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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Expected Publication Date: June 5th, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Page Count: 368 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Maggie from NYMBC
Amazon | Goodreads
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.
When I first picked up Shadow and Bone, I didn't know what to expect from it. I had heard from a lot of my fellow blogger friends that this was a homerun, and I can say for a fact that I was not disappointed with it in the least. Leigh Bardugo kept me hooked from page one, and I managed to read it easily in one sitting. Not only did the characters capture my heart, but the world-building is impeccable, despite the crazy Russian names that were incredibly hard to pronounce for awhile. I think I probably loved everything about this book, from the plot-line to the world the characters live in, and I can't wait to see where Bardugo takes us next.

Alina is such a great heroine. She's stubborn, smart, witty, and an all around likable character. I think there's something very relatable about her as well, she has a lot of insecure moments that reminded me of myself, but her ability to move past it and conquer her fears and frustrations really had me excited for her. I had the feeling that, if she can do it, I can do it. The Darkling is a mysterious character all on his own, but he was definitely the kind of man I like in my YA romance. He's mysterious, edgy, and there's just something dangerous and alluring about him. The moment I met him I was drawn to him and I hoped and prayed there would be some kind of romance between Alina and the Darkling. Of course, I'm not going to spoil it for you.

The world that Bardugo has created is so vivid and so spectacular I felt like I was actually in it. At first, I didn't even realize that this was classified as fantasy (other than the Volcra and magic....) because Ravka was just so real to me, I couldn't imagine a world without it. Bardugo is an amazing writer, everything she creates is so real and so original. I have to say I don't think I've ever read a story that's quite like this one. I was really impressed with both Bardugo's writing style, as well. It's incredibly elegant and descriptive, while still keeping the plot fast paced and exciting. There were times when I was so engrossed in the story that I found myself cheering and screaming for Alina and her accomplishments, as well as crying over her heart break. There's something special about an author who can put you through that much emotion and connect you to a character on such a deep level.

Overall, I really loved Shadow and Bone and despite taking me only 5 short hours to finish it, it felt like time just flew by while I was reading. Alina is an amazing protagonist and I really connected with her on an intimate level. The romance is sweltering as well as sweet, but I do have to admit I wasn't completely happy with how it turned out. Shadow and Bone is a fast-paced-high-fantasy-thriller that had me on the edge of my seat from page 1, and guessing until the very end. I'd recommend this one for fans of stories like Graceling, or really just anyone looking for something original, fresh, and exciting.

26 comments:

  1. Great review! I think the idea of this book sounds absolutely fascinating (and I don't know why, but I'm constantly confusing this with The Book of Blood and Shadow :P) and I'd love to read it. It seems so original and inventive, and I think I'll have to check it out because all the rave reviews are yelling at me to READ THIS!

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    1. I've been confusing it with Daughter of Smoke and Bone for awhile LOL!! But yeah, it's a really great read and I loved the story! I definitely recommend it :D

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  2. Fantastic review! I absolutely can't wait to read this! I think almost everyone (if not all) has said how absolutely amazing this book is! And the Darkling *swoon* Yeah, I haven't met him yet but he totally sound like my kind man :P I'm also really happy to see a good realistic MC who is tough but who still has insecurities. I'll definitely buy this the day it comes out!
    Great review!

    All the best ♥
    Mackenzie @ Oh, For the Love of Books!

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    1. THank you!!! I definitely recommend it, it was a fantastic read! And the Darkling is SO HAWT. I swear... I really loved the MC, she's totally relatable, but still makes you want to dominate your insecurities :) I can't wait to see what you think!

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  3. Wonderful review...I finished this book earlier in the week and absolutely loved it as well. Hope to have my review up tomorrow!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did !! I think this book really has something special :)

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  4. -happy dances- I'm so glad you loved it, even though I told you that you would lol. :)

    Jenny

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    1. I DID LOVE IT!! You were right. I'm pretty sure we have really similar opinions :)

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  5. ACK,THE DARKLING. SA-WOOOOOON. (Kinda?)

    And yes, this one was all kinds of fantastic. Great review! In addition to the Graceling comparison, the great/different world-building had me thinking of The Girl of Fire and Thorns too.

    P.S. I love when reviews go up on the same day haha.

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    1. Ohhhhh I haven't read Girl of Fire and Thorns yet! I have a copy though.... I'll have to get on it soon!!!

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    2. Oh my goodness, yes do! I have so much love for that book it is INSANE.

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  6. This one sounds like it has great world building, which I love in any good fantasy. this just sound super unique and I'm so jealous! I can't wait till it comes out and get my hands on a copy lol

    Ning @ Reading by Kindle Fire

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    1. You will love it!!! The world-building is amazing!!!! You're really going to enjoy it :)

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  7. I so need to read this one!! Wow, you are a fast reader. 5 hours? Seriously? This book sounds amazing though. Great review hon!!!

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    1. HAHAH YES!!!! Seriously, 5 hours. It was so good I couldn't stop!!!

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  8. OH MY! I SO CAN'T WAIT! (excuse the Caps Attack, Your review just has me doubly excited for it now!!) Thank you for the review! And isn't the cover wonderful!?

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    1. Thank youuu!! The cover is so great, and so appropriate!!! I really loved it :)

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  9. I have seen all good things about this one! Have to say I am really curious about the romance factor now. Great review! :)

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    1. The romance is so intriguing, I was all over the place!!! I really loved it though, I definitely think you'll like it!

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  10. This review has me on the edge of my seat for this book. OMG! SERIOUSLY! Awesome review, I've only heard amazing things about Shadow and Bone.

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    1. Thank youu!!! I really really loved it so I hope you do to!!! I'm glad my review has you excited as well!!

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  11. I love the cover of this book - it's beautiful and looks so different from all the others out there.

    This is the first time I've actually read a summary of it, but it sounds amazing. I'll definitely keep an eye out for it :)

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    1. Isn't the cover gorgeous?! The ARC cover is different, but it's still crazy awesome. Whoever designed them both is amazing :)

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  12. Great review Anna I Just finished this one a couple days ago and I really liked it! YES, we both enjoyed a book! :D I loved Alina and I totally agree about The Darkling. He's very dark and alluring.

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    1. Yayyyy I'm so glad we finally like a book!!!!! THIS IS AMAZING!!! Dude, right? The Darkling pretty much owns my soul right now...

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  13. EEEh! I really want to read this book so bad. Glad you loved this book it made me more excited to read it, everybody seem to loved thsi book, I hope to get a copy very soon. :) <3
    Great review Ana x

    FICBOOKREVIEWSƸ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ

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According to FTC guidelines I must point out that all of the books that I review on my blog were either purchased by me or were given to me by the author/publisher. All words and opinions expressed are my own and I do not receive any monetary goods for writing reviews. I will state in my review which books I have received for review and which books I have purchased/borrowed. All images and synopsis are taken from Goodreads.com unless otherwise stated.
 
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