Leigh Bardugo’s novels have been garnering a lot of buzz and rightfully so. She has created a complex and detailed fantasy world that has a lot to offer and explore. And in Shadow and Bone, we experience just that. Read our summary of the novel below!
Shadow and Bone: Summary
Alina Starkov and Malyen, Mal for short, Oretsev are two best friends who grew up in an orphanage. They would always be together and are now part of the army for the Kingdom of Ravka. Both of them are part of an expedition that has to enter the Shadow Fold, an area covered in total darkness and home to monsters called volcra.
Minutes into the Shadow Fold, the crew is attacked by volcra. A fight ensues and as Mal gets attacked, Alina tries to protect him and lights up the sky and passes out. As she wakes up in camp, she is tested to see whether she is a sun summoner by the Darkling.
After being confirmed of being the sun summoner, Alina is rushed to the capital Os Alta. She is separated from Mal and taken to the Little Palace to master her abilities. Her newfound abilities may be the key to destroying the Shadow Fold.
In her new home, Alina becomes stronger and learns a way to become stronger to destroy the fold forever. But not everything is as it appears. A conspiracy to use her powers as a weapon changes Alina’s fate and forces her to take measures into her own hands. Will she be able to change the course of history or will everyone live in fear because of her?
Shadow and Bone is a page-turner and makes you want to eagerly what will happen to Alina next? The plot is good and the characters are decent. My one problem with the novel is that the characters seem to lack free will. Like they feel like a simulation for a lack of a better word.
And while I like the general plot, I don’t like the style of the novel. I won’t say it feels meta but the novel does seem to be aware that it is a fantasy novel. It’ll have a typical fantasy narrative and then suddenly something will happen to switch it up and be different.
And yet the novel is still an interesting one. I am still eager to learn what will happen even though the obvious seems to be the answer. And yes, I will be reading all of the novels in the series and see Alina and Mal through it all.
Bardugo’s selling point his her amazing Grisha world. It has a lot of gems and she does play around with a lot of them. Her novel Six of Crows shows a whole other world and here we get to see more of the Grisha and royalty side of this world. And because of this wonderful fantasy world, I have become a fan and can’t wait to see how much this world and Bardugo grow with time.