Shadow and Bone
Book 1 out of 3
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
2.5 stars out of 5
The start of Shadow and Bone promised an intense, action packed fantasy story with the fear of war and loss lingering in the air. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite hit the mark for me.
Before I get into the reasons why I did not enjoy Shadow and Bone despite trying my hardest to like it, I want to mention that throughout my many years of reading fantasy, my taste in books and my definition of a good fantasy has developed and changed. I know many of my friends who have enjoyed this and I’m sure that I would’ve enjoyed it if I had read this a few years ago.
Back to the review, like I said, the start was promising, but after a few chapters, it slowed down and by the time I reached the middle, I was reading about fancy balls and pretty gowns. No action, safe for the snippets of the training sessions. Some scenes of the training sessions seemed shorter than the scene where our main character, Alina, was marveling at her dress. Still, I read, expecting something epic to happen. I only got it at the last few chapters of the novel.
I’m not a big fan of the romance here as well, maybe this was affecting by all the other fantasies I’ve read but the lines were cliché and borderline cringy. I could not take them seriously, which is sad because the romance seemed like a healthy one. Another aspect that made me sigh in frustration was the high school drama troupe, the mean and pretty girl vs. our main character. Again, something I might’ve enjoyed if I was younger.
I was disappointed by the lack of world building in this, the world that Leigh Bardugo built had so much potential. I would’ve loved to read more about the different types of Grisha and the complexities of their powers. Hopefully, the next few books will explore the world more.
Shadow and Bone just wasn’t anything too special, it’s a book with elements that can be found from other books. But I have heard that she improves with each book and that Six of Crows is amazing so there is still hope!