Shadow and Bone: Book Review

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. Find out whether you should read her epic fantasy trilogy Shadow and Bone!

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. 

Shadow and Bone novel
Shadow and Bone summary

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?

Commentary

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.

Shadow and Bone Netflix Trailer

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.

Shadow and Bone paperback edition

Conclusion

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.

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12 thoughts on “Shadow and Bone: Book Review

  1. Ola says:

    I’ve never read Shadow and Bone but I have read the Six of Crows duology and they are pretty good books. What I liked was that while reading, you understand the vastness of the Grisha-verse without feeling like you’re missing key parts to the story.

    I didn’t watch the Netflix show (it was my understanding that it wouldn’t follow one particular book or series but the Grisha-verse in general and it didn’t really interest me) but it was fun to see people enjoying it. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to read Shadow and Bone but I will pick up whatever else Leah Bardugo writes, Grisha-verse or not.

    Great blog!

    Reply
    1. Ahaqir says:

      Six of crows is definitely much better and on a side note, I recommend Gideon the ninth its really good. Yea you don’t have to read all the books to understand what’s going on which is nice. And yes, the show is both Six of crows and shadow and bone combined into one show and changes a lot of the plot. I will say the casting was good even if the show doesn’t follow the books as much as it should. I’ll be writing a review for the Netflix show later this week!

      Reply
  2. Pippin Hart says:

    I’ve been a fan of this book for a while and it’s always delightful to watch people discover it! I definitely do agree, though, that the characters (especially Alina) seem to get pulled into the plot and can sometimes feel beholden to it, though the world is spectacular, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it (and Six of Crows!).

    Reply
    1. Ahaqir says:

      It’s a fascinating world and nothing else like it. It’s ingenuity is what keeps me hooked. Can’t wait to finish the series

      Reply

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