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Book Review: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Title: Shadow and Bone Trilogy

Length: 3 Books

Publisher: Orion

These are the first books I’ve read by Leigh Bardugo, I had high hopes for them and unfortunately they just didn’t live up to my expectations. Maybe I would’ve enjoyed them if there wasn’t such hype around them, who knows? I was looking forward to reading Six of Crows bur this series has made me question whether I want too.

Alina Starkov is a solider. When her regiment is attacked whilst crossing the Shadow Fold – a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters- 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. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift. But as Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.

‘The Darkling slumped back in his chair. “Fine” he said with a weary shrug. Make me your villian.’

The series stared off well with the first book. It was interesting with a good plot that I enjoyed. The universe is such a complex world and you get drawn into it immediately. The descriptions are fantastic. There was also a twist that I didn’t see coming and made me excited to read the rest. It started to lose momentum towards the end, but I was still intrigued enough to read the second novel. The Grisha plot in the first half of the first book is so interesting, learning about it all, but by the end of book one it already becomes tedious and then you’ve got two more books to suffer through it.

It’s when you start book two, that’s when things really start to go downhill. The plot becomes too long and drawn out. It gets even more drawn out in the third book, to the point where it comes boring. It’s obvious where the plot is heading through the third book, towards a big battle at the end which is also underwhelming. When the plot did finally did something unpredictable it ended up predictable again. There is a twist in third book that did surprise me, but made absolutely no sense. It was like the author just plucked it out of thin air and never even decided to explain it. It felt like it was just there for shock value, not to compliment the story.

Whilst the main character Alina was our portal to the Grisha Universe, she was completely unlikeable, I just wasn’t invested in her journey and I didn’t care what happens to her. She only gets more irritating as the story progresses. It felt like the writer tried to make her complex but still keep her heading towards a happy ending, when really it just made her whiny. There was a romance throughout the three novels that was lacklustre. It just dragged the plot along. Adding nothing to the story. There was no passion, no heart to it. It just seemed obvious to pair them together, so that was why it happened. There was an attempt at a love triangle, which just made the is series unnecessarily longer. My favourite characters were the Darkling and Nickolia. They were complex and actually interesting. I could of read books about both of those characters. The relationship between the Darkling and Baghra (another good character) was the best part of the last book.

Most of the time when I read a book, I get this feeling in my stomach and that’s my indication if its good or not. Whether it’s if two characters finally falling in love, if there’s a shocking twist or there’s an ending that is unforgettable. I didn’t get that once with these books. The Shadow and Bone Series almost put me in a reading slump to be honest.

The Young Adult world is so wonderful with complex, diverse, suspenseful, interesting stories and this series just isn’t one of them. Like I said, I hope Six of Crows is better! Comment and let me know what you think.

This is my review of the month for the review collection on lovelyaudiobooks.com

Until the next review

JTH

4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo”

  1. I really hope I enjoy that series 😬 I read six of crows first and I really loved it 😍. I hope you do try to pick up six of crows one day 💕

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  2. Ok, first things first: You absolutely should read the Six of Crows Duology even if you didn’t like this series. They are very different. Six of Crows has an amazing cast of characters (it is not a fast-paced or plot driven novel though, it’s all about the characters and the dynamics (with a great plot still))
    That being said, I’m sorry this series wasn’t for you. I really enjoyed all 3 books, but I had relatively low expectations because everyone said that SoC was leagues better. I agree, The Darkling and Nikolai are by far the best in this series but I did enjoy reading about Alina, too. I liked that she was getting more and more powerhungry. Though the romance wasn’t really my thing, either.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading my review. I love that liked the books and can share it. That’s what this is all about to me. I’m looking forward to read SoC! A lot of people have agreed that The Darkling and Nikolai were the best thing about these books.

      Liked by 1 person

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