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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

Shadow and Bone

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

"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."


Shadow and Bone is the first entry into Leigh Bardugo's YA fantasy Grishaverse.

This came out in 2012, and here I am reading this 8 years later...but I still read it nonetheless. In all honesty, did this deserve a 4 star rating, probably not. The only reason I gave it that high of a rating was because while reading it I just had a good feeling about it. In reality when looking back it on it, I would probably give this a 3.5 star at the most.

I think that Bardugo had the bones for a great universe, but when it came to the execution of it, it was kind of underwhelming for me. Barely any of the characters were interesting, and the fact that the plot unfolded based on bad decisions on the parts of the protagonists was frustrating to me.

What made this book mainly for me was the Darkling. Yes I am 100% on his bandwagon. Is he a good guy, no, but is he the most dynamic character in the entire book, hell yes.

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