Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Format: eGalley
Page Count: 358
SynopsisSurrounded 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.
Review: After hearing so much praise for this book, I tried my best to lower my expectations. After all, I didn't want to end up being disappointed. However, after reading the first three chapters of this book, I knew that I was hooked completely.

   Alina is the main character and for the most part, I loved her. She had a stubbornness and a loneliness that were very relatable. I connected with her very well and found her admirable. The secondary characters felt flat to me, though. The character that stood out to me was the Darkling. I found him the most intriguing. He was so complex and interesting, I found myself getting more excited when he was in a scene.

   The writing was very plain and sometimes felt dry to me. The writing wasn't particularly noteworthy, but Leigh Bardugo certainly writes compellingly. She knows how to keep the plot moving quickly and the reader entertained. There were times when I'd feel that there wasn't much happening, but that feeling never lasted very long. There were many twists in the plot that I didn't see coming.

   The romance was just crazy. I had heard so much about the Darkling before reading the book myself, so I was so surprised when I realized that I liked his character. He had a certain charm to him that I was drawn to. For those who've read this book, you probably know why that didn't last. As for Mal, at first I didn't like him. But then, gradually, I became more and more fond of him, as he showed more of himself to Alina.

   Shadow and Bone is an impressive debut that stands out with its likable protagonist, original love story, and unique plot line.

   I'm seriously so torn between 4 and 4.5 keys. I can't decide! Maybe 4.25 keys?
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19 comments:

  1. Oh awesome review..i cannot wait to read this one even if the writing was dry!

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  2. I've heard such fantastic things about this one, and so I'm glad that even if you didn't end up giving it 5 stars, you really liked it. =) The main character sounds really likable, and I think that's super important in a story. I also love action in my books, and it seems like there's a whole lot of that in Shadow and Bone. However, I do think the dry writing may bother me a little, and the fact that the secondary characters are mostly flat disappoints me. =( But I really do hope I end up enjoying this one. Fantastic review, Sophia!!

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

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  3. I'm glad you liked this one too! I totally loved the twist and while I thought I was expecting it it still seemed to totally take me by surprise!

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  4. I haven't had much interest in this book, I read that there were some inaccuracies with the language/culture but you have me really intrigued, especially as to why your opinions on the Darkling and Mal changed, great review, Soph!

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  5. Hehe I think you should skip the 4 and 4.5 and go straight to the 5 x) Just like you, I really loved this book despite my high expectations! (And with all the S&B gushing right now, it's hard NOT to have high expectations!) One of my favourite parts was the craziness of the romance -- I was expecting to not like the Darkling, but I actually really did, especially in the beginning. He's sort of like a bad boy but not at the same time... And charming? I'd say so! ;)

    Amazing review, Sophia! :) <3

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  6. Great review Sophia! I just picked up a copy of this yesterday at the store. I love an original story with a protagonist who you can easily like and relate to as well. I definitely think this will be something I like then. It sounds really interesting and different.

    Traci @ The Reading Geek

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  7. I loved this book so different and I was drawn in by The Darkling and his allure but I always loved and rooted for Mal. I was very impressed with this debut novel!

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  8. I have seen this around so much but never knew what it was about till now. I like that it has an original plotline. Great review, Sophia :)

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  9. Throughout all the reviews I've read, I think the character I am most eager to meet is the Darkling. He sounds so deliciously fascinating!! I also love that you say there were many twists that you didn't see coming. So happy to hear you enjoyed this, I can't WAIT to read it. Awesome review!

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  10. I know what you mean! I'm so trying to keep my expectations in check but there's been all these amazing reviews around everywhere that I really hope I love it too! I've heard so many things about The Darkling too. I honestly can't wait to get my hands on a copy! Awesome review Sophia! :)

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  11. YAY!!! I was worried reading your first couple sentences that you were going to be disappointed because despite trying to lower your expectations you still had really high ones. So glad you ended up loving this one (and the Darkling - I can't wait to see where things go with him). Fabulous review Sophia!!!!

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  12. Fantastic review, Sophia! I'm so glad you liked this! I also really enjoyed Alina's character and found the Darkling to be very interesting. I can't wait to read about them again! Also, I'm glad to hear you ended up liking Mal overall. I think I always liked him from the start. ;)

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  13. I tried not to have high expectations for this book too and mostly, I enjoyed this book! I didn't like Mal at first either but he grew on me. I really liked that this book could standalone, which I appreciated, and I'm curious to see where the story goes next.

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  14. I haven't started this yet but I know that I would have sky high expectation when I read this. :) I honestly haven't read any negative review of this book, so it would be very hard for me to lower my expectation. I also heard that the romance is lovely, so I can't wait to find out! <3

    Awesome review, Sophia! <3

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  15. Oh my, you make me want to read this 4.25 keys worthy book!! A little bit more than I wanted to before. For some reason, I never felt like picking this one up despite the hype. I have no idea why... the cover was just too eh! But it sounds beyond amazing, I need to give this one a shot :D Fantastic review, Sophia!

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  16. Great review! I'm really looking forward to reading this - I got my copy signed a few weeks ago and keep hearing TONS of great things about it. Definitely a top of the list pick for me, so hopefully I'll get to it soon! :D

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

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  17. Great review! I LOVED this book! Just wished I had the sequel right now . . . need more! :)

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  18. Nice review! I'm glad you enjoyed this one overall...I'm definitely curious to check it out. I really want to check out this Darkling. He sounds like one good character.

    -Lauren

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  19. Just read the Temple Wars Novel on Ganesha! The story is well told through a parallel protagonist Tarun who helps Ganesha retrieve his objects from the spirit world. It's a page-turner that will have you wanting more. You guys should check it out! Temple Wars

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