Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Reviewed by M. Koopmans, June 2021

Shadow and Bone is a young adult fantasy novel that takes place in the Ravka. In Ravka there are normal people (called otkazat’sya) and people with the power to control materials, life, and aspects of the world. These special people are called Grisha. Alina Starkov, the main character, has always believed that she was normal, but when she gets sent into the Fold, a place of darkness crawling with monsters, she learns that she is not only a Grisha, but one they have been looking for forever. She can summon the sun, a power that no other Grisha has. Could she be the one to tear the Fold down and unite Ravka once again?

I thought this book was really good. There is a lot of new vocabulary and places that can be hard to understand at first, which could make you feel like you missed a chapter, but in the end this book has a really interesting plot, some compelling characters and one major plot twist. In all I would recommend this book to middle to high schoolers that enjoy Red Queen, for a main character thrusted into a life that they never thought they could have, or Harry Potter for the magical aspects. There are two other books in the Shadow and Bone trilogy and there are other series that take place in the Grishaverse. These series include the Six of Crows Duology, and the King of Scars Duology.