Sunday, 12 February 2017

Shadow and Bone [Book Review]

Hi there!


Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)

Author: Leigh Burdago 

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Published Date: 5th June 2012
Rating: 4 Stars



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Synopsis: 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 installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

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Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Burdago is a book I bought back in October 2015 and I then – with a lot of other books – dumped it on my TBR pile. Since that time I read countless reviews raving about this book but didn’t feel compelled to pick it up until I saw jilyourlife from bookstagram had it to and proposed that we do a buddy read together. And boy, did this book blow me away!

The beginning was a little bit rough in my opinion. I felt like we were being thrown a lot of phrases and I was temporarily lost in knowing what was what for a little while, but things did pan out in the end. After quite a bit of information being crammed into the first few pages, things start making sense and from then on you can simply enjoy the rest of the book for what it is.


The world building was done fairly well. It wasn’t incredibly detailed, but the all the rules of the elements and how the Grisha worked had me pretty intrigued. I loved the idea of the Grisha being the elite with these “powers” that the peasants didn’t possess. We also get to see how the Grisha live and how it is almost a mockery of what the peasants have to go through all the time. The dynamics of the court was pretty interesting as well, when it comes to trying to understand who is actually in power although there is a King as well. On top of all of this, we have a gorgeous map on page one. Maps always have me falling in love!

The Darkling sort of stole my heart in this book. I love a dark and mysterious kind of main character… let alone villain! I finally understand why everyone loves the line, “Fine. Make me your villain.” I definitely shipped him and Alina (but not anymore. Now I just ship myself and The Darkling.) He was perfectly twisted, perfectly villainous and definitely someone to contend with. Also, all the time I was reading I couldn’t help but think of how scary it would be to have him and Queen Levana in the same room. *shudders*


At first I found Alina’s character to be a bit ‘oh, woe to me for this and this and this,’ but after a few pages you sort of get over that and you can like her. She’s really just someone who has a power she never knew she possessed, and is thrown into this new world and society she is unfamiliar with. Power changes people, and Alina gets her fair share of side effects as well. I think we’re only seeing the beginning of those in this book really, and the question of her character will come back more in the future books.

The writing style managed to suck me in. Burdago is brilliant at setting the scene. I felt like a few of the characters were the black and white type of good and bad, but that all changes pretty soon! The climax was full of suspense but felt a little bit rushed at some point. I have to admit though, I questioned some things. Spoiler, so highlight at your own risk… When it came to Mal needing to kill Alina so that the Darkling wouldn’t kill the stag and have the power of her… I couldn’t help but wonder why Mal didn’t just shoot the stag himself instead of her. I mean, it was right there! In that scenario he wouldn’t have had to kill Alina, and then he would have the power over her. It’s sad that he would have that power but he could just destroy the collar easily and it would be safer for him to have that power than the Darkling. So that did make me wonder.


I feel like I need to mention Mal here just because well, it seems required. But I didn’t really feel much for him if I am honest. He was an okay character and got through some difficult times. He pulled through for Alina all his life even though he didn’t know it until she was gone. But I wasn’t feeling him too much, so maybe that will change in book two?

Which, speaking of book two, I ordered the day I finished this book. Oh, and I got book three as well :D

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Gif Summary:

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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

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New Video! 


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Olivia’s Question: Who’s your favourite villain?

Olivia-Savannah x

21 comments:

  1. Such a lovely post! Have an amazing new week.

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  2. I'm pleasantly surprised that you've only had the chance to read this now but hey, it happens. Goodness knows I'm the best example of buying books upon release then reading them 10 years later. LOL.

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    1. It took me two long years to get to it! But yes, that happens to me quite often. I'm glad I'm not alone in that :)

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  3. This book sounds intriguing! I'm putting it on my mental to-read list.
    As for villains, I'm all about Voldemort... But I also really enjoyed President Snow, particularly in the movie; Donald Sutherland is brilliant. I'm having a hard time coming up with others.. Maybe The Devil in Supernatural? And Mads Mikkelsen's Le Chiffre in Casino Royale is brilliant...

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    1. I hope you'll be able to enjoy it! Hehe, I like the devil in Supernatural. Really creepy. And Casino Royale's villain is great. I also liked the villain in Skyfall!

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  4. I've heard of this book so many times but never thought to pick it up. It seems pretty cool, I might read it soon!

    My favourite villain is definitely Count Olaf. The things he has done genuinely makes me so angry..and I hardly feel emotions towards villains in books. Lemony Snicket did a good job creating Count Olaf's character!

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    1. Ooh I would recommend that you do! I hope you're watching the new show about a Series of Unfortunate Events as well then ;)

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  5. Good villains are so important to a story. The Darkling definitely ranks pretty high up there. Though, I think he's more misunderstood/misguided than evil.

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    1. I have to agree. I think misunderstood and misguided does describe him better. Maybe that's why I liked him so much.

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  6. I've had these books for a long time now and still haven't read them! They sound so good, and I loved your review! Definitely going to make time for these...plus, of course you have to love villains - they make everything better!

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    1. Oh noo you definitely have to give them a go soon! Don't make the same mistake I did of waiting forever!

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  7. It's always so easy to picture yourself out with the character you love. I do that too sometimes. Haha.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

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  8. Great review! It seems like SO many people prefer The Darkling in this one! I liked him, as far as villains go, but I think I am just always more fond of the good guy? I think my favorite villain ever is President Snow in The Hunger Games... just because... well, I think he was quite complex in the sense that he thought being a villain was almost necessary? I was intrigued by his thought process. Hope you love the next two books, too!

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    1. I think The Darkling was best represented in this first novel. And it seems a lot more people like President Snow than I expected! It was an interesting mindset to have.

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  9. Oh my god, Olivia! The world of the Grisha has got me so obsessed. I hope you'll read Six of Crows after the Grisha trilogy? :D

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    1. I will definitely be reading Six of Crows after I fly through all of these!

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  10. Gah, I really need to finish this trilogy! I've only read this one, and I enjoyed it. My favorite villain is Cersei Lanaster from A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. That woman is evil but I love it!

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    1. You need to read more of them! And yes, Cersei definitely defines evil!!

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  11. I have been eyeing this book up and it's getting nearer to the top of my list. :)
    I only hesitate because I get sucked in reading trilogies. I like to read them all.


    Great review!

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