Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


Published by: Henry Holt & Co
Released on: June 5th, 2012
Source: ARC from publisher/purchased book
5 stars: I LOVED IT!

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.

A sensational debut! Leigh Bardugo has mastered the art of story telling with her richly detailed, highly addictive fantasy. Her vivid world building, intriguing characters, and engaging storyline were pieced together perfectly. Shadow and Bone is a story rich in lore, added with darkness, given hope, and fueled by love. I did not want this story to end! I've said this before, and I'm going to say it again here, this year is the year of debut authors! I'm again in awe over phenomenal writing, incredible story telling, and a world I want more of. 

Leigh Bardugo's writing style is one I loved. She's an author who throws you right into the mix of what's going on. While the story starts out with a brief back story with the main character Alina and her best friend Mal, the following chapter puts readers right into the mix of everything that's going on and it doesn't slow down until the last page. What I loved about Leigh's writing is the way she tells the story. I felt like she is one of few authors I've read recently who have mastered that show and tell style of storytelling. She doesn't give you more than you need in this story, while at the same time in certain scenes she gives you just enough which fueled my addiction to this book. It hooked me from page one and I didn't stop reading it until I was done. Her writing, the elements that make up Shadow and Bone, and the flow of the storyline are masterfully pieced together. I'm sitting here writing my review withholding my urge to yell, "I WANT MORE!".

How could I not want more. This world is a dark, rich world that is beautiful, dangerous and enticing. The characters are ones I fell in love with. The secrets that unravel through out the course of this story are fabulous. Not to mention the love story that fuels this story is breathtaking. It's one of those slow burning romances that makes you want to quickly get to the end of the book so you know what happens, and yet leaves you clinging to each page as you devour every moment between the characters. 

I LOVED, loved, loved what Leigh did with Alina and Mal. What starts off as an incredible friendship turned into a realistic romance that left me yearning for more. The relationship between Alina and the Darkling was so well crafted. THANK YOU Leigh for not creating a love triangle. Finally, a story with two totally different, yet perfectly written relationships and it doesn't have a love triangle.  Not only that, the romance in this story is only small part of the over all story arch. You'll see what I mean when you read this book. I seriously wish I could elaborate on what it is I loved about each relationship, but I can't for the sake of spoilers. Just trust me when I say it's good!

If you're looking for a richly crafted fantasy, then you must pick up this book!! This is a brilliantly told story, and one I HIGHLY recommend reading. You'll be seeing this book on my top ten list of at the end of this year. I literally can not wait for book 2 to be out. This is a book I'll definitely be reading again. I'll rarely say this, as I'm not a huge fan of all the different YA books that are being optioned for movies, but I really hope this one makes it to the big screen!

You can learn more about Shadow & Bone's world here. If you're in the Austin area this weekend, stop by the Austin Teen Book Festival, as Leigh will be there!

12 comments:

  1. Perfection is what this book is. :)

    Fantastic review!

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    1. I TOTALLY agree! I feel like I went a little fan girly with this review. I should have just written PERFECTION and left it at that. LOL

      I'm so glad you loved it!! Seriously, I need the rest of the series like now. ;)

      Thank you for reading my review!

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  2. YAY! Awesome review, sweetie. <3 So glad you loved this book. I thought it was perfect :) Sigh. Want to read it for the third time <3 it was just so good :) And yeah. Leigh writes so good :D Loved the writing so much. <3 And gaaah. I just need more of Alina and Mal <3 They are perfect :D

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    1. Thanks sweets! I'm so glad you loved it too! It was the perfect and now I'm totally addicted to this book and I need MORE! ;)

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  3. Great review. I LOVED this too. Can't wait for book 2. Can't believe I read a book before you.

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    1. Thank you! LOL I love that you read this before me. I seriously can't believe it took me this long to read it! I am totally in LOVE with it! Leigh's writing is amazing!

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  4. LOVE this one. It's been picked up by Dreamworks and the producers of HARRY POTTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. ME TOO!! I know, I am so excited for this movie!!! It is going to be awesome!!!

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  5. Great review! Shadow and Bone is one of my favorite reads this year, and I'm so excited that it's being made into a movie. :D

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    1. Thank you!!! It's one of my all time favs!!! I can not wait to read the sequel. I'm so glad the movie was optioned. I can't wait to see it.

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  6. I loved this book too! It's dark and captivating. The romance was beautiful. I seriously had tears in my eyes at the sweet kiss scene. I love how all the amazing YA books are turning into movies these days. YA represent!

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    1. YAY!! I'm so happy to hear that! I loved everything about this book. I swear I fangirled Leigh this weekend at ATBF. I couldn't help it. I love her book!

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