Her Bookish Things

Shadow & Bone: Book Review

Shadow & Bone (Grisha Trilogy #1)  by Leigh Bardugo
Published June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Genre: YA, Fiction, Fantasy

My Rating: 5/5 Stars


My Goodreads Review

If I could give this series 6 stars.. or 7… or 8…. I would. This series as a whole has stuck with me. It is my absolute all time favorite series, standing beside the ACOTAR series by SJM. I have yet to connect with another series as strongly as I have with these two.

But before I get too deep into my review….

For those of you who would like to take the Darkling with you in the car on the way to work in the mornings, or for those of you who want to get a feel for the legit badassery that is this series.. here’s a Spotify PLAYLIST!! 😉 😉

So let me try to put my love for this book into a few categories.

Overall Plot + Theme

Alright. I don’t want to go over the details of the plot in this review — because I went into this not knowing one darn thing about it so every single page was a surprise for me! What I will say is this… this book will be a wild ride in a dark fairytale-esque world with unpredictable characters. There is action, magic, romance, intrigue.. and really.. what more could you want from a series? I was absolutely 100% entranced with every page that I read… and that feeling continued with the second and third book.

But I will say this… just when I thought I knew what was going on… just when I thought I was safe… well, Leigh Bardugo, you got me.



I found myself jumping out of my bed screaming.. LITERALLY screaming… “Run Alina run!!!” or “Give in Alina, just give in!”

The World-building

If I could get stuck in any world from any book- this would be the one. It is vivid, dark, magical, and completely entrancing.

Here’s the thing. I’ve read a lot of negative reviews basing their reasons on the fact that Leigh Bardugo didn’t make a convincing Russian world… but my opinion is that his is her world- not actual Russia- she can do whatever she wants! Sure it has Russian inspiration, but it is clearly its own place. Maybe if you are really attached to the Russian language, it would bother you… but my opinion is to leave preconceived notions aside and let this be what it is.

The Characters

Alina, our heroine.

As with many first books, she needs to grow up some. She is fairly naive, but I liked growing up with her through this series. She’s very relatable, in my opinion, darn right hysterical. She’s very common with familiar insecurities that we all face. She gets a lot of grief for the mistakes she makes in this book… but come on ladies- I think we would all make the same mistakes she makes, if put in her situation. She will always be one of my favorite heroines because of how relatable she is. I adore her.

The Darkling

I’m not going to say too much about him other than this. He is without a doubt the most interesting character I’ve ever read about. Ladies, good luck. Honestly I wish I could put some of my favorite quotes from the book here, but it would spoil.

I can’t even go into the rest of the characters without spoiling. Just enjoy trying to predict everyone!

The Writing

This series overall is probably the most quotable one out there, in my opinion anyway. Simply gorgeous. And the pacing? I don’t know how some people think this is slow… the pace was like.. holy freaking I can’t keep up with my emotions…


I don’t always recommend the audiobook version of a book to people- but the narrator who does this series is PHENOMENAL. It for sure enhanced my experience of this book 100000%. So yes, I HIGHLY recommend giving the audiobook a go!

So to summarize all of my thoughts…

Thank you Leigh Bardugo for this precious gift. Thank you. 

And just a hint for the next book… it may or may not introduce my next all time favorite character…

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