Shadow and Bone

Leigh Bardugo

Shelfie Score: 49%

Likeminded Reader Score: Login

Publisher: Indigo
Pages: 0


Warorphan Alina Starkov doesn't expect much from life. The only one she trusts is her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. When they both get drafted to the army, they are sent on a mission into The Fold, a place of darkness where monsters feast on humans

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Seriously can she write something I don't like? I was a bit worried I wouldn't like it as much because this was her debut novel and I've only read books that came out after this series and she had time to grow as an author. I never expected her to have such a strong novel out of the gate. This is one of the best debuts I've ever read, up the with Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

Everything was so solid in this novel. The world building, the characters. Everything. I was a bit shocked at first that was told in the first person as her other books are in third, but this was a great choice at it only has one perspective and I really felt like I was rooting for the same things Alina was. When she liked the Darkling, I like the Darkling, when she hated him, I hated him. I've never felt so connected to a character before. The author has this amazing ability to write characters that I actually care about and can connect and relate to, even though they live supernatural lives and I do not. Because, at the end of the day, their root problems can be similar to mine, or produce the same emotion and I can catch onto it easily and see myself reflected back at me.

I could clearly picture what Ravka and the Unsea looked like. Honestly, reading this book was like watching a movie. The characters were talking and they moved vividly in vivid places. I could picture the stag and the collar and the dresses the characters were wearing. My images of the characters did not change throughout the whole novel, except for when Genya used her talents on Alina. I honestly lost track of time while reading this book because of it. It was nearly midnight when I forced myself to put it down because I have to work this morning. This experience rarely happens to me in books, but when it does, I know it's because I'm enjoying the novel. It happens to me with all my favourite books, The Lord of the Rings, though the picture is somewhat warped to the films after I watched it, Graceling and the Obernewtyn Chronicles.

After reading this, I have a new respect for the author. I also think that this book was much better than Six of Crows, which I really didn't think would be possible, this being her debut and all. This book brought me to Ravka, the place I was wondering about the whole time and answered all my questions. I'm so enchanted with Ravka, a lot more than Ketterdam. I only now wish to see it after the war. Hopefully, I'll get that by the end of the series, or at least an idea what it will look like.

Oh, and did I mention how awesome the extra content is in the new paperback? Well, it's awesome. I loved the interview with the author and the letter from Mal. It was all awesome.


So captivating and thrilling, with a tinge of spectacular romance.

Ann Fernandez

This book probably could've been good if I enjoyed the characters more and didn't already guess everything that would happen from what others have said.


Bookaxe Characteristics for Shadow and Bone

Character and Plot:

Characters in depth

Fast-paced plot

Language and Style:

Straight to the point

Language and style central

New Information:

Pure entertainment

Introduces you to new ideas


Explores the darker side of life
Light-hearted and optimistic


No swearing or violence etc
Frequent swearing and violence etc

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