Book Review: “Shadow and Bone”

“Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)” by Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy

Other Grisha Books

GoodreadsSource: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

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.


  • I had really high hopes for Alina. I’m always a fan of a heroine who grows and embraces her power. I didn’t feel that Alina did that though. She was too caught up in trying to pretend to be someone that she wasn’t. I was desperately wanting to her to own the power that she had. I hated the whining about how she doesn’t have the powers that everyone thinks she has.
  • Ugh. Romance. I think the Darkling was supposed to be a love interest before it was revealed that he was evil. That didn’t work out so well. He was always creepy. Not to mention the fact that he was well over 100. Then there’s the whole evil and trying to ‘take over the world’ thing.
  • The romance with Mal wasn’t much better. I can get on board with a best friend romance but you need to make me feel it. Push the tension off the charts. Make me scream at the book to get the characters together. That didn’t happen at all. I really had no desire to see them together.
  • The world was odd to me. I never could totally get into it or understand it. I guess the Grishas are kind of like wizards? They have some type of power in them but they need to practice with it to be able to fully control it? Then there was the whole Shadow Fold thing which I really didn’t get and couldn’t picture at all.

The bottom line? This really wasn’t a bad book. I just didn’t feel it.

5 thoughts on “Book Review: “Shadow and Bone”

  1. Oh, I hate that you didn’t love this one! But I’m glad you enjoyed it somewhat. I think I might have pushed all the creepy bits about the Darkling aside because he had some good parts… but yeah, so not into him now that I KNOW he’s a bad guy. I’m not a Mal fan either because it kind of felt like he just conveniently loved her. I dunno… wasn’t too into him. However, I’m a super huge fan of this series, romance aside!

  2. I’ve been avoiding this because I’ve heard that the second book hasn’t lived up to people’s expectations, so I’m kind of glad to read a negative review! It makes me feel less like I’m missing out 🙂

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