Guest Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Welcome to Kari from Kari’s Crowded Bookshelf.  Kari’s review of Shadow and Bone is the first of what I hope will be many guest reviews that are posted on this blog.  I have so many books on my to read list there is no way I will ever get them all read and reviewed so I am going to be showcasing other people’s reviews of books on my to read list.

Some of my guest reviewers have their own blog, some do not.  Most will be featured just once, a couple might become “regulars”. (More details about becoming a guest reviewer can be found HERE).

Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha Trilogy #1
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Released: June 5, 2012

Book Summary:

Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’re sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.
When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.
Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her . . . and only she can save the future. 

Kari’s Review of Shadow and Bone

**5 Stars** 

MY OVERVIEW: Wow. This is the first book in a long time to have gotten a rare 5 star rating from me. I loved it. It was a beautifully woven story.

PROS: Everything. The author did a fantastic job creating a whole world and race of people. I know some people will hate me for saying this, but her world rivals Narnia in just how amazing it is. It was perfectly described and I could picture everything clearly; from the landscapes and buildings, to the people.

All of the characters were written beautifully! I don’t think there was one character that didn’t fit. You really felt what Alina was feeling. 

I really don’t want to go too much more into the Pros because I will start giving everything away. 

CONS: The only thing I wish the author had written was the Darkling’s actual name. It would have been interesting to have found out what it was before he changed it. 

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a book that I really didn’t ever want to put down. I am so excited for the next book and am heartbroken that I have to wait a whole year for it to come out. 

NOTE TO PARENTS: Here is some information on the content of the book, so you can better judge if the book is appropriate for your child.
– LANGUAGE – Honestly, I don’t remember any language. This doesn’t mean that there wasn’t any in there, but that if there was, it was only a handful of times and nothing worse that what is on regular TV.
– SEX – Well, it wouldn’t be a young adult book without a love interest and sexual tension. There is no actual sex in this book though. There is some kissing and in one scene it mentions a hand on a hip and that her skirt is risen up, but nothing happens as they get interrupted. It is also briefly mentioned that Mal can get whatever girl he wants and has “tumbled” before. There is also mention of one of the soldiers getting “touchy” when drunk.
– DRUGS & ALCOHOL – No drugs. Yes there is alcohol. A few of the soldiers get drunk and Alina has some champagne at a party.
– VIOLENCE – The book is set during a war, so yes there is violence. There are creatures attacking and killing people as well as people attacking and killing people. There is one point where a Grisha using “the Cut” slices someone in half. Honestly though, if your child has read The Hunger Games then he/she would be able to handle the violence in this book.

About Kari:

My name is Kari. I am a 26 year old from Groton, Connecticut where I live with my husband, newborn son, and crazed cat.

I am currently a stay-at-home mom and spend my days taking care of my 4 month old, and reading. I am also crafty and, until it was turned into a nursery, had a room dedicated to scrapbooking and card making. I can also sew, cross stitch, crochet and knit. I will also be learning how to do tatting with my sister.

I enjoy reading young adult fantasy and sci-fi books mostly as I feel the stories are a lot better than a lot of the adult books out there. Oh, and yes, I am a sci-fi geek (Star Wars, X-files, Buffy, Supernatural, Stargate, etc. are all favorites of mine).  

If you enjoyed this review please visit Kari’s Blog to read more of her reviews: