BOOK REVIEW: Shadow and Bone {The Shadow and Bone Trilogy} by Leigh Bardugo

“I’ve been waiting for you a long time, Alina,” he said. “You and I are going to change the world.”

My plan was to finish Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone prior to viewing the Netflix adaptation; but life got in the way, and I didn't end up turning the last page until a week after binging the show {in one day}. Regardless, my viewing didn't impact my enjoyment of the book or vice versa. NGL, I actually preferred the show over the book {#sorrynotsorry}, but both were quite charming in their own way.

Ravka has been ravaged by the Shadow Fold {aka the Unsea or the Fold} for as long as 17-year-old Army cartographer, Alina Starkov, can remember. A consequence of dark magic that placed a swath of darkness in the midst of Ravka, splitting it in half {the East and the West}, and making the only viable option for crossing it {sometimes successfully, sometimes un} via Sandskiff; the Shadow Fold is responsible for taking the lives of Alina's parents, leaving her orphaned as a child. It is also responsible for the deaths of her bestie {and not-so-secret crush} Malyen Oretsev's {aka Mal} parents.

While attempting to cross the Shadow Fold with her squadron, the Skiff she is aboard is attacked by Volcra, the monsters residing within. Faced with near-certain death, Alina unconsciously calls upon a long-dormant power, enabling her to hold the darkness back and make it out of the Fold alive. It is only once she has reached safety that she is identified as a Grisha - or, better yet, a Sun Summoner. The only one of her kind. Saddled with the knowledge that she may be the only one who can eliminate the Shadow Fold, and free Ravka; Alina is thrust into the Grisha's world of aristocracy and dangerous politics. Under the watchful eye of Baghra and the handsome yet oft-times frightening Darkling, Alina must master her gift all while surviving the backstabbing behaviors synonymous with life in the court.

If I'm being honest I have to admit...Alina is fairly lackluster when it comes to a protagonist. As is Mal. Unfortunately, having binged the Netflix adaptation prior to finishing the book, I fell for Kaz, Inej, and Jesper. They were the characters who kept me coming back for more; so to see them missing from Shadow and Bone left me gutted. I later learned that they are characters in Bardugo's other book series, Six of Crows, which I am so excited to read; but have been advised to hold off on until I have completed the Shadow and Bone Trilogy. So will I? In time...

Though I'm not ready to visit Ravka again at the moment, I do feel that Alina and Mal have the potential to grow on me with subsequent adventures, like the sequel Siege and Storm, which I've heard surpasses its predecessor. Whether that is true or not remains to be seen; but I'm willing to give it a whirl if it brings me one step closer to meeting the novel versions of Inej, Jesper, and Kaz.

Star Rating: ***1/2



ellie said...

Loved your honest review! Yes, the show does have a great cast!

Ivy's Closet said...

Such a hearty review. So glad to read this. It's really trending lately.

Better Left Unsaid said...

This does look like the number one read of summer. Thanks for the review!

Caitlin'nMegan said...

So glad to read your review. Love that hashtag!

Cherry Blossoms said...

Awesome and honest review! Glad to hear more about the binge-worthy show, too!

Why Girls Are Weird said...

Sounds interesting!

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