Never will I doubt Leigh Bardugo and her talent for writing.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to read the original Grisha trilogy. Maybe I was nervous that it may shadow my love of Six of Crows, it didn’t. haha Either way, I’m sad I waited so long, as this book is beautiful.

If you’re uncertain who Leigh Bardugo is, she’s the writer of the Grishaverse books.
This series spans the original trilogy:
1. Shadow and Bone
2. Seige and Storm
3. Ruing and Rising

As well as a Duology that occurs 2 years later in the timeline:
4. Six of Crows
5. Crooked Kingdom

AND in exciting news~ another Duology has been announced for the Grishaverse and the first book will be out in January 2019. (King of Scars!) If you haven’t read the first trilogy, it’s actually very necessary to read to understand the next Duology, just saying…. get it done. LOL

Shadow and Bone follows the story of Alina Starkov. Alina has been painfully normal since she can remember, until one day her team is attacked and a secret is revealed. From her actions a tumbling series of events start to occur and she’s swept away into a world she has no knowledge of and isn’t prepared to navigate.

“We all did our part to bring about the end of the world.”
― Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone

So having read Six of Crows before this series I will say you can tell the writing has improved from Leigh’s first book to her most recent. This is a good thing but it also can be a bit frustrating. This series has more young adult romance in it than I expected and while that isn’t a bad thing, it definitely frustrated me at parts.

Let’s talk characters! Alina is wonderful, she reacts well to what the plot throws her way and her actions are understandable. I enjoyed seeing her character development through the book and I can’t wait to read book two because of it! The Darkling is EVERYTHING. My love knows no bounds for excellent villains and I’m sure most of you have heard one of his lines from this book. “Fine, make me your villain.” He is complex and compelling. The Darkling definitely inspired strong emotions from me. Mal, I’m not sure what to say. Do I like him? Maybe. He seems like a big question mark for me currently. This is fine since I have two more books to go, but I was hoping for a tad more information. haha

Plot is beautiful. I love the universe Leigh Bardugo has created. The rules on the magic and the Russian culture and language integration. All of this spun together made it easy for me to immerse myself in the story.

“Now, darkness was nothing to me, and I knew that soon death would seem like a gift.”
― Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone

Any drawbacks? The writing is not as developed for this book, again, it doesn’t make it a bad read but it does make it an easy one. I’m interested to see how the writing changes in books two and three, since I know her writing changes a lot by Six of Crows. Dialogue was also a bit shaky at points. Again, this is a first book though and I have her later books that I’m comparing it against. The story is still solid and it’s still worth the read, especially for the later books.

Shadow and Bone is a good read, filled with solid world building and characters. I’m hoping I get more character development in book two as well as a bit more information.

  • Overall Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
  • Plot: 4 Stars
  • Character Development: 4 Stars
  • Dialogue: 3 Stars
  • Writing: 3 Stars

Overall, I’d recommend this to anyone that enjoys fantasy young adult. Also anyone that enjoys fantasy with a touch of romance. There are no ‘sexy’ scenes, but it does have the angsty teen feel in a lot of places. lol



Amanda · June 16, 2018 at 4:50 am

I also read the Six of Crows duology first, but read this trilogy so much later that i don’t know that i really noticed a huge difference in the writing. (I’m planning to reread the SOC books soon so I’ll definitely keep an eye out for that now). Great review! And i totally agree when it comes to the darkling. He’s probably my favorite part of this series. Can’t wait to see your thoughts on the rest of the series!

    Ash · June 18, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    YAY! Yes, I read SoC at the end of last year and it’s very much character driven. This trilogy seems to be more plot and world driven so far. It’s not bad but it’s slower than SoC is and you can see how her writing has improved. I can’t wait to read the rest of them! Let me know if you notice the difference in your re-read! 😀 The Darkling so far is the most complex character and I’m loving it. haha

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