Natalie Monroe's Reviews > Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
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2.5 stars

“I've been waiting for you a long time, Alina," he said. "You and I are going to change the world.”


This isn't going to be so much a review as a list of things I thought about Shadow and Bone.

-All the girl hate. In the first few chapters, we see Alina singling out pretty girls for having the audacity to flirt with her handsome best friend Mal or capturing his attention. Even in the Little Palace, she doesn't get along with any of the girls except Genya. They're mostly characterized as vain, snobbish bitches only interested in gossiping.

-Zoya is beautiful, talented, and the bitchiest bitch of them all. Oh, and she flirted with Mal, which makes her Devil Incarnate.

-Power is implicitly equated with beauty. A large part of why Alina finds it hard to accept she's Grisha is because she's not pretty. Obsession with beauty in general is a major theme. I remember a scene where she muses if someone as gorgeous as Genya can be in love with someone who isn't objectively handsome, then "perhaps there's hope for her yet."

-Alina is really annoying. The kind of headstrong heroine that's more stupid than brave and insults people who could very well kill her instead of, you know, biding her time to escape.



-The first half is so boring, I almost fell asleep in a bowl of porridge. It's mostly Alina training and whining about her beautiful new life in the Little Palace, missing Mal, and worrying how she doesn't belong.

-Shadow and Bone is a typical fantasy novel. The heroine is the Chosen One and she's plucked from obscurity to train for a greater destiny. Training is usually accompanied by a beautification process and there are two love interests: one from her dull old life (HOME, ROOTS, CHILDHOOD FRIEND, SHARED TRAUMA), and one in her extravagant new one (WEALTH, POWER, DESTINY, DANGER).

-Mal is blah

-The Darkling is amazing. I was surprised to find how much more I liked him in my reread. He's deliciously morally grey and not above using Alina for his own gain, but also clearly conflicted about his budding feelings for her



-World-building isn't that great. But to be fair, that's mainly the product of its setting. Alina is very firmly situated within the borders of Ravka. While we hear about other countries like Shu Han and Fjerda, we don't get to fully experience their culture and people the way we get to in Six of Crows. The Crows are from all over the Grishaverse, so we're "shown" their countries instead of being told about them

My initial rating back in 2013 was 4 stars, but even then I didn't think it was anything special. Now it's 2.5, for the Darkling and because it was a quick read.

But I'm sort of glad I'm revisting the trilogy after the Six of Crows duology because I can see firsthand how much Bardugo has improved in terms of writing, characterization, and themes. She mentioned in an interview that she tried to learn from her mistakes from the Grisha trilogy. I like authors who can take constructive criticism.

Bardugo, you are queen.

My review of Siege and Storm
My review of Ruin and Rising
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Quotes Natalie Liked

Leigh Bardugo
“And there's nothing wrong with being a lizard either. Unless you were born to be a hawk.”
Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone

Leigh Bardugo
“The Darkling slumped back in his chair. “Fine,” he said with a weary shrug. “Make me your villain.”
Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone


Reading Progress

April 5, 2013 – Shelved
June 7, 2013 – Started Reading
June 9, 2013 – Shelved as: not-worth-the-hype
June 9, 2013 – Finished Reading
April 23, 2014 – Shelved as: when-sparks-don-t-fly
July 29, 2014 – Shelved as: i-spy-something-pointy
June 2, 2017 – Started Reading
June 2, 2017 –
0.0% "Giving this series another chance on account of how much I love Six of Crows. I remember liking it, but it wasn't exactly memorable.

"
June 3, 2017 –
30.0% "Alina in a nutshell:




Ah, yes, now I remember why I didn't like Shadow & Bone."
June 5, 2017 – Shelved as: bad-beginning-loved-the-rest
June 5, 2017 – Shelved as: boooring
June 5, 2017 – Shelved as: bye-bye-nineteenth-amendment
June 5, 2017 – Shelved as: feminist-but-not-really
June 5, 2017 – Shelved as: he-s-so-bad-but-he-does-it-so-well
June 5, 2017 – Shelved as: protagonists-i-want-to-laser-face
June 5, 2017 – Shelved as: slut-shaming
June 5, 2017 – Shelved as: typical
June 5, 2017 – Shelved as: your-spesual-is-showing
June 5, 2017 – Finished Reading
June 22, 2017 – Shelved as: awesome-author
September 17, 2017 – Shelved as: the-earth-is-flat
September 23, 2017 – Shelved as: i-m-your-barbie-girl

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

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Mizuki any review?


Natalie Monroe Mizuki wrote: "any review?"

Probably not. I read it a long time ago. I was going through my shelves and changing ratings. :P


Mizuki Natalie wrote: "Mizuki wrote: "any review?"

Probably not. I read it a long time ago. I was going through my shelves and changing ratings. :P"


I see.


message 4: by ♥️♥️ Lanae (last edited Jun 05, 2017 06:37AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

♥️♥️ Lanae ♥️♥️ LOL. Called it! Six of crows made this one's quality go down in a lot of people's eyes.


Natalie Monroe ♥️♥️ Lanae wrote: "LOL. Called it! Six of crows made this one's quality to down in a lot of people's eyes."

It does hahaha.


message 6: by KJ (new)

KJ Her writing just got so much better after this trilogy. 12/10 would never look back.


Natalie Monroe KJ wrote: "Her writing just got so much better after this trilogy. 12/10 would never look back."

Yes! SoC is a masterpiece.


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

Vee I also read this trilogy after discovering the masterpiece of SoC and while pining for CK. While neat to see some characters pop up that had cameos in SoC, I agree that this was underwhelming. I'm happy just that it exists and got her to the story that came next, because I can't gush enough over SoC & CK.


Luke Reynolds I read this book before I went into Six of Crows, and I fell into the same boat as you, Natalie. I was annoyed with Alina for much of the book, I didn't like her relationship with Mal (blah), and it was a very typical fantasy that had been written before. But then Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom were such massive improvements in all categories that I was taken aback but also incredibly happy. I had a lot of fun reading both titles, and I can't wait to see what Bardugo writes next.


Natalie Monroe @Vee and Luke I think a lot of people who didn't like the Grisha trilogy love Six of Crows. I'd read anything Bardugo writes from now on because of Kaz and his gang.


Mizuki she tried to learn from her mistakes from the Grisha trilogy.

Oh, really. *rolls eyes*

Although the writing and characterization is better in SoC, but the rest...


Natalie Monroe Mizuki wrote: " she tried to learn from her mistakes from the Grisha trilogy.

Oh, really. *rolls eyes*

Although the writing and characterization is better in SoC, but the rest..."


Mm, I loved Six of Crows, so... :P


L A i N E Y Yesss the girl-on-girl hate was so pointless and just dragged the book down so much!


Natalie Monroe l a i n e y wrote: "Yesss the girl-on-girl hate was so pointless and just dragged the book down so much!"

It felt really high school-ish.


hannah ✧/ᐠ-ꞈ-ᐟ\ (on hiatus) I definitely see where you're coming from. SoC was SUCH an amazing book and if I reread the Grisha Trilogy, my rating's definitely going to plummet like *makes falling airplane noises* whooooooosh.


Natalie Monroe ❁ hannah (PB&B) ❁ wrote: "I definitely see where you're coming from. SoC was SUCH an amazing book and if I reread the Grisha Trilogy, my rating's definitely going to plummet like *makes falling airplane noises* whooooooosh."

My ratings are definitely plummeting. XD


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