Posted in Reviews

Book Review: Shadow And Bone (Grisha Verse #1) (Non-Spoiler)

If I were to ask whether or not you should read this book before diving to Six of Crows, my answer would be…


The book was set in Ravka (Russia-inspired) where the continents were divided by the Shadow Fold, a dark sea full of flesh-eating creatures.

In a place where magic is possessed by people, Alina Starkov was purely mundane, or that’s what she thought. Because while she was riding a ship to cross the fold, her best friend Mal was attacked and that was when she discovered that she possessed magic too. Alina was immediately thrown in the royal court, trained as a Grisha member (the magic wielders), and discovered secrets she did not anticipated.


My hopes were high for this book. Leigh Bardugo was an author everyone seems to talk about. My friends love her too! I was (slightly) ashamed for not having the chance to try out her works even though I own her books. I read Shadow and Bone first because some people were saying that this is a great introduction to the Grisha World she created.


I have mixed feelings for Leigh Bardugo’s writing style. In a fantasy book, the world and the magic system were the things I’m most excited for. When I read Shadow and Bone, it lacks in that aspect and I was deeply disappointed. You were just thrown in a world where you must pick everything up, or else you’ll get lost. The world was not vivid enough in my head. I think it was a “me” problem though.

I liked how she wrote the conversations between the characters. The feelings and emotions of the protagonist were nicely portrayed. Her writing style is great, it just needs more flavor.

“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


The plot was slow-paced. The story was predictable in my opinion. It definitely lacks in complexity that you would expect in a fantasy book. The plot focused on one direction; I was expecting something of a roller-coaster of emotions, but that did not happened.



I gave this book 3 stars. The book was overhyped in my opinion. The writing style was okay, but I believe it will improve on the next books or her other series. The characters were not fleshed out enough. The magic system was a really great concept and I want to see more of it. The world needs more development and I’m up for more exploration. If I were to ask whether or not you should read this book before diving to Six of Crows, my answer would be… read it. I suggest that you pick up this book as an introduction to the Grisha world, you’ll learn a lot from it.


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About the Author


Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over two million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, and The Language of Thorns—with more to come. (To hear about new releases, tour dates, and giveaways first, sign up for Leigh’s newsletter here.) Her short stories can be found in multiple anthologies, including The Best of and the Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. Her other works include Wonder Woman: Warbringer and the forthcoming Ninth House. Leigh was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Southern California, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and even makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Los Angeles, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.
Twitter: @Lbardugo
Instagram: @Lbardugo