Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy, #1)Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Add it: Goodreads
Source: ARC gifted from the AMAZING Mimi (THANK YOU!)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: June 5, 2012

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.

Before I even say anything, do yourself a favour and (pre-)order this book. Trust me when I say that it is one of THE BEST books of the year and one that automatically made my favourites shelf.

Alina starts off as a fairly unremarkable character and yet from the very beginning, I found myself drawn to her. Leigh Bardugo masters the point of vulnerability and self-doubt before it comes off as annoying or whiny and that is so apparent in Alina. Watching her transition from a girl that thinks of herself as just an ordinary person to one with immense power and status is (um, literally) breathtaking to read about.

The romance! Ahh, I don't want to say too much but between the two strong males featured in this book, I am sure that one of them will have you swooning, whether it be the aloof and mysterious Darkling or the fun and charming Mal.

I don't want to reveal anything that may ruin the experience for you, but man did this book have me surprised! I LOVE it when a book can make me feel something so strongly and then just flip it all inside out and have me totally reconsider. It hasn't happened in a while but with Shadow and Bone? Definitely. The plot of this book just keeps on rolling and what begins as a seemingly ordinary journey soon develops into a fast-paced thrill ride.

One of the many reasons I enjoy fantasy so much is because of the world-building and this novel does not disappoint. Everything about the world of the Grishas is explained perfectly without ever bogging down the story and I'm excited to learn even more about the Shadow Fold in the next instalment!

So, basically, this book rocked my world. For your own sake, please read it.

Cover Comments: I love it! It's not the typical YA cover which is perfect since this isn't the typical YA book. I love the colour scheme and that font is fabulous. PLUS, a Veronica Roth blurb? *dies* Totally deserving.



  1. Yay I'm so pumped to read this book! I haven't read an awesome teen fantasy book in so long. I was obsessed with Tamora Pierce for so long and have yet to find something that compares but this might just be the book to bring me out of the YA Fantasy slump that Pierce causes.

    Thanks for the awesome review, so glad you enjoyed this one

  2. So glad you liked this. I've been really looking forward to it. I'm curious to see Alina's transformation.

  3. I should be getting this book very soon in the mail. Can't wait to dig into it! Awesome review!

  4. Well that's it. I have one again fallen prey to one of your reviews and am now convinced I need this book to survive. Definitely can't wait for summer, because that is when I'm going to read like crazy, and Shadow and Bone (or The Gathering Dark as we call it over here ;]) is definitely one I want to read most. Great review!

  5. You did it. Together with Mimi's awesome review: I can't wait to get my hands on this one.

  6. Ohmygoodness, I felt the EXACT same way as you, Sonia! THIS is why you're my book twin and THIS is why you're so awesome and THIS is why I trust your opinion on books so much! I loved reading about Alina's transition to confidence too, just like I loved reading about her awesomeness in general. And the world-building? So stunning! Didn't you just want to take some sort of book-bending ship so we could travel to this world and live in it?? Yet kind of not at the exact same time since it was really terrifying as well? x)

    Absolutely AMAZINGLY BREATHTAKING & WORTHY review!! You're welcome times a million, Sonia -- I can't imagine any better person to have sent this to! I mean, look at your gorgeous review! :') <3

  7. Ah, I think I'd kill to have this book in my hands right now LOL! Your glowing review definitely convince me to read this book, Sonia! Everyone seems to love this book so much, and I agree, the cover is very not typical YA cover! <3 You get me so excited to read about the two strong heroes! *swoon*

    Fabulous review, Sonia! :)

  8. OK. DONE. Err... OK, this is how much I trust you. You write "Before I even say anything, do yourself a favour and (pre-)order this book."

    I deadset stopped reading your review there and went and pre-ordered it. I'll even show you my receipt if you don't believe me :P

    I trust you, Lestrange. Don't let me down O___O

    AMAZING review, Sonia!

    1. THAT IS THE SINGLE MOST NERVE-WRACKING THING ANYONE HAS EVER SAID TO ME ON THIS BLOG, SARAH. I am simultaneously flattered and terrified... I reaaaaaally hope that you love this book! Like mad, flailing love!

      I HOPE IT IS, I HOPE IT IS, I HOPE IT ISSSSSSSS! The power of wishes... LOL

      Thank you so much! <3


      Nooo, seriously, I *KNOW* I'm goign to love this book. Not only do you have PERFECT taste in books, everything you said about this just screamed HELL YES at me, and I can think of at least two other reviewers I LOVE who adored it. I'm SOOO excited, adn seriously: thank you SOOO much for telling my to buy it, because it was just the prompting I need to go 'OK!' ♥ you xx

  9. Agreed! This has quickly become one of my fav reads of this year too! I found myself swooning over the Darkling, but I have to say Mal's the one that really took my heart. <3 Great review! =)

  10. Aaahhh!!! SUCH a great review!! I seriously can't wait to read this!! I just added it to my list...which seems to be growing by the second!

  11. I have to admit, I didn't know much about this one coming in before reading this review and now it's one I'm definitely going to have to pick up. I love a story that isn't afraid to take chances and have the risks pay off in a huge way for the plot. Loved the review, and I'm definitely definitely going to pick up a copy. Thanks, Sonia!

  12. Oooh! I've been really interested about this book and now I'm super psyched for the release! The cover's definitely not a typical YA cover, but I really like it! Great review!

    New follower :)

  13. OMG OMG OMG OMG. THIS BOOK! I have been lusting for it since.... well, since the beginning of time and now having read your AMAZING review, my brain is BUSTING out of my skull in excitement to devour this. I am so happy Australia are publishing it!!

    And the romance.... OHYOUTEASE!!!! Which one took your favour?! Which one took Alina's favour?! Which one can *I* have?! Both? Yes? Yay!

    I LOVE when books surprise you like that and it really sounds as though Leigh has developed this world with such a stunning hand. The same kind of hand you wrote your equally stunning review with.

    Also: DOES THIS BOOK HAVE A MAP? SONIA LIKEYS HER MAPS. I don't really care for them, but no kidding: every time I pick up a fantasy book and see a map, I think, "Sonia will LOVE THIS!" :D

  14. Awesome review for a wonderful book!

  15. Leigh Bardugo was written a novel that is elegantly divine and captures your attention immediately. In reading, I did have to pay close attention, due to the very different nature that Shadow and Bone has to offer, but that also led to the unique nature it withholds.