190. Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Hi everyone! (or should I say the two people who actually enjoy reading my posts – I see you)

My website has been feeling empty for more than a month as I ran into a few backend issues and was getting them resolved. Butt then… I just lost all motivation to write my thoughts about books.

I’ve read so much in March but I knew I couldn’t talk about any of those books without spilling the beans on the Shadow and Bone Trilogy. Therefore on April 3rd I somehow found the will to beat my chronic procrastination and share my strong views about this trilogy!

Let’s go!

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo consists of three books:

These books are part of the GrishaVerse – her universe which consists of two other series and stand alone books like:

For the sake of total honesty I read the Six of Crows duology before the Shadow and Bone trilogy and Bardugo completely ruined me with that story. I’ll save you the suspense and declare right away that I don’t think anything can top Six of Crows, which is why I wasn’t a huge fan of Shadow and Bone Trilogy.

But before we get into the whys and whats, here is a bit about the story:

The Shadow and Bone trilogy is about a young mapmaker called Alina Starkov who was raised at an orphanage and is currently deployed with the First Army to enter the Shadow Fold to explore the treacherous flat terrain. The shadow fold has divided the kingdom of Ravka and with the help of Grisha the army lead by a man called the Darkling will enter the fold.

“The less you say, the more weight your words will carry.”

However, in the fold are creatures that hunt on normal people called the Volcra. As soon as they entered the Fold the Volcra descended on the army and while trying their best to fight them off, Alina sees her best friend and childhood confidante Mal get attacked by one of the Volcra.

“Weakness is a guise. Wear it when they need to know you’re human, but never when you feel it.”

Something triggers inside of Alina and all of sudden the shadow fold is ablaze with light which causes the Volcra to run away and Mal is saved.

“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.”

Not knowing what she has done and completely unconscious she is lead to the Darkling where everyone finds out she is a Sun Summoner. This revelation has huge implications for the kingdom as not only is she the solution to eradicate the shadow fold but suddenly she is a powerful Grisha who is now being hunted by different Kingdoms, assassins and more.

“I’m the Sun Summoner. It gets dark when I say it does.”

Thus begins the story of Alina Starkov, a Sun Summoner who holds immense power within her and can bring salvation to the Ravka Kingdom. However, the Darkling has other plans and with so much power the tables turn quite fast and things become dangerous for Alina.

“I’ve been waiting for you a long time, Alina” He said. “You and I are going to change the world.”

Both are one of the most powerful Grisha in the world, but will they work together or against each other?

“He’d wanted me to believe in his ruthlessness.
Then I remembered his words from so long ago: Make me your villain.”

This more or less the story of what goes on in the Shadow and Bone trilogy. Alina particularly wasn’t my favorite character to read about. And her relationship with Mal at times wanted me to bang my head against the wall!

“Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what’s inside you? That’s steel. It’s brave and unbreakable. And it doesn’t need fixing.”

However, there are so many characters in this trilogy that just capture your heart. Characters like Nikolar, Genya, Baghra, David, Zoya and so many more. I honestly read the trilogy for them.

Will you say it?


His grin faded and his grey eyes seemed to flicker.



Also if you’re living under a rock or not connected with the internet then you might not know that a Netflix adaptation of the books is releasing this month. Here is the trailer for Shadow and Bone:

As soon as I found out that the Shadow and Bone trilogy is being adapted and we’re also getting the characters from the Six of Crows duology featured as well, I knew I had to read it. And I am glad that I did because I know more details now.

However, the place that the Six of Crows series holds in my heart cannot be replaced by the Shadow and Bone trilogy. For me, it will always be superior as the characters, the plot, the world building and everything about this story is PHENOMENAL.

That is why I had high expectations of the Shadow and Bone trilogy!

And that is why I was so disappointed with it when it didn’t live up to the grandeur, thrill, adventure and electricity of the Six of Crows Duology.

Now many people love the Shadow and Bone trilogy, however I only like it. I don’t hate it!

But I don’t love it either. And Alina and Mal just make me so angry. I don’t know why. Give me Kaz Brekker and Inej Ghafa any day, those two are more connected despite their dangerous lifestyle than the dysfunction that is the relationship of Alina and Mal.

For me book 3 made me scream out of anger with an important revelation regarding Mal. Of course that had to happen, but it still made me angry.

Book 2 was lovely only because of Nikolai. The King of Scars, the bastard prince, and the wolf. I love him, he is way better than Mal!!

Book 1 was the best though! I kind of felt conflicted regarding my feelings for the Darkling. That man I tell you, tests your ideas of good and evil.

So now all I have to say is that I am glad that I read the Shadow and Bone trilogy because it gave me much to know about the Grisha, Ravka and other characters. And of course, I will have a ball watching the show. Now all my hopes and prayers that the books are butchered by the TV show.

Onto the basics:

  1. Rating: 3.5/5.0
  2. Favorite Quote: Na razrusha’ya. I am not ruined. E’ya razrushost. I am ruination.”
  3. Would I read it again: Probably not. Alina and Mal really irked me lol.
  4. Reader level: Fairly Easy, although the Grisha and their powers weren’t clearly explained. Or maybe I’m just spoilt by Brandon Sanderson and his reminders every few chapters.
  5. Should you read it: If you liked the Six of Crows duology and want to watch the show, then reading the Shadow and Bone Trilogy is a good idea.

Till next time,


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