darkling I have to talk about him, he is not evil exactly but he is not good either if that makes sense. There was something about his character that I just found myself anxiously waiting for him to appear within the pages of the book constantly. Now there is also Mal the childhood friend of Alina's, he took my breath away by the end of the book, at first I figured he was just that her friend someone who even though Alina clearly had feelings for was taking her for granted figuring she would always be there and at the same time growing apart from her but Mal surprised me ... and that is all I'm saying about that. Incase you haven't noticed I don't want to give too much away I feel any little extra detail can ruin the book.

Last but not least Alina was an amazing character. She showed so much growth throughout the book. She went from being unsure and weak to really taking control, discovering who she is and becoming one very confident and powerful girl.

Overall this book was incredible and I can't stress enough about how much you should pick this up. 

Memorable Quotes:

Side-note: The most memorable quote I can't really put down it's too spoilery and swoon worthy all at once...so here are a couple of non spoiler ones that I liked.

"The Fjerdans burn us as witches, and the Kerch sell us as slaves. The Shu Han carve us up seeking the source of our power. What else?"  " They said you were the strongest Darkling in generations."  "I didn't ask you for flattery."

"If I'd been stronger, I would have driven a knife through your heart."                                                     "I wish you had," I muttered.
 Book Trailer:
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