Book Review: Shadow and Bone (Spoiler Free)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Author: Leigh Bardugo
Page #: 356 pages
Format Read: Paperback
Date Read: 7/21/2019 – 7/29/2019


Shadow & Bone starts with our main character, Alina, going off to the Shadow Fold with her military unit. In her unit is her best friend and crush, Mal. Due to the Shadow Fold dividing the land of Ravka, Alina and her unit to cross the Shadow Fold and hopefully reach West Ravka, trade and buy supplies only to cross the Shadow Fold again and return with the new supplies. With them are various Grisha – who are the magic users of the land and hold the status of nobility. However, when they attempt to cross the Shadow Fold. the unit is attacked by these creatures called volcra and Alina ends up summoning powers she didn’t know she had, catching the attention of everyone and saving a majority of her unit. They go back to their camp and bring Alina to the Darkling who is the head of the Grisha, who has her taken to the capital city of Os Alta to train. Things pick up from there.

Spoiler Free Review:

-This book really just sets the world that the rest of the series. It explores the politics and gives you insight on what the main conflict is. So a lot of the revelations about the villain are brought in throughout the book, instead of having it spread-out through the series.

– It is predictable, but it is still a very addicting read that makes you want to continue to read it, even if you have a big clue on what is going to happen.

– Due to the nature of the character that is narrating the story (Alina) , it is very hard to connect to the characters mostly because Alina is very critical of other people. She does carry that air of “not like other girls”, but it isn’t so much in your face as it could be.

– Surprisingly enough, Alina is not as bad as a character. She grows throughout the story, really coming into herself and her magic.

– The majority of the book is spend travelling or in the main city, giving insight into the politics of the country and how the magic users – Grisha – play a part in all of it. You are also given a lot of insight into how magic is used, which is basically “for something to be gained, something of equal value must be lost” (Fullmetal Alchemist basically).

– Action really only picks up 70% into the story, and because there is so much travel it is does get boring in a couple of times.

– There is little interaction between both love interest, which makes it hard to really support the emotions the main character feels. And when there is interaction, it feels forced and insta-lovey.


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