Entrancing and Enchanting: A Review of SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy, #1) 
Shadow and Bone
Leigh Bardugo
368 pages
Publisher: Henry, Holt & Co
Release Date: June 5th, 2012
Source: ARC from ALA
Rating: LOVED

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

   Dark and echanting, Shadow and Bone will undoubtedly thrill readers beyond expectations. With lush, descriptive writing and a strong voice, this debut is one that lives up to its hype.

   Leigh Bardugo weaves a story that will captivate and engross, page after page, word after word. From the very first pages, the enchanting, war-torn world of Ravka begins to surround you, building around you bit by bit with each passing word.

   Shadow and Bone is set in a fantasized version of Russia, in Ravka, where war ravishes its borders, and the darkness of the Shadow Fold forever looms in the horizon, home to horrific flesh-eating creatures and pure darkness. Hope is meek for the people of the once powerful nation. Their only hope is for the Shadow Fold to disappear.

   Alina Starkov is a mouthy character from the beginning. Scrawny, plain, and an orphan, Alina only wishes to be noticed. Before she knows it, she is thrown into the court of the king, under the care of the dark and enchanting Darkling.

   In Leigh Bardugo’s world, the Grisha, headed by the mysterious, powerful Darkling, add to the splendor of the story as a dazzling community of rich keftas and dark beauty. As for the the Darkling – he’ll be a character readers will be flipping the pages to catch as he creeps away. The scenes between him and Alina are charged with electricity that buzzes off the pages.

   Shadow and Bone is a powerful debut impossible to praise in one review. The characters will leap off the page. The plot will entrance you and seduce you. Shadow and Bone is an unputdownable must-read.

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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply


    June 2, 2012

    EEP! The release date for this one is coming up so soon! I am so excited about this! I am also really excited to hear that you loved it. I haven’t read a book in a long time that had the qualities you describe Shadow and Bone having, especially a book that is descriptive in a good way.

    Darlene @ Leather Bound and Lovely

  2. Reply


    June 2, 2012

    I agree! Can't wait for more. This one is truly special. Great review.

  3. Reply

    Valia Lind

    June 2, 2012

    OMW I love when people love books I've loved! Haha :-) Wonderful review here! I adored this book to pieces and cant wait for more either!


  4. Reply

    Gina @ My Precious

    June 2, 2012

    I just started this one. I'm about 1/3 of the way into it and really finding it fascinating.

  5. Reply

    Sierra Abrams

    June 4, 2012

    Love this review! So excited to meet Leigh Bardugo on Wednesday and have her sign the beautiful new hardcover I'm going to buy as soooon as I can!! :D

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

  6. Reply


    June 4, 2012

    YAY I am so excited to read Shadow and Bone!!!! I am so glad to hear you enjoyed the characters and the author's writing style. I am looking for a good read so I think this will be perfect! Your review has totally convinced me to pick this one up ASAP!!!! Thank you for the amazing review :-)


  7. Reply

    Alyssa Susanna

    August 10, 2012

    Oh I actually like this book! I didn't think I would, because, as usual, there ar etwo guys and one girl. But, I guess I'm happy to say I like neither guy? So I really don't care who ends up with her. I like Alina, for the most part. I like the overall world, abilities, creatures, royalty, etc. It's a really good start to the series! But I'm still a little confused as to what Alina is… hopefully it'll be more fleshed out in Book 2. But really, a great debut! Thanks for the review!!!!

  8. Reply

    Kit Grindstaff

    September 28, 2012

    Ive had my eye on this for a while, and it just arrived at my door yesterday! Can't let it wait in line, though – your review has enticed me more – so it's going straight to the top of my tbr pile (ok…2-3 books down…).

  9. Reply


    October 30, 2012

    I have wanted to read this for a while now. I am so excited after reading your review. Sounds amazing.

  10. Reply


    November 8, 2012

    I really liked this one. I'm holding back on the love feelings until I read more though. This was just the tip of the iceberg.

  11. Reply


    November 16, 2012

    I loved this book also! I remember reading it almost a year ago when a friend of mine let me borrow her early ARC. It seems like it's been forever since I've read it. For me, the story and the style of writing were both great. Plus, I've met and talked to the author and she is awesome. Can't wait for the sequel.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts in this review!

    ~ Kristi

  12. Reply

    Lawren Bokman

    December 8, 2012

    I love this books cover and I really want to read it.