**Shadow and Bone-- Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: June 5th, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Pages: 368
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
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
Blurb: How can so much awesome be packed into one book?

Review: This book was AMAZING. I was going to wait until closer to the release date to tell you exactly how amazing it was, but I just couldn't. I've never read anything quite like it. Let me tell you about all the awesomeness it contains:

It has a lot of high-fantasy flair, with great Russian roots. It doesn't take place in Russia, so you don't need to know anything about Russian culture to get it. Always a plus. But it allowed for some BEAUTIFUL imagery and language-building. Oh! I love the setting and language so much! Granted, the language was a little confusing at first, but there's a guide at the beginning that tells you the most important words you need to know. And after the first few chapters you start to get the hang of it.

The characters were engaging and easy to sympathize with. I loved Alina. Yes, she's quite a bit self-deprecating at times, but I can understand why she would be. In her world the people of power can magic themselves into looking beautiful, therefore there's this idea that if you aren't extremely beautiful you aren't powerful. Makes sense that she would have some self-esteem issues. And her issues were totally believable. Watching her resolve them and come into her own made me so happy!

Also, the villain was awesome. The whole time you're reading the book you think you know who the villain is, but then something happens that makes you doubt yourself, and by the time the villain is actually revealed you're on the edge of your seat! My head is STILL spinning from this!

The same thing goes for the love interests. Yes, I said love interestS, as in plural. But for all of you rolling your eyes and such, Bardugo manages to stick in two love interests WITHOUT creating a love triangle. GENIUS! And the romance was there, but subtle. I would definitely classify this book as a fantasy, and not a romance. Sure, it's got some romance in it, as most great stories do, but it didn't overpower the plot. It was subtle, and beautiful.

So there you go. I adored it. It was amazing. You all need to pre-order it right now and shower Leigh with love. That is all.

Oh, wait, one more thing: There's some summary floating around the internet that describes this book as "The most compelling romance since Twilight." I'm currently on a personal quest to hunt down all of these summaries. Please ignore them.

UPDATE: Leigh just posted today that books 2 & 3 have titles and you can win a personalized copy of Shadow & Bone! Go forth and do: CLICK HERE.

Other Reviews:

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012
*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.


  1. Two love interests but no love triangle? That sounds interesting.

    You've got me so much more excited for this book! Lovely review :)

  2. I really want to read this book and your review has made me want to read it even more! I love anything Russian so that is a definite plus with me

  3. *SQUEE!* I'm so excited for this book! I've already read some awesome reviews but your review makes me want to read it even more XD Great review! I'm always looking for a good fantasy!

    All the best ♥
    Mackenzie @ Oh, For the Love of Books!

  4. I LOVED this one too! Never before has a twist shocked me like this one did, I loved it!

  5. Just finished reading this book today and it was awesome. I agree with everything you said, except I wasn't terribly shocked at the twist...but that didn't take away how much I enjoyed the book. On top of all the glowing comments you made, I'd just like to add that I'm so thrilled this wasn't a major cliff-hanger ending. I was sweating it a little bit towards the end there - so much going on! But things were wrapped up just enough so that it won't feel like torture waiting for the next one to come out. :)


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