Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

This week's book review is written by Adult/Teen Services Librarian, Mandy Sprague. Missed last week's review? Check it out here: The Dinner. Happy reading!

Shadow and Bone
By Leigh Bardugo

Fiction | High Fantasy | Adventure | Dystopia |Romance
Audience: 14 & up | General Adult

Book Blurb from 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.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

Mandy’s Review:

When I read fantasy, I look for a healthy combination of strong world-building, well-developed characters and adventure. Shadow and Bone does not disappoint. Bardugo’s lush descriptions immerse her readers in Ravka, an alternate, Imperial Russian world where military strength (the 1st Army) and magical power (the 2nd Army) play essential roles in Alina’s war-torn environment.

Bardugo’s powerful plotting and unique story elevates this adventure about a talentless orphan turned powerful Grisha from a comfortable fantasy into a must-read trilogy. Suspense builds slowly in this first book, but pacing picks up as the series progresses, setting the stage for the plot arc of the trilogy. Complex, engaging characters compel the reader to indulge in this story of power, monsters, darkness, friendship, love, and war inspired by Russian and Slavic myth before reading Bardugo’s Six of Crows series which expands on the universe of the Grisha Trilogy. Highly recommended for fans of high fantasy/adventure who don’t mind a female heroine who is powerful and complex who also falls for her best friend. If you enjoy the Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows, try Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman or The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson.

Accolades:
Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award - Best Young Adult: 2012
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults: 2013
A New York Times Bestseller
A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
An Amazon Best Book of the Year
An Indie Next List Book
Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award Nominee for Young Adults (2014)
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award Nominee (2014)
Lincoln Award Nominee (2014)
Prix Elbakin.net for Meilleur roman fantasy traduit Jeunesse (2013)