Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


Rating: ☆☆☆
Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Shadow and Bone #1
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Lauren Fortgang
Length: 9 hours
Publisher: Audible Audio; Henry Holt
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Source: Personal collection
Recommended for fans of: Russian folklore
Content Warnings:


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 think I liked this more on my reread than I did the first time I read it, but I still think it’s just an average YA fantasy book.

I love Bardugo’s writing and world building, but there is so much I don’t love about some of the story and character choices. Alina needed to not be so obsessed with Mal because he sucks.My reread (and the show) turned me into a Darkling stan — he deserved better. His “Fine, make me your villain” line is ICONIC.

This book had so much potential, but it just doesn’t live up to it for me. This is a rare case where I think the show is better.

Author: Caroline | Carolibrary

Hello! I’m Caroline! I am a teacher, a book lover, and a nerd. My passions include reading, writing, bookstagram, barre & yoga, baking, binging TV shows, and Star Wars. I love stories in all formats because they can transport you to a different world while helping you understand the world around you. I have always found books to be a particularly magical source of imagination.

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