Shadow And Bone Leigh Bardugo Book Review

Shadow And Bone by Leigh Bardugo is an ace read. I ate Bardugo’s debut up — from the mysterious prologue that shows two refugee orphans being tested for magic to this huge climax of winning and AWESOME towards the end. Y’all high fantasy is totally my thing — as a reader it is ALWAYS my go-to genre. I opened Shadow And Bone with a bit of trepidation because of this, I mean, what if it sucked? Then my hopes would have been up for nothing.

Shadow And Bone Leigh Bardugo Book Cover

Shadow And Bone

I can emphatically state, for me, Shadow And Bone did not suck. In fact, it was fairly legit. Alina Starkov lives in a world similar to tsarist Russia – there is even fighting for water ports. Only, in Alina’s country, Ravka, there is a darkness threatening to overtake them all called the Shadowfold which is totally the stuff of nightmares.ย  THEN! There are also these people among the Ravka population called Grisha. These people have magical powers and there is one dude who leads them called The Darkling, like a total douche, I know. AND HE HAS HIS EYES ON ALINA who has her eyes on Mal, her childhood BFF.

With a Russian flavor, Grisha magic and a hint of romance, Shadow And Bone by Leigh Bardugo is enchanting. I was entranced by the Grisha — which I’ll talk a little bit more about because they really made the book for me. Each Grisha has a different focus for their powers. Where you fit into the hierarchy depends on how powerful you are. Some Grisha can split people in half — others make things, and still some amplify the powers of the Grisha around them and turn it up to 11, so to speak. It is utterly fascinating — this magic order and I seriously cannot WAIT to read more about it.

Yet, the real magic of Shadow And Bone is in the kissing. There is kind of a love triangle, friends, I KNOW. But okay, one is all dark and broody and the other person is loyal to the end and has been through it ALL with Alina. And you guys the romance is sweet and lovely and sigh inducing to the point where I actually took a pic with instagram in the ARC of the quote I liked.

It is a unique story with superb magic system and press to your heart sort of romance. I, personally, loved Shadow And Bone and I get that others might now, but for me it was an amazing read and a world I can't wait to get back into.

Friends, I am glad Leigh Bardugo wasn’t ‘chasing a trend’ when writing Shadow And Bone. It is a unique story with superb magic system and press to your heart sort of romance. I, personally, loved Shadow And Bone and I get that others might now, but for me it was an amazing read and a world I can’t wait to get back into.

Disclosure: Received for review BUT THEN I bought my own copy. Figure that one out, FTC.

Other reviews of Shadow And Bone by Leigh Bardugo:

A Reader Of Fictions – “Leigh Bardugo, you are officially a badass

Coffee And Wizards – “Well-drawn settings, I-feel-like-I-know-them-for-real characters, plot twists, stomach fluttering scenes

Paranormal Indulgence – “I havenโ€™t been so thoroughly captured in a long time.

A Jane Of All Reads – “Youโ€™ll have to pardon me whilst I go all fangirl for a second


I totally made THIS out of my love for the book:

Keep Calm And Join The Grisha Shadow And Bone

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. So glad to hear that you liked this one, April! I enjoyed it a lot too. Honestly, it’s probably one of my favorite reads of 2012 so far! I can’t wait to see more from Bardugo!

  2. I LOVED this book. It’s my second favorite book of the year so far. The Darkling was so swoon-worthy and the I didn’t see the twist coming at all. Wow, I loved it. ๐Ÿ˜€ I want to read it again already. Fabulous review!

  3. ahhh this book!!! I see which side of the love triangle you are on! I am on Team OH GOD I LOVE HIM BUT I SHOULDN’T AND WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME AND MY FEELS.

    Thanks for the link ๐Ÿ™‚ <3

  4. That actually sounds great! I write about Russian history so I’d probably like it. Thanks for the review!

  5. I have so much crazy love for this book! Glad you liked it too. AND THE ROMANCE!!!! ***sigh*** The Darkling is all brooding and sexy but MAL! He is loyal and true and oh so swoonworthy!

  6. Haha, I love your reviews ๐Ÿ™‚ This one was no exception! You make me even MORE excited to read Shadow and Bone, which will hopefully be in 2 weeks. I just know I’ll love it!

    Thanks for the fabulous run-down ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Awww, thank you Katie. I am glad to bring out that excitement. Like seriously as a blogger it’s like MISSION ACCOMPLISHED when I get someone pumped about a book. ๐Ÿ™‚ Your comment has made my day.

  7. I am an avid library goer. Is this book worth buying or should I wait until the library gets it? BTW, great blog! Gonna become a subscriber!

  8. I think any book that inspires you to create your own KEEP CALM graphic is one awesome book. Noted, and looking forward to reading it. =)

  9. I wonder which quote you loved so much-there was one from Mal to Alina that practically made me swoon. Although I didn’t love this one as much as others (I think I was in a pretty picky mood), it was still a good read.

  10. RIGHT?! Your review just says ALL THE RIGHT THINGS about this one. because I just love, love, loved it. Really loved the Russian history. And yes, I can totally root for love triangles like this one – to be honest, I think I’m only sick of BAD love triangles. But this is a good one. I get it.

    Brenna from Esther’s Ever After

  11. I just went to a Fierce Reads signing to have my copy of this signed, and LEIGH BARDUGO RECOGNIZED ME. What is that, I don’t even… Floored.

    Anyway, I did have a few issues with this in the beginning, but by the end, not at all. Can’t wait to see where book 2 goes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ahhhh! That means you are like a celebrity Misty.

      See, I never had an issue with it. I am glad though that things were resolved for you by the end.

      Oh, I am beyond excited for Book 2.

  12. I am SO excited to read this book! Your review has left me anticipating the moment when I can go and get my copy from the bookstore.


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