Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Book Review: Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy Series, #1)

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy Series, #1): Leigh Bardugo 

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.

I want to know what the heck took me so long to read this amazing gem of a book! Of course I heard "This is a book you'll either love or you'll hate" and in the case of most of those - I usually hate. However, I loved this. It reminded me of Kiss of Deception (one of my favorite books) in the historical fantasy aspect. Did I mention I love historical fantasy? Because I do! Shadow and Bone was a perfect mix of russian culture, fantasy, and romance! 

"The problem with wanting," he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw
 until it hovered over my lips, "is that it makes us weak"

I found the world building to be seriously amazing. Ravka is so monumentally awesome I am having a hard time not fangirling all over the place right now. Leigh Bardugo adds the perfect details so that you are never ever confused. It is literally like watching a movie while reading this book. I could so perfectly picture Ravka and these characters in my head, I'm craving a movie adaptation in this! From the very beginning to the very end the magical elements of this story are so perfectly crafted that you are never bombarded and are constantly craving more. 

The characters were equally as amazing. Alina is strong female MC that you aren't afraid to love. I feel like everyone can connect to her and see a part of themselves in her. She has a huge heart and will risk everything to save those she cares about and never expect anything in return. I wasn't Mal's greatest fan when the story started, but I feel like he did get better. Alina pined after Mal for her entire life, and he never noticed her. He was busy fooling around with other girls. He obviously does finally notice her, but at that time I'm already shipping The Darkling hardcore. 

"A moment later the boy whispered, "I don't think you're ugly."
"Shhhh!" the girl hissed. But hidden by the deep shadows of the cupboard, she smiled"

I'm still shipping The Darkling, LOL. I mean she can change him for the better maybe, right?! The Darkling is the definition of an anti-hero (without the hero? lol). And I love me a good anti-hero. He's dark (duh), smooth, mysterious, sexy, possessive, cocky, threatening and him and Alina just fit together so perfectly in my opinion because they are polar opposites of each other. They had so much sexual tension throughout the story - I mean when he saves her life, you just have to love him! He is so freaking charming!! You will lust after The Darkling - it's inevitable. This is a little bit of a love triangle, sort of. But I loved it and I don't even care what you say about love triangles right now because this one was epic. 

"I've been waiting for you a long time, Alina." He said. "You and I are going to change the world."

Shadow and Bone was one of the best stories I've read in a really long time. There was a perfect combination of romance, action, and fantasy - you will literally never be bored. This story was addicting and magical, I found myself not wanting to eat just so I can read more. I can't wait to read Siege and Storm because hopefully more Darkling! 

- Jocelyn


  1. I've nominated you for an award!

  2. Yessss! The Darkling! I was feeling exactly same while reading this book and after, I still whenever I see it on my shelf hold my breath remembering how amazing it is! And I couldn't say any better, you are so right about it being like watching a movie! I literally have it all played out in my head!
    Super review! I have to read the second book myself and I so hope you are right about Alina changing the Darkling...they have to end up together, there is no other way!

    HannahCassie @

    1. I think it is actually supposed to be a movie - and they better not mess it up! And if Alina and The Darkling don't end up together by some chance, well he can end up with me sooo that's ok too! LOL!

  3. I just finished the book too! It was fantastic, like you said. I haven't read such a great story like this one is such a long time! Haha, I totally get what you mean about the Darkling. He's just so mysterious and complex...who wouldn't love him? :D

    ~Erika @ Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between.

    1. I loved it soo much! Glad someone else was late to the Grisha party too haha. The Darkling is so hot - a new fav book boyfriend. If Alina doesn't want him I'll take him!!

  4. I hate that I didn't like this book as much as the hype would have made it out to be. I really think I should have read this book before the hype because I did see it before the hype but I guess I didn't. And I ended up disliking the book a little because it was slow at some parts. AHH I don't know it's all in my review D:

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

    1. I'll check out your review! but don't feel bad - there are so many hype books I didn't like either. Just off the top of my head is Red Queen! Everyone has different likes/dislikes! Maybe her new series Six of Crows will be better for you? Will you be trying it?