Sam's Reviews > Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
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‘I’ve been waiting for you for a long time, Alina,’ he said. ‘You and I are going to change the world.’

There is so much to love about this book.

Let us start with Ravka. This highly fantastical world is a work of pure ingenuity and imagination. Leigh Bardugo masters the art of show-not-tell as she recreates this masterpiece in the reader’s head. I wasn’t even aware of this map until after I had finished reading the book but it is exactly how I pictured it. The Shadow Fold, a deadly strip of thick darkness, runs across the length of Ravka and is home to flesh-eating creatures known as volcra. This Unsea is the perilous ground Alina Starkov and her First Army regiment, including childhood friend Malyen Oretsev, must cross to reach their destination. As they prepare for the crossing, the author slowly unravels the concept of The Grisha, soldiers of the Second Army and the elite citizens of Ravka. We have the Corporalki, Etherealki and Materialki, with different coloured keftas defining which order a Grisha belongs to.

There is a lot for the reader to familiarise with at the start, but the world-building is sensational. Ravka is hardly a place of paradise, but I found myself (and still find myself) longing to crawl into the pages of the book and firmly rooting myself there for the rest of time. I want to own keftas in every single colour – including black – and attend The Little Palace and gawk at the Darkling. Nameless, mysterious, and described on the blurb of my copy as ‘creature of seductive charm and terrifying power’, the Darkling will undoubtedly have the same effect on countless readers as he did on Alina. You are all welcome to fall for him, this leading figure of the Grisha, but make sure you don’t forget about Mal...

Mal. In the future, where the technology is available to transform fictional characters into real people, you will be my first choice. Alina is so darn lucky. How did Leigh Bardugo manage to create such a realistic, caring, and perfectly flawed character? Yes, he gets things wrong, but he is so wonderfully human that my heart did little cartwheels every time his name appeared on a page. I wanted to marry him, and grow up in an orphanage with him, and eat hard cheese with him. Where the Darkling is all danger and excitement, Mal is comfort and reassurance. The friendship between Alina and Mal is beautifully crafted and weaved into the plot with ease. Personally, the Darkling doesn’t do it for me (though I wouldn’t mind borrowing his black kefta). Mal is the one.

With both the Darkling and Mal, it sounds almost like a love-triangle, doesn’t it? I can assure you, it doesn’t read like one. And that is as far as I can elaborate without telling you everything that happens. What I can guarantee is a beautiful romance that I’m certain a lot of readers will appreciate. The plot is an intricate and dark one, and never once did I feel as though the romantic elements overshadowed the (arguably) more significant aspects of this story. Instead, it complemented the rest of the book and even aided the character development. Leigh Bardugo knows her stuff. The pacing is superb, the climax is faultless, and the immaculate blend of fantasy, action and romance really did make this book ‘unputdownable’.

If you have even the slightest interest in immersing yourself into this remarkable story, I beg you to give this book a try. Yes, that’s right, I have resorted to begging. And while I’m at it, who do I have to beg to for the next book? I need it right here and right now.

(On a side note, I would recommend visiting the Speak Ravkan page on the author’s website to anyone who is planning to read this soon or has already read it. If you are like me and you hate reading a word one way only to find it is pronounced a different way after you are done, then that is worth checking out. Unfortunately for Genya, she will forever be GEN-YAH to me and not JEN-YAH.)

(This review also appears on my blog)
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Quotes Sam Liked

Leigh Bardugo
“I don't care if you danced naked on the roof of the Little Palace with him. I love you, Alina, even the part of you that loved him.”
Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone
tags: love, mal

Leigh Bardugo
“The moment our lips met, I knew with pure and piercing certainty that I would have waited for him forever.”
Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone

Leigh Bardugo
“I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I'd catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I'd seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I'd realize that you weren't there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I've risked my life for you. I've walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I'd do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don't tell me why we don't belong together," he said fiercely.”
Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone
tags: mal

Leigh Bardugo
“They are orphans again, with no true home but each other and whatever life they can make together on the other side of the sea.”
Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone

Leigh Bardugo
“Just you and me."
"Really?"
"It's always just you and me, Alina.”
Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone


Reading Progress

04/07/2012 page 34
9.0%
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Comments (showing 26-75)





message 75: by Sonia (new) - added it

Sonia I have high expectation on this. I've only heard postitve comments. Can't wait to see what you think. :-)


message 74: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam I'm expecting good thing too, Sonia. Have you seen all the positive reviews? :D I'm really looking forward to it!


message 73: by Sonia (new) - added it

Sonia I've read a few and waiting for yours :-D Happy reading!


message 72: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, I loved this one, Sam! I look forward to your thoughts and happy reading :)


message 71: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Thanks Leanne! I should be getting stuck in tonight. Can't wait! :D


message 70: by Hilda (new)

Hilda I'll be anxiously waiting for your review, Sam! You sure have a knack of picking books that makes me intrigued. ;)


message 69: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam It's amazing so far, Hilda. I am loving this one! :)


message 68: by Hilda (new)

Hilda Awesome! Hopefully it stays awesome till the end! Oh, and happy late chocolate day (or Easter, as people sometimes call it)! :P


message 67: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Chocolate Day is more accurate for me, I think! And to you too lovely. ;)


message 66: by Mimi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mimi Valentine Yayayayayayayaaaay! The fact that you're loving this one so far is making me really happy, Sam! :)


message 65: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam It's awesome Mimi! :D


message 64: by Sonia (new) - added it

Sonia A lot books published in 2012 are awesome! Looking forward to hearing what you think. :-)


message 63: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Sonia wrote: "A lot books published in 2012 are awesome! Looking forward to hearing what you think. :-)"

I thought I loved while I was reading it, but having finished it now, I can honestly say it blew me away. I can't stop thinking about it! I NEED everyone to read this book. :D


Steph Sinclair My life is so boring. I wish I could live inside this book.

This so much! I absolutely loved this book! I couldn't stop thinking about it either. :D


message 61: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam I want to write a love letter to the author or something. :P


Steph Sinclair Sam wrote: "I want to write a love letter to the author or something. :P"

Ha! I think I did something similar in a tweet. Leigh is so nice. :)

So... How ready are you for book two?! XD


message 59: by [deleted user] (new)

Yay! It makes me so happy that you loved this too, Sam :)

I wouldn't mind jumping into this book, too...


message 58: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Stephanie wrote: "Sam wrote: "I want to write a love letter to the author or something. :P"

Ha! I think I did something similar in a tweet. Leigh is so nice. :)

So... How ready are you for book two?! XD"


She so IS. I have spoken to her on twitter to declare my love for the book and she has always been so lovely. Some authors are just great. :D

I would sell an arm and a leg for the next book!


message 57: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Leanne wrote: "Yay! It makes me so happy that you loved this too, Sam :)

I wouldn't mind jumping into this book, too..."


Thanks Leanne! I'm glad so many of us love this book! :)


message 56: by Zeebee (new) - added it

Zeebee 5 stars? looking forward to your review sam. :)


message 55: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Yep, 5! With the exception of one, it feel like I have been giving a lot of books high ratings lately. :D This book deserves a 5 though.


message 54: by Elena (new) - added it

Elena I absolutely can't wait for this book. Also looking forward to your review.


message 53: by Eunice (last edited Apr 09, 2012 08:44PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eunice "My life is so boring. I wish I could live inside this book." - Haha! This made me laugh! There are lots of books I wish I could live in too, Sam. lol! ^^ Been hearing a lot of good reviews about this book. Looking forward to your review.


Jasprit Haha Sam you've been on a roll with 5 awesome books lately can't wait to hear you're thoughts on this one :)


message 51: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Thank you ladies! I'm struggling to write a review though...it's one of those books! :D


Kereesa Convinced :D Must. Get. Hands. On. Book.


Aa'Ishah Wow Sam. You make me so excited for this book! Aargh, I wish I had it right now!


message 48: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Kereesa wrote: "Convinced :D Must. Get. Hands. On. Book."

You must, Kereesa. You must. ;)


message 47: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Aa'ishah wrote: "Wow Sam. You make me so excited for this book! Aargh, I wish I had it right now!"

It's one of the best books I have read this year. I hope you will love it too! :)


◕ ◡ ◕  Arooj (Semi-Hiatus) I really want to read this book, but am kind of hesitant. Is it high fantasy? 'Cuz I'm not exactly a fan of it, though I do enjoy the fantasy genre.


~Tina~ This sounds amazing! So excited to read this one. Great review!!


message 44: by Sonia (new) - added it

Sonia I am very interested in immersing myself into this story. ;-) Brilliant review, Sam!


message 43: by Sam (last edited Apr 13, 2012 02:37AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Arooj, I don't read much high fantasy either, and although I suppose this book does (just about) fall into that category, it really isn't anything to worry about. I promise you it isn't anything too overwhelming! :)

Tina, thank you! I hope you will love it too.

Sonia, you should be. ;) Yay! I can't wait for you to read this. :)


Jasprit this book sounds amazing Sam and this is such a fab review! You're awesome reviews are certainly contributing massively to my tbr! :)


message 41: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Jasprit wrote: "this book sounds amazing Sam and this is such a fab review! You're awesome reviews are certainly contributing massively to my tbr! :)"

Thank you, Jasprit! It really is amazing and I hope you will get to read it soon. I think it's still up on NetGalley if you are interested! Or you are welcome to borrow my copy. :)


Jasprit Thanks Sam I just requested a copy, even though I really shouldn't have I've got quite a few galleys to get through :-/ and I don't think I've ever been accepted by Macmillan, so *fingers crossed* :)


message 39: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam I like to pretend my NG pile is under control. ;) It's so easy to press request on that site! Anyway I hope you get it. :)


message 38: by Mimi (last edited Apr 13, 2012 03:33AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mimi Valentine :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

This is what my face looks like right now! Oh my gosh, Sam, wasn't this book just AMAZING?? Didn't the world and Alina and Mal and even the Darkling blog you away? LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH! :') <3

P.S. I always pronounced Genya's name as GEN-YA too LOL! And I don't think that's changing anytime soon x)


message 37: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Mimi, you understand how I feel I'm sure! I adore this book and I even dreamed about it last night! And yes, everything about the world just blew me away. It's amazing, right? :D I am dying for the next book now - I need more Mal!

And poor Genya. If only we had known before. ;) She was a great character though. I loved her!


message 36: by ♥Rachel♥ (new) - added it

♥Rachel♥ This sounds amazing, Sam! Brilliant review. Even though you said the romance doesn't overshadow the more important aspects of the book, I can't help but notice your favorite quotes are romance related!! Haha! You know me, it's always about the romance. :)


Eunice Awesome review, Sam! Can't wait to read this. So excited to meet this awesome characters and live inside this book! lol! I just requested a copy too, hope I get approved. :))


◕ ◡ ◕  Arooj (Semi-Hiatus) Hmm, ok! I'll make sure to get this book as soon as possible! Thanks =D


message 33: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam ◕ ◡ ◕ Arooj wrote: "Hmm, ok! I'll make sure to get this book as soon as possible! Thanks =D"

Awesome! :)

Eunice wrote: "Awesome review, Sam! Can't wait to read this. So excited to meet this awesome characters and live inside this book! lol! I just requested a copy too, hope I get approved. :))"

I'll have my fingers crossed for you, Eunice! I hope you will adore the characters as much as I did. :)

♥Rachel♥ wrote: "This sounds amazing, Sam! Brilliant review. Even though you said the romance doesn't overshadow the more important aspects of the book, I can't help but notice your favorite quotes are romance rel..."

I didn't notice that! I suppose they are! The books I read must have at least SOME romance in them, hehe. ;) Thanks Rachel!


message 32: by Laura (new)

Laura Hi Sam! I have been trying not to read too many reviews for this one, but I couldn’t resist a Sam review! I love this review! I am itching to get a hold of this book now! Thanks, Sam! You always blow my book plan to smithereens! :D
“unputdownable’”—Love it!


message 31: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Aw thanks! I have so much love for this book and hope you will love it too. And I take it very seriously when it comes to destroying Laura's plans. ;) Glad I could be of service!


message 30: by Jim (new) - added it

Jim Wonderful review! Makes me even more anxious to read this one. :)


message 29: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Jim wrote: "Wonderful review! Makes me even more anxious to read this one. :)"

Thanks Jim! I hope you'll be blown away by this book too. :)


message 28: by Jim (new) - added it

Jim Sam wrote: "Thanks Jim! I hope you'll be blown away by this book too. :)"

Thanks Sam! I took a look at the Speak Ravkan page, and it all looks fascinating.:)

Like everyone else, I have a perpetual shoving match on my TBR - I have given up any pretense of a real reading plan! But I will definitely be moving in this direction soon, and your lovely review has me energized for sure!


message 27: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Oh yes, my TBR is in a state of chaos! No matter how many lists I make or decide I WILL be reading THAT next, I always end up latching onto a million other things. I have an 'Up Next' shelf which was originally made for a small handful of books, but now has over 30! I need a reading plan for my reading plan it seems. ;)

Anyway, I'm glad you are excited for this! I can't wait to hear what you think of it. :)


message 26: by Jim (new) - added it

Jim Sam wrote: "Oh yes, my TBR is in a state of chaos! No matter how many lists I make or decide I WILL be reading THAT next, I always end up latching onto a million other things. I have an 'Up Next' shelf which was originally made for a small handful of books, but now has over 30!"

Hah! I have exactly the same problem! (I think my 'Up Next' shelf is called 'To Read - short list', but I gave up on it because it was obviously not functional)

I am sure that I will really enjoy this one - it has such a glow in the reviews I have read.

And thanks for liking my reviews of Angelfall and A Wrinkle in Time! Those are definitely two of my favorites, and I see Angelfall on your 5-star list as well.:)


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