Shadow and Bone – An Intriguing Setting

Book Review : Shadow and Bone
The Grisha #1
By Leigh Bardugo

Spoiler Alert!

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Summary

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.
(Courtesy of goodreads.com)

Adult Point of View

I love the artwork for the cover. It is so refreshing to have an illustration without people dominating the cover. I also loved the Russian-like setting because it reminded me of the time I spent there.

I keep questioning if there are bits from Russian history that I don’t know that would give the story more depth. For example, is the Shadow Fold a symbol that has divided Russia? Probably not. I think other than the flavor for the book Russian history is not relevant to the story. I would have loved Shadow and Bone to have another level to the plotting than to be just another YA romance.

The plot falls into some of the traps common to current YA fiction.

Traps:
1-The female protagonist feels that she isn’t pretty enough to deserve the love of the boy she has secretly loved for years.

2-The whole world nearly needs to come to an end for the romance to come to fruition.

3-A love triangle.

4-The protagonist bears the burden of saving the world.

I’m giving it the extra quarter star because of the setting and the unique magic.

3.25 out of 5 stars
3-half-star-hotel

  • the Mother

If you liked this one you might like Prophecy by Ellen Oh, Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman and The Raven Ring by Patricia C. Wrede.

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About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow cooked in a tagine. Weekly I get together with friends and go to yoga for a bit of mommy time. Some may find me quirky, I prefer to think I am one of a kind.
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