Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone has been on my radar for at least a year now. I’ve seen it everywhere on Instagram and it’s always being referenced by book lovers alike as one of their favorite books and part of their top read series. But I just never got around to reading it – – until now.

I had planned to read it in June and shortly after I mentioned this on my Instagram account, one of my IG buddies reached out and confided that she had been meaning to read it as well. So we set off on a buddy read together, checking in with one anohter aftet reading about three chapters at a time.

Every few days I would find myself watching my IG messages for her to pop up and send something like “OMG” or other comments along those lines. It was enjoyable reading this with her and sharing our thoughts with one another as we went along.

Shadow and Bone starts with our main characters Aline and Mal. We get a lovely introduction to their childhood experience, essentially in foster care, as children with no living parents or family. They’re dropped off and grow up together in this setting. When they’re pre-teens they’re met by the elusive Grisha and reviewed for potential.

GrishaVerse Map

Now the Grisha background and purpose of the Grisha eluded me for a little while throughout the first few chapters. Bardugo should have spent a little more time introducing this and creating an ambience for their importance. She could have taken a part of a chapter and spent a little more time just outlaying what they are and why they’re so feared across the lands. Because for me, I didn’t appreciate that piece until about halfway through and by then it was irrelevant to what would have made their childhood experiences that much more intense and meaningful.

The Grisha are the magical elite of Ravka, also known as the Soldiers of the Second Army. They practice the Small Science: they manipulate matter at its most fundamental levels. Think of it as a magical version of molecular chemistry. Status is everything to the Grisha, though some of that has changed under the leadership of the Triumvirate. Here’s how their Orders break down.

Leigh bardugo –

Then our newly introduced children have grown up and are in the local military fighting on the front lines for the Ravka army. Alina is a map maker (she’s small and weak and definitely not much of a fighter) and Mal is a tracker, one of the best actually, and has a pretty important role in the military. But our big opening scene is their crossing The Fold, which is this sea buried in pitch blackness and filled with horrid monsters that no one seems to survive.

This is a pivotal scene as it starts the chain reaction of the rest of the story. I don’t want to go into much more detail than that because it starts to give away too many details for those that haven’t read this yet. Just be prepared for a fun adventure with lots of twists and turns that you may or may not see coming.

My buddy reader and I are looking forward to starting the Siege and Storm next week.

After you’ve read orstart reading this series, stop by the GrishaVerse site and take the quiz to see which order YOU would fall in to!

I took it and I would be an Alkemi !

You’re an Alkemi. Alkemi are members of the Materialki, the Order of Fabrikators. Alkemi specialize in creating poisons and blasting powders. They became increasingly vital to the military due to the influence of Nikolai Lantsov.

Have you read Shadow and Bone? What did you think of it?

Buy It here:

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