[A quick note: If you follow my bookstagram then you’ve already heard me rant, and rant, and rant about the effing awful Netflix permanent “sticker” on the covers of these books. Ugh. I ended up getting the Fairyloot special edition of Shadow and Bone because I could NOT find an edition without the sticker and got tired of searching. The editions exist if you want to pay like $80+ and I’m not interested. Hopefully Fairyloot comes out with the second and third editions to match.]
“𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙤𝙪𝙡 𝙢𝙖𝙙𝙚 𝙛𝙡𝙚𝙨𝙝, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙩𝙝 𝙤𝙛 𝙝𝙞𝙢 𝙡𝙖𝙞𝙙 𝙗𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙡𝙖𝙯𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙨𝙪𝙣, 𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙧𝙣 𝙤𝙛 𝙢𝙮𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙨𝙝𝙖𝙙𝙤𝙬. 𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙩𝙝 𝙗𝙚𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙛𝙖𝙘𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙢𝙞𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙪𝙡𝙤𝙪𝙨 𝙥𝙤𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙨, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙩𝙝 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙙𝙚𝙖𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙚𝙢𝙥𝙩𝙮 𝙨𝙥𝙖𝙘𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙬𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙨, 𝙖 𝙬𝙖𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙥𝙚𝙤𝙥𝙡𝙚𝙙 𝙗𝙮 𝙛𝙧𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙙 𝙢𝙤𝙣𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙨.” —Leigh Bardugo
Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a near impenetrable darkness full of monsters that feast on human flesh. Now its fate rests on the shoulders of Alina Starkov. When Alina discovers a dormant magical ability deep within herself, she becomes the answer to eliminating the Shadow Fold. The answer to saving Ravka. But to do so, she must venture to the royal court where she discovers secrets of the Grisha, and an even darker secret that will forced her to make an impossible choice.
Unique world building, a fresh magical system, and a character that must face her own challenging inner struggle. Shadow and Bone introduces us to the Grishaverse with a flare! It’s twists and turns make for a compelling story that moves quickly and is nearly impossible to put down. A story you connect with immediately! I loved the characters, especially Alina, for being atypical compared to many MC heroines. She’s relatable and her struggles felt real.
The most shocking aspect of Shadow and Bone was the Darkling. His character always kept me guessing. I don’t want to say too much to avoid spoilers. But let’s just say my opinion of him went from one extreme to the other throughout the story. Like I was in a constant tailspin, unsure what to think.
While S&B is definitely a YA, unlike most YA books, the plot was NOT predictable. I certainly didn’t expect it to go the direction it went. I had one idea in mind and by the 60% mark it was totally derailed. But in a good way! And like most YA books, it reads quickly, has an obvious character arc, and follows a pretty typical Hero’s Journey, making it a comfortable read.
Regarding the world building, for a first in a series, S&B eases you into the Grishaverse. I am rather biased in my opinion because I read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom BEFORE this one. So I was already well-familiar with the Grisha hierarchy, the magic, and even the map/world. In fact, there were a couple characters briefly mentioned in SoC/CK that we see in Shadow and Bone: Genya.
I was incredibly intrigued by Genya’s character in Shadow and Bone. I think she’s got a huge backstory that I’m DYING to know. And with her being shown briefly in CK, I know she’s obviously going to play a more prevalent role in the next few books.
Many people told me that I would like SoC/CK better than S&B. In some ways that was true, in other ways, that was false. SoC/CK are very dense and very detailed books. The world building is layer upon layer upon layer. It was a slower read. And I didn’t find myself dying to pick it up. NOT SO for S&B. It was simple, relaxing, and I craved it whenever I put it down, always eager to pick it up as soon as possible. But where S&B felt VERY young adult, SoC/CK felt more like adult fantasy. So I feel like I can’t judge them on the same scale.
Do I recommend this? Absolutely! And even more so with the Netflix show coming soon. 𝗠𝗬𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚: 𝟰/𝟱⭐️