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Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

“Make me your villain.”

Title: Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Series: Book 1 of the Shadow and Bone Series

Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic

There was a lot of hype behind this book, I have actually had them (all three of them plus the Crows dulogy) in my bookshelf for a long time. However, starting Fantasy series always scared me a little bit. Specially when I know the series is completed and all ready for me to binge, because they usually break my heart and leave me sort of empty. Now, with the series being made into a show and seeing the world swept again over The Darkling and arguing about Mal, I know I needed to understand what was going on.

I did jump into the story expecting more. That happens a lot with hyped up books, so I really wasn't surprised that I didn't 100% adore the story. It is also known that by being Bardugo's first book the story would get better with time. I knew and felt all this as I was reading Alina's story and felt the transitions lacking a little bit, and her emotions to not be developed as much as I had hoped. When I envisioned Alina, our Sun Summoner, Our Saint, I thought she would be this badass like Aelin or Nesta, but really she felt like such a teenager in this first book that it threw me off for a little.

There was also the issue between Mal vs The Darkling. I absolutely adored the Darkling and his character and my mind just really wanted there to be a redemption arc and I really doubt there will be. Mal, again, was such a teenager that he drove a little mad and crazy. How could Alina want a boy rather than a man?? So this was me, all day thinking about what a good Dark Queen Alina would make and fantasizing about Mal ceasing to exist. I really didn't like him.

Alina's emotions were all over the place which is to be expect so I know that I might of expect too much from her on this first book, but I wanted her too be more rather than just trying to uncover her emotions for The Darkling and for swooning in secret for Mal.

Apart from that small issue, which I have faith will be resolved in the latter books, I loved the world building. The whole religion and historical side to the world Alina and Mal and the Darkling live in honestly left me speechless. Bardugo surprised me with all the bits and piece that made this story feel so real and I get the hype now, she does write great.

“They are orphans again, with no true home but each other and whatever life they can make together on the other side of the sea.”

--- 3.5 stars ---