Tuesday 13 April 2021

Book Review: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo book covers

Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold - a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed. Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country's magical military elite - and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling.

I first came across Leigh Bardugo when I read the Summer Days and Summer Nights YA short story anthology. I loved her story in the anthology, rating it five stars, and I couldn't wait to discover more of her fiction! It might have taken me a few more years than I initially planned, but I'm so glad I've finally got around to reading The Shadow and Bone Trilogy

Thrilling and adventurous, this is an exciting Young Adult fantasy series. Packed with magic, mystery, romance and intrigue, it's an outstanding trilogy bound to keep you wanting more! 

The books follow the main character Alina Starkov, an orphan girl enlisted into the army. With no family and no friends - save for her best friend, Mal - Alina finds life tough and struggles to find a place for herself. However, when her unit is tasked with crossing The Shadow Fold and set upon by a horde of terrifying monsters, Alina somehow summons a burst of pure sunlight to scare off the monsters and save Mal's life. 

Alina's life is instantly turned upside down, and from then on, her world changes forever. Sent away to hone her magical abilities and learn about what it means to be Grisha, Aline is thrust into a world of royalty, politics, and power. Soon, it isn't long before everyone in the country knows her name - and Alina faces the difficult choice between head and heart. 

This series goes from strength to strength, each book building on the world and characters established in the others. It's a rich fantasy world, yet only a fraction is explored in these books. However, it's well-described and it's all too easy to imagine yourself travelling through Ravka alongside the characters.

These books also manage to strike the perfect balance between all the action and magic you would expect from fantasy, and all the drama, love, and heartache of a Young Adult series. From the midst of a battle to a lover's quarrel, there are twists and turns on every page! 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Shadow and Bone Trilogy and I can't wait to watch the upcoming TV series based on the books! 

Rating: 5 stars

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy is available to buy now.

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Have you read the trilogy? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

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