G is for Grisha (Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo)

A-to-Z Blogging Challenge 2015--GI was a bit under the weather yesterday, so you’ll get 2 posts today instead of just one.

Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone (the first book of her Grisha trilogy) is one of those books that I hesitated to read simply because I had heard too much hype about it. I didn’t feel it could possibly live up to the initial reviews. Then I got to meet Leigh Bardugo when she came to Kansas City for the Fierce Reads tour. She’s funny–I laughed myself to tears pretty much throughout the evening–and was just so genuine and kind to her fans there.

The Grisha series is set in Ravka, a fictional world based loosely on the culture of Imperial Russia. Basically, it’s its own world with its own rules. I have seen some highly critical reviews by people furious with differences between Ravka culture and actual Russian culture. As a student of Russian, I understand the gripes, but I still allow for dramatic license in fictional worldbuilding, so those details really didn’t bother me much. I loved the atmosphere Bardugo creates with Ravka.

Ravka is a land divided by the Fold, a large swath of magical darkness filled with nightmarish creatures. Our main character, Alina, and her fellow orphan and best friend Mal are serving in the army as the novel starts. Their regiment is attacked as they begin to cross the Fold, and Alina unleashes a magical power she never knew she had. Then the story really begins, as Alina becomes part of the Grisha, the magically-gifted force under the leadership of the mysterious man known as the Darkling. The Darkling alone is reason enough to read the series, as he is seductive, powerful, and incredibly dangerous. Alina’s attraction to him is undeniable, but so is her fear of his magic and the secrets he keeps.

While it took me a bit to get into this one, once I did I practically devoured the rest of the book. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series very soon.



Filed under Book Reviews

10 responses to “G is for Grisha (Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo)

  1. Stephen Tremp

    Thanks for the review of Shadow and Bone. Sometimes we have to give a book a chance, then it pulls us in and engulfs us.

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Co-host
    Twitter: @StephenTremp

    • Thanks for the visit! I think with this one, it was a matter of needing to concentrate on the world at the beginning, so it felt a bit slow at first. But I’m willing to do that with a lot of books. 🙂

  2. Hey this sounds interesting.

    And I’d say, though I’m an advocate of accurate history in storytelling, if a place is fictional and only inspired to an actual historical place, I don’t see the need for being as accurate.
    Just my idea 🙂

  3. I hope you are feeling better today. I enjoyed reading your review. I think reviews remind us that there are so many good stories out there to read. The internet allows us access to more of them than ever.

    • Thanks for stopping by! I am feeling better finally, thank you. I find lots of new books and authors online. I use Goodreads to track my reading, follow lots of authors, agents, and publishers on Twitter, and of course, I LOVE having the ability to place library holds online and like magic, there are books waiting for me. The internet is great for bookish people! 🙂

  4. Dropping by during the A to Z Blog Challenge, I came across this and the book you read sounds very interesting. While I don’t read fantasy or sci fi that much, my older kids do (15 and 13)…is this a book you’d recommend for them? They are advanced readers and have even read GoT, LoTR etc. Thanks for the info!

    Good luck with the letter “K”!


    • Hi! Thanks for stopping by! This first book should be fine for both your teens. The later books get darker, more violent, so emotionally might be tough for the younger one. But couldn’t be as rough as GoT, so you’re probably good. Maybe let the older one read them first, get their opinion.

  5. Hi,
    This sounds like an interesting book. I’d never heard of Leigh Bardugo. I will definitely check out one of her books and give it a go.
    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge 2015 and hope you’re feeling better.
    Patricia at Everything Must Change

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