This review is spoiler-free!
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Release Date: Published May 7th 2013 by Square Fish
Format: Paperback, 406 pages
Find it here: Goodreads || Book Depository
I was a little put off of this series at first, despite having owned a copy of the first book for close to two years, because of the mixed reviews I kept hearing. I finally decided that, along with other books I had kept hearing mixed opinions on, I would start reading them and make my own opinions.
Plus, I wanted to read Six of Crows, which I kept hearing wonderful things about, but I didn’t want to just jump into the world there. (I still haven’t ready Six of Crows, but I’ll be getting there eventually.)
So. Shadow and Bone.
I could definitely, definitely see why a lot of people didn’t like this series and where its faults lie, but, thanks to the intrigue I had for the world and the need to see the relationship that would inevitably develop between Alina and The Darkling (be it in this book or later in the series–I didn’t know, and I’m not saying if it happens or not) kept me reading through the parts I found cliche or boring. I would have liked to have more world-building and such in this one, and maybe a less whiny main character, but I did enjoy the way her story was handled quite a lot for this first book.
To be totally, brutally honest, I was not a fan of Alina or Mal at all. I could have even done without this being in her POV and without him in the story, period. The Darkling, though? Best character, by far. Very problematic, but man. Kept me going through the story easily. If this whole series had been from his POV, I probably would have loved it, and I’m holding out for a novella or prequel or something from his story.
But, back to Shadow and Bone.
Probably not the strongest start to a trilogy, and definitely able to put off quite a few people, but I overall enjoyed it enough to push on through to the next book to see what becomes of Alina and her story, which is definitely getting quite a bit more twisted than I had initially anticipated. I like it.