Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (MAL MAL MAAA- DARKLING???)

by - 7:35 AM

Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha book 1
Published Date: June 5, 2012
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The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

If the cover doesn't entice you at first glance, there's something wrong with your eyes (jk). Seriously though, that semi-gothic font and the branches and that palace *gushes* Now getting over the cover....

Shadow and Bone is an engaging read with ample of surprises and undeniable chemistry among the characters. I wasn't disappointed with its premise as well as the eccentric plot set in Russia. Although I admit that the first 50 pages got my head spinning with all the spoon fed information to the point I ALMOST put it down. There's action, fantasy (high), MAGIC, powers, politics, compelling romance and a whole lot GOODNESS.

But with awesomeness comes a few ambivalent things that I want to point out. First, the development on Alina's character. Sure, it takes time to comprehend to the changes in her life, but I think 65% of the book was all about Alina's "I am never good enough" mantra and her trying to convince everyone that she's not the one they're looking for. That is why I got a lukewarm relationship with her during the course of my read. The good thing about her is she's a fun character too, her personal issues aside I can really say that she's very loyal and easy to go along with.

That "what-the-flying-Ravka-just-happened-kiss" of Darkling and Alina  midway the book. It baffled and bothered me so much I think I got a hang of it til the last page. I mean wow, they've been having a casual relationship then BOOM kiss kiss kiss. It was just so abrupt IMO.

The romance was cute? I mean I usually hate love triangles, but this triangle here is interesting. We have Alina, Mal and the Darkling. I am just so excited on how their relationships will progress in the next books. I am being biased, but I really want Alina to end with Mal. *shrugs* You can't blame me, they've been friends since forever and I really think they perfectly match each other's character and flaws. BUT that doesn't mean Darkling isn't an appealing character, infact he is the evil/villian here that will capture every reader's heart. His mysterious and puzzling side of him totally got my interest piqued. You can say that he is a charmer without even trying ;) Alina and Darkling have more to show. I know there's more to their blossoming relationship.

“I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I’d catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I’d seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I’d realize that you weren’t there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I’ve risked my life for you. I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don’t tell me why we don’t belong together,” he said fiercely.”

The most interesting facet is the Shadow Fold. What lies beyond the Shadow Fold??? And Leigh's writing is intricate with so much vividness. I just hope that the pacing won't skip from spring to winter in a matter of 10 pages ;) Overall, it was an enjoyable read with so much goodness to squeeze out of the book! And smexy darkling and mal!

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  1. I'm happy you didn't dislike this book, The Grisha series happens to be a favourite of and I'm dying waiting for the next one. Alina does get better as the books go on, well I do think she does anyway. And as much as I love Mal, the Darkling wins for me, every time haha.

    Great review, now get reading the second one before the last comes out :P

    1. I trust your words regarding Alina! I am really looking forward for character development! It's alright, Darkling is just so alluring and I sometimes forgot I am fond of Mal LOL Definitely, I will! Eeeek!

    2. hah you should, I speak only the truth :P. Every character develops in a way, I don't think Mal changes much though so if you are fond of him that's a good thing :P

    3. And can I just say that the Darkling is probably one of the most enticing villains ever?! (and villains like him are rare!!)

    4. Hahaha yes!!. got to love him. It's impossible :P

  2. Shadow and Bone is one of my favourite books!! Though I would usually be annoyed by female MC who spend half the time saying they are not good enough even when all evidence says otherwise, Alina's character grew on me! Besides, there hasn't been a Sun Summoner since... Forever, and I don't blame her if she doesn't believe what they others say. UMM I'M TEAM DARKLING BECAUSE UMM SWOOON. Mal's cute, but I've read some excerpts of Siege and Storm (haven't gotten to it WHYWHYWHY) that turned me against him. Meh ;-;

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

    1. You are making me question my fondness over MAL!! *re-evaluates life* haha I tried to dive in right aways to S & S but I just couldn't get into it that easily IDONTKNOWWHYOMG.

      Now I am off to stalk your blog! *winks*

  3. I have the first two books in this series sitting on my bookshelf, waiting to be read. I am now beyond excited to finally get to them, this sounds like a brilliant start to the series.

    1. It was awesome and eccentric! Very good combination for a high fantasy book! I hope you start the series soon <3

    2. Charnell, if you don't read this book soon we are going to have a serious falling out ;).

      (sorry to put in, just need to get that out haha)

    3. And soon Stacie will make you re-evaluate your choice if ever you root for Mal *winks* Now I am seriously having a crisis!!! :p

    4. Hahah I would not Abby, Mal's a fine choice. Leaves The Darkling for me ;)

  4. I'm glad you liked this book! :D
    To be honest, I completely ship the Darkling + Alina. I just love how intricate their relationship is - and the constant power struggle! *swoons* I just love it, haha.
    I'll be interested to see what you think of Mal in the next book, because he really disappointed me. :(
    I absolutely love Bardugo's writing style, it just really draws me in every time I read something of hers.
    I cannot wait until Ruin & Rising!

    1. I am going to a corner and mull over rooting for Mal. Hmm. Hmmm..... Ok now seriously I am scared to read the next books *SHAKES MYSELF* Me too, although I got a little confused with the world of Gisha, I totally enjoyed her intricate and vivid writing style!

  5. THAT KISS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BOOK MADE ME GO ALL WTF MODE. I nearly chucked the book on the floor! xD Glad you liked this overall, though!


Thank you for your comment! ♡ Happy reading to everyone!