Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone
The Grisha Trilogy 1

Author: Leigh Bardugo 
Pages: 358 pgs
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: June 5th 2012
Review Source: Henry Holt and Co.

Shadow and Bone is one of those books that just drew me in from the very beginning. From the intriguing description to the amazing cover, I couldn’t wait to read this amazing debut. And it was that… amazing!

Alina Starkov leaves in Ravka, a once beautiful and great nation, where she’s studying to be a mapmaker in the military. But in order to continue she and her regiment have to cross the Shadow Fold which is a river of darkness containing terrifying monsters.

On their journey through the fold, Alina reveals a long dormant power in an effort to save her best friend. Before she knows it, Alina is whisked off into the world of the Grisha and the mysterious Darkling. But what secrets will she uncover while there and will it be too late to discover more about herself.

There is just something so amazing about this world that Leigh has created. I love the fact that it’s Russian inspired, but still her design and creation. Even her story of how she came up with Shadow Fold that she told on tour earlier in June really added to it. Everything was just so unique and interesting and ready to be added to.

I was just discussing with me sister the other day how much I loved the fact that Alina never really saw herself as this great amazing beauty, even after entering the world of the Grisha. She still saw herself as plain and short and nothing really special, though everyone else around her didn’t t see that. To me it’s a clear description of how a teenager, or anyone really, would view themselves when they feel they don’t measure up. You can be surrounded by beauty but not feel as though you fit in, and Leigh did an amazing job of portraying that.

Not only are the Grisha and the Darkling absolutely fascinating (and I can’t wait to learn more about them) but I also loved Alina’s personal journey throughout the story. She would have a moment of clarity, an epiphany about a situation or herself and then it was like the floodgates would open up for her. It really showed her growth and acceptance of what was happening and really added to the story for me.

Even though there’s still quite a while until we get the next book in the series, I’m beyond excited for it and am patiently twiddling my thumbs as we wait for it. There’s so much about this world that I can’t wait to learn about!

Leigh Bardugo

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