“Fast-paced and unpredictable, this debut novel will be a hit with readers who love dark fantasy.”



I’m a big fan of YA fiction, and dystopian novels, so when someone recommended Shadow and Bone from the Grisha Trilogy to me a few weeks ago, it sounded interesting to say the least. One quiet evening at the end of a good book, I decided to download it to the Kindle and read a couple of chapters before bed.

Suddenly it was 3am!

You’re soon drawn in to Alina and Mal’s world, from peasants living in a mythical word of Ravka, captured as a cold, unforgiving landscape, with shadows of Tsarist Russia. The descriptions of the vast landscapes and travels across the unforgiving terrain make you feel as though you have ventured with them.

I’m always complaining that there aren’t enough female heroines in literature, many books are just full of swooning blondes who only seem to want to find a man, and it’s really difficult to find a female protagonist with any real depth of character. Shadow and Bone addresses this balance nicely, giving as Alina, sassy, sarcastic, strong, but with heart and we’d be surprised if readers aren’t rooting for her from the start.

All the characters, Alina, Mal and later the Darkling are strong characters, it’s really easy to conjur them up in your minds and imagine what they might do. Bardugo’s writing literally jumps off the page at you and it’s difficult to believe that this is her debut novel.

I don’t want to spoil the story, it’s about suffering and power, and will appeal to YA fans and dystopian fans alike. The moment I had finished it (about 10 hours after I started it), I rushed to download the second book, and that didn’t disappoint either. Each question is answered with ten more questions, there’s magic, drama, suspense and more twists than a gnarly old tree. In fact the twists had my loyalties swinging one way and another, and this continued into the second book. I went through stages of liking and disliking many of the major characters, including Alina herself.

In fact, the only disappointment is that I have to wait a year to read the third instalment and find out what will happen to the Fold.

If you like The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, you’ll love this! A truly magical read.


Reviewed by:

Kath Cross

Added 8th August 2015

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Kath Cross