K.'s Reviews > Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
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's review
Feb 21, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: e-book, fantasy-sci-fi-dys, historical, hit-me-in-the-heart, ok-fine-its-ya, slippery-as-waterweed, this-shelf-is-divine, 21st-cent, own
Read in May, 2012

Well, if this isn't the review that wouldn't write itself.

The correct term for my current condition is Tskdn;ieajnrja. It is a state in which the mind of a reader of young adult fiction is awesomely blown. I've lost all sense of decorum. You see, all I want to do is fangirl. That's it. All the time. I come near the book and its a reaction -- I just squeal and squeeze my hands to my heart and bat my lashes and swing side to side, breathe in air, breathe out wishful thoughts. Or this.


It's a symptom, a side effect, a sickness, a who cares. I don't mind that Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone has turned my brain to mush, or that it has limited my mental capacity to that of a tween girl seeing Justin Beiber, or One Direction or The Wanted (those are right, right?) within a 20 metre radius.

I've written notes and I have things to say, I just can't piece them together to make enough sense that they would qualify as "readable". But I must try. Because all of the above is mostly inspired by the irresistibly appealing quality of Mal. Yes, that's right. I want him.


Bring it.

Fortunately, this book is also a very well-written story. We've got here an interesting alternate magical world of Grishas, and Darklings, of orphans, and kings; of greedy men, desperate mothers, a misled people, and young lovers. Alina is a great protagonist. She's sharp, humble, outspoken, and willing to do anything if it's right. She has a character arc because even while she's always had a biting edge (view spoiler), she thoroughly undergoes trials and we are witness to her mental, physical, and emotional break down. But she picks herself up, dusts herself off, and off she goes.

This is also not without awesome back-up because I think I might be in love with most, if not all, of the secondary characters. Mal, the best friend, fellow orphan and tracker extraordinaire, is an effective male lead. He's protective but never too affectionate. He doesn't pamper Alina; he gives her what he knows she can take because he has faith in her. Genya, the beautiful servant to the queen, is the likeable girl friend -- or rather the only friend Alina makes during her stint at the Little Palace. She's gorgeous, sympathetic, snarky, and desperately in love with a geek. She knows her station in life and that makes me bleed for her. And the Darkling. I'm going to leave it there. These characters have their own stories to tell. They've earned the right to these pages -- perhaps even more so than Alina in some respects. They each have a past they must deal with; secrets and demons they have to fight.

The storytelling is immensely sweeping. Bardugo has delivered a story of sacrifice and growing up, with magic and war and set it with the grandness of a fairy tale. The world building is fantastic. Her universe is fully formed and detailed. You're not left without questions but seeing as I question the actual world we live in myself, I figured it was just another great feature to her writing.

Alina's (and Mal) journey is complete; a full circle. In the end, they arrive where they were before but nothing is the same, their lives and their selves are shifted. The end reinforces what I've found to be the crux of the tale...home. Losing home, searching for home, yearning for home, having home. Alina and Mal have been given and taken home all their lives. They have lived and lost again as they did before they came to Kermazin, the orphanage where their destinies were eventually decided; as they are now, in the end. Orphans again. But not children, for they are no longer hiding from the older kids, or from Ana Kuya's temper. No longer shadows they must avoid but true darkness, evil magic, and death.

So, should you read this book?



This review also appears on The Midnight Garden. An ARC was provided by the publisher.
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Quotes K. Liked

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
“I'm sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now.”
Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone

Reading Progress

02/14 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-9)

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message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh yay! I look forward to your review, K. :)

I have completed my mission...

message 8: by K. (new) - rated it 4 stars

K. Haha, thanks Leanne. Believe me, its coming :D


message 7: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo *taps foot*

Come on, K.

We're waiting.


message 6: by K. (new) - rated it 4 stars

K. I do not appreciate this pressure! Angry face!

Wendy Darling

You rock, in case you were wondering. :) Love this review, K.

Brooke Redfearn HOLY CRAP, just finished the book ten minutes ago, and i must say that picture TOTALLY described me the ENTIRE time!!!! :)

Tandie This is perfect. I love the Darkling, you love Mal, & Wendy loves the Privateer guy from book 2!

message 2: by K. (new) - rated it 4 stars

K. Haha, Tandie. Now if only they were REAL!

Tandie I think I'd be in a lot of trouble if any of my book boyfriends were real! My hubby has his Sunday & Monday dates with football and I have my book boyfriends ;)

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