Thursday, May 16, 2013

Abbreviated Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Abbreviated Reviews are just shorter and use a more simple format. Here we go:
Shadow and Bone is the first book in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy. The story follows Alina, a teenage orphan serving in the Ravkan military. Ravka is in decline after centuries of war and the sudden appearance of The Shadow Fold, an impenetrable darkness teeming with flesh-eating creatures. After discovering a secret talent that could save the kingdom, Alina is thrust into the spotlight, only to learn that the truths she has taken for granted are all lies.

I found the plot of Shadow and Bone to be an incredible ride. The characters are well-developed and the villain is fascinating. There are ample plot twists that kept me guessing right to the end. I also found the setting to be wonderfully familiar (pseudo Russia) and at the same time totally unique. Never has there been a creepier place than The Shadow Fold. I especially loved how both the protagonists and antagonist made some morally ambiguous decisions, I was never sure who to root for.

My few complaints:
* I wish that the system of magic had been a bit more developed
* All the girl drama was really annoying
* The obsessive focus on classically pretty girls was frustrating
* I hope Alina is less dependent on men to save her in the second book

Appropriate for grades 8-12
4 stars

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