Author: Leigh Bardugo
Read: January 2018
I rated this five stars on Goodreads. I LOVED IT!!!
I find it difficult to write reviews on books that I liked. It’s so much easier to talk about the bad things because they stick out a lot more. But I didn’t actually have any problems with this book. Because of that, the review will probably be short.
I really enjoyed entering the Grishaverse and learning about this world. I wasn’t expecting too much from this book at first. I have heard so many amazing reviews about the Six of Crows duology and everybody says that those later books are better than the first trilogy. So there wasn’t too much hype surrounding these books. I am so glad that I decided to read these anyways.
What first drew me to them were the covers. I have the editions with the new covers and I think they are beautiful. The synopsis sounded interesting, and I knew that plenty of people loved the world it’s set in. That was pretty much all I knew going in. To be honest, if people really do love the Six of Crows duology so much more than this trilogy, then I’m glad that I read these books first. For one, these books do take place long before the duology’s time and events. They introduce the world, and an important time in the history of the world, in a span of three books. So, it makes sense to read these first. But I’m also glad because I don’t want to be blown away by Six of Crows and then be totally disappointed by the Shadow and Bone trilogy. Reading this trilogy is making me soooo excited to read more from Leigh Bardugo.
Shadow and Bone introduces us to a big cast of characters, including the main character, Alina Starkov, and her childhood best friend, Mal. They grew up together and became members of the First Army, or the King’s Army. She is a cartographer’s assistant and he is a tracker, a really really good tracker.
Then we meet the Grisha, the Second Army. They are people with, basically, superpowers and they fall into different categories, the Corporalki, the Etherealki and the Materialki. They don’t call it magic or anything like that, they call it science. So the Grisha follow a leader, and he is known as the Darkling. He is mysterious and feared by many, but he leads the Grisha and works with the king to protect the kingdom from the Shadow Fold, also known as the Unsea, and the monsters that live there. The Shadow Fold is a huge, black shadow that spread across the land and split it. It was created long ago and nobody really knows how. There are monsters, the volcra, that live in the Shadow Fold and prey on anybody who tries to cross. This makes it difficult for trade since the country’s coast was separated from the capital and the majority of the country.
It’s actually pretty cool the way Bardugo created this entire world. Everything has a place and an explanation. Every character has a purpose. I love this world. It drew me in immediately. This book doesn’t even start off slow. It grabs you from the beginning and keeps going. There’s no slow progression to the big finish and I loved that. Most series have a first book that really just works as an introduction and gets you familiar with the characters and the world. This book does have that in it since it is the first in the trilogy, but it also starts working on that continuous plotline almost immediately. The full story that’s going to continue throughout the series is started in like the first chapter and I love that there’s no wasting time. Like I said, in my opinion, there’s no slow progression. The story starts working right away.
But that’s not to say that the only story in this book is the one that’s going to be the entire series’ main plot. You’re learning about this world and you’re meeting all these characters but you’re also learning that some of these characters are not all that they seem and maybe there are dark forces closer to Alina than you (or she) might think.
Most of this post was summarizing. As I said before, the review part of this would be short. I loved this book and I can’t wait to read more from Leigh Bardugo and the world she created. I haven’t read Six of Crows yet, but I think that you should read this trilogy beforehand to understand everything first and then be blown away by the later books. Just saying.