Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo (site)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Pages: 358
Release Date: 5th June 2012
Edition: Hardcover
Goodreads | Book Depository

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.
Reading Shadow and Bone was a whole new experience for me. Why? Because I’ve never loved a villain so much.
This book follows Alina Starkov, an orphan girl who discovers hidden Grisha power when she tries to save her best friend, Mal, when they are attacked in the Fold. The events that followed forces Alina into accepting who she is, finding friendship and love, and discovering an unexpected betrayal.

 

I was hooked after reading the first chapter when I was in the library. I grabbed the book quickly and went to the counter to borrow it without second thoughts. Bardugo’s writing is captivating. I absolutely love how she tells the story by opening and ending with third-person narration. It’s like we are having a narrator that guides us into and out of the book. I admire Bardugo so much.

Another thing I love about Shadow and Bone is how she makes “the wrong side” so right. I suspected nothing until the revelation. That plot twist, I swear, is the best I have ever read this year. I remember doubting if it was the truth, or a trap to lure us into betraying our loyal allies. I was really heart-broken because I love the villain so much (will explain more later in the spoilers-containing part). But the revelation pushes our main character Alina into fighting for herself and coming to terms with her ability. No doubt the plot is good for character development.

Okay, here begins the spoilers-containing part. After finishing the book I have read other reviews on Goodreads and I found that so many people are just like me, who is so in love with the Darkling from the moment he was introduced. How could you not? (No, it’s really fine if you don’t like him. I get that. He’s evil.) The point is, I was also tricked by this character. I thought he was trying to save Ravka. And do you know what song was playing after it was revealed that he is corrupted by power and is trying to ruin the nation? *Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground, OH* Literally. I keep praying it was the wrong thing to believe in but it is not! He is the villain after all, and the Darklina ship has sunk, so deep in the ocean you can never find it again.

Speaking of ship. I know that Mal is like the perfect guy and all, but I just have no feelings about this character. He seems too good to be true (so he only exists in a book. The truth has spoken). I just feel like he is too predictable. However, I keep wishing he has some superpowers too. When I was reading, I always wondered why he can track the herd so well. I keep wondering if he has hidden powers too, but I guess he is just a really good tracker that’s all. End of spoilers-containing part.

Did I mention Genya? She’s so adorable, and I love the scenes she’s in with Alina. I really hope this friendship can work out eventually. I searched online for the fancast of this series and someone pictured her as Holland Roden. Holland Roden is like one of my favourite actresses and I think it is a good choice for Holland to play Genya in the movie adaptation.

For those of you who are like me, who ever hesitated to read this series, please go and try to read the first chapter. You’ll be just as fascinated by it as I was, I promise. I have just come back from the library with Siege and Storm. I honestly can’t wait to continue embarking on this journey with Alina.

By the way, the Grisha trilogy’s covers are one of my favourites EVER. It is just so pretty, don’t you agree?

RATING
♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Read an excerpt HERE.
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