Nov 26, 2012

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Publishing Date: June 5, 2012
Pages/Format: 358, Hardcover

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: Good.

I don't think I've really read much fantasy--it's not my favorite genre--but this book, though classified as it, seemed to have it low key, which was completely fine by me. This book is set in a Russian-esque world, complete with like terms, and I wasn't sure how'd that play out for me because I'm not very in to Russian culture. (Nothing racist or anything.) That said, Shadow and Bone was actually pretty good, and I have very few complaints; it just didn't wow me.

I'll start with the issues. One was the terminology/names. I appreciate that Bardugo brought readers to a world that I don't see much of in modern literature; however, I had some difficulties keeping track of all the names and terms, especially since some of them sounded so similar. I believe the only other thing that bothered me was the romance. Something about it was just...I don't know. Maybe it's because I saw things online prior to reading the book that made me think there would be more. I mean, I liked it, but at the same time it wasn't spectacular or anything.

Overall, I really liked the book. I'm not the biggest fan of war books or movies, but when I read this I kind of felt like I could be watching a war-esque movie, but less hardcore. Alina was a good main character on a road to discovery. I liked Mal and his relationship with Alina, as messy as it was. The Darkling (love his name!) was very interesting and alluring, but not as dark as I thought he'd be. The end of the book totally took me surprise; I definitely did not see that coming. When said ending began, I told my self so-and-so was lying, not the person that they said was. Of course, I was wrong. (Unfortunately.) The book didn't end on a cliffhanger, but it was pretty satisfactory and left me wondering what on earth is going to happen in Siege in Storm.

In the end, I really liked this book and thought it was pretty darn good. My only real problem was that it didn't wow me, but I'm sure it wows several other readers. It was a book that read and flowed quickly (side note: I love all the headings to the beginnings of the chapters; gorgeous!) and was really an enjoyable, kind of light read. It's not my favorite book, but it's definitely worth reading, and I'm so anticipating the sequel.

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? Not quite.
Would I reread it? Possibly.
Would I purchase it? Yes.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this really sounds like a great book!
    I want to read it now :), I love the fact of the russian characters. I hope I read it before the movie comes out :)
    Great review.


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