Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone #1)
Henry Holt & Co.
Published June 5, 2012
About Shadow and Bone
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.
This book (the whole series, really) has been on my reading list especially since I read and loved SIX OF CROWS. I really enjoyed Leigh Bardugo’s writing style so much that I figured she’s probably one of those authors where I’d enjoy all her books. I ended up putting it off because of some of the stuff I’d read about the Darkling character and just wasn’t sure if it would be for me.
Now that I’ve finally read it, I can say that I did really enjoy the book. I liked Alina’s story arc and the way her relationships with other characters developed. I loved the Grisha world and that Alina’s magic had an effect on her physical health that was different than in other series I’ve seen. It had always been my plan to read all of them before watching the Netflix series based on these and SIX OF CROWS, so I can see myself reading the sequel for sure.
If you enjoy magic and fantasy with a mix of politics, (and you’re late to the Grisha fandom like I am!) then I think this book is worth checking out.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
The story setting is inspired by tsarist Russia. There’s a great interview with Leigh Bardugo about this in the Atlantic.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
A couple instances of mild profanity.
Vague references to sexual exploits by Alina’s fellow soldiers. Some intense kissing between boy and girl. A boy asks a girl if he can visit her in her room, implying that he would like to have sex with her.
Some characters have supernatural abilities referred to as small science. These can be things like gathering light or darkness or causing someone’s heart to explode without touching them.
Some battle violence and situations of peril. Alina and her team face monsters that lurk in the dark.
Some social drinking.
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