Friday, June 15, 2012

Shadow and Bone

Publisher: Hachette (Little, Brown)
Pages: 359

Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Type: Hardcover, bought

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.


Books like this make me realize just how biased my ratings really are.

Because, objectively, this isn't perfect.  And that's what five stars means, right? Perfect. 100%. Not a flaw to be found.

And objectively speaking there are flaws in this novel.  

There's scarcely a good female character to be found aside from our lovely heroine.

The plot contradicted itself several times.

Alina's last name should be Starkova and you can't get drunk on kvas.

Etcetera etcetera.

But the fact is, when I was reading this novel, I wasn't thinking about a lack in female representation, or a contradictory plot, or improper last names.

I was thinking about the dark, magical, fantastical world, the one that consumed me the moment I cracked open this novel.  How marvelous and horrible and utterly entrancing it was; how wonderfully imagined, every last detail.

I was thinking about the romance, how it made my heart pound like a silly teenager (oh, right! I am a silly teenager!), made my stomach clench and made me grin like I was the one being kissed senseless.  

I was thinking about the plot, the crazy, layered, chilling plot that I could never quite predict.

I was thinking about a villain so complex that while I recognized the evil of his deeds, his own inherent darkness, the fact that he would most likely always be a terribly awful, terribly dangerous person . . . I still wanted some redemption for him, some semblance of a happy ending.

I was thinking about how beautiful it was despite the horror.  How I started this at 12 and finished it at 4 in the morning.

I fell really hard for Shadow and Bone.

And whatever the objective side of me may say, the part of me that stayed up until an obscene hour of the morning just to turn the final page and share my exhausted ramble of a gush with the internet refuses to give this novel anything less than five stars.



Eep great review Lexie! I really liked this one too despite the non accuracy of the culture. The romance was so sweet and I adored all the characters <3


Fabulous review!! I really do need to read this book. I am even more convinced with each gushing review I read.

Katie Tuccelli

Lexie! What a great review :-) I bought Shadow and Bone on Wednesday, when the Fierce Reads tour was here and cannot WAIT to start! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us <3


Ha! First thing I did was scroll down to your rating. I gave this a 5 too but completely agree that it's a very biased 5. Like you, I was too in love with this book to question the faults. The characters, the romance... it just all made me feel ridiculously happy. I'm so pleased you liked it, Lexie! Let's hope we will feel the same way with the next book. :)


I'm waiting for my order to come (I WILL scare away my mailman) and I can't wait! Everyone seems to love this book and everything you guys point out in your reviews seems to be something I love. Ah! I can't wait to read Shadow and Bone.

I love bad guys. Always. :D

Great review, Lexie. Sorry if my comment made no sense. I just pulled an all nighter for no reason at all.


I agree with your review completely.

The plot was flawed in so many ways. I'm still waiting for the reason why no one realized Alina was Grisha when she was younger.

Yet, it's impossible not to love this book. The world is just so beautiful, how can one hate it?

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