Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

I love book recommendations. But I also object to them. I always wonder if I’m going to dislike a recommendation, especially if it’s someone’s favourite, as I wouldn’t want to hurt them by saying “no, I hated it! It was shite!” So when the Grisha trilogy was suggested to me, I was elated and intrigued, but skeptical, too. That aside, I ended up downloading the first book onto my Kindle as it had a highly interesting synopsis, and it was at an amazing price of 99p. Once it was downloaded I immediately began reading the book.

And I needn’t have worried of disliking it.


Being a part-time working mum, I sometimes struggle to finish a 400 page book over the course of a week, but with Shadow and Bone, I had finished it within a matter of two days and I loved it! I dived into it quickly, as it was something that I’ve never read before. It was a unique storyline to me and I was engrossed within a matter of a few e-pages. 

Admittedly, I’ve not read a lot of YA books, so maybe that’s why it felt different to me (and also because there tends to be a lot of romance in YA books and I’m not keen on that. I’m romantically detached, you see.) Nevertheless it was fascinating, and it pounded with action for the first half of the book. It did dull ever so slightly around 57% (yes, I’m that precise) but no sooner had it died down a little that it picked up again at a heart thumping turn. But even with the minor dullness, it was still energetic, and full of emotion (is my unpenetrable steel heart melting?!) Which now brings me to the main character.

Alina.

She was my favourite amongst the small but powerfully engaging characters. She was so… real. In some ways I could relate to her. She was kind, sarcastic, dry, caring, thoughtful and gullible. She knew her flaws whilst also trying to find her strengths. She had self-doubt, worried too much but also learned to relax and have fun. And I think all of that was what made me feel like she was a real person. 

I’ve read a lot of books that tend to have 50% story and 50% describing the surroundings, and in this case it mainly focused on the story. Which gives me high hopes for the other two books. If Bardugo can interest me in a novel that I finished in less than 48 hours, then I have no doubt I’ll be thrown in deep with the others just as easily. I hope…

I do have to say that there hasn’t been any twists or sudden shockers within this book, but because it was such an interesting story, it didn’t need to have any. It didn’t end on a cliffhanger either, and instead it ended quite serenely and emotionally (what is happening with my blackened heart?!) 

The ending instead makes you wonder what is going to happen next, as there are no clues as to what may unfold. Which, in my opinion, is a lot cleverer, and more interesting, than ending on a cliffhanger. So I can’t wait to delve into the rest of the trilogy.

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