Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone
, ,

, Book # 1
Square Fish
June 5th 2012
April 6, 2021 May 5, 2021

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.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

About the book

First book in the trilogy dedicated to the Grishaverse by Leigh Bardugo. Alina is an orphan of the war that Ravka endured with the powerful enemies that surround it and together with Mal, her best friend since childhood and also an orphan, enlists in the army. When given the command to map the Fold the two can only obey and together with their companions enter the darkness. But when attacked by the Volkras, ravenous creatures that live in the dark, and especially when Mal is in danger, a blinding light shines from Alina, a dazzling power she didn’t know she had.

When the Darkling learns of this power, Alina will find herself in a school where all the Grishas learn to control their gifts. But the Darkling’s intentions aren’t what they seem and Alina will soon wonder if what she sees and is told is true or just an excuse to use her power.

What I think

This book didn’t excite me that much, and no, I havn’t read it because of the TV series even if after the trilogy (if I liked it) I will watch it. The story is a bit slow, I only started to like it towards the end. I will definitely read the next two books, because I’ve already own them, but if I hadn’t already bought them, I don’t know if I would continue. Because, the end of this one didn’t encourage me to continue.


The chapters are not very long and the point of view is only one, Alina’s which is a good thing after reading several books from the point of view of several characters. The language is not difficult but I have read a translation so I don’t know how it is in English and the Italian edition is very nice (of course, it’s by Oscar Vault).


Honestly, I’m not very attracted to the characters, or rather, no one stands out more than the others. When Alina and Mal are together I like them a lot because they have known each other for a lifetime and therefore they are very in tune.

Many people like the Darklin, but he left me indifferent, maybe in the second book he’s better developed, I don’t know but I don’t find him a
character to remember. Also I just can’t figure out who wants a relationship between Alina and the Darklin O_o , I mean, there are some bad characters who redeem themselves after a certain path and therefore it may be that some people are fine with a relationship between a character like that and the main female character. But the Darklin is not one of these characters. Perhaps the one of the TV show is, since they cast a handsome guy to justify his character, but not the one in the book.

Alina is very bland. She spends half the book repeating that she doesn’t want her powers, she just moans and moans about her life and that is also why I didn’t like the book that much. But I will continue, of course.

The other characters are not memorable so I don’t even waste time naming them.


Oh my, this review isn’t very long. Perhaps it demonstrates how “indifferent” I am to this book. I liked the world, it refers a little to Russian folklore so it’s always a positive side even if from what I’ve read it’s all wrong, but apart from the world, the characters aren’t memorable and neither the history. I’ll wait to read the rest to say if the series is worth, of course.

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