Shadow and Bone & a few other novellas by Leigh Bardugo

This is another bookstagram readalong that I was a part of. The plan was to read ALL the three novels in this series. Here’s a heads up: That didn’t happen.


Because this book sucked balls.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I started the book. Just that EVERYONE loved it and were dying over the characters. And then I read it and I felt like such a party pooper. I don’t want to hate on books but if you give me a book like this where everything is so dull and cliche and basically nothing bloody happens? Hell yeah I’m going to piss over it.


The plot according to me: Some girl named Alina is a map maker (?) in the war field and her regiment gets attacked by monsters that dwell in the Shadow Fold- the impenetrable darkness- and when her friend is injured, a dormant power within her surfaces. And suddenly she is the center of attention because surprise surprise! She is the most powerful Grisha and now she gets to be a part of the Grisha court which is led by the Darkling…

I have a lot of problems with this book.

Firstly, what the hell is up with young adult high fantasies (not all, don’t hate me) having almost zero world building?? I complained about this when I read An Ember in the Ashes too. There is literally just a map of the place that was absolutely useless to me. I don’t want a map… okay that’s a lie. I love maps. But you can’t expect that to be the end of world building.

Secondly, the 2D characters. Every. Single. Character. In this book was just a list of human traits. There was no character conflict, no human like quality. They felt like mere words on a page. So naturally I didn’t give two shits about what happened to them.

Even though this book was written in first person (Alina’s POV) I don’t know her at all. Mal was just not even there to be honest, and when he was he was just… nice. And The Darkling… oh dear lord. He is probably supposed to be this evil guy who has no feelings and is the representation of darkness itself but all I got from him was a goth vibe. He felt like an angsty teenager who just really wanted to be feared but was in reality just a freaking baby.

child trying hard to be evil.gif

Thirdly, the sickeningly obvious love triangle between Alina, her extremely sweet and nice best friend Mal and the “oh-so-dark-and-mysterious-cliche” The darkling *DUN DUN DUN*


Fifthly, the plot that went to approximately NOWHERE.

T-rex screaming

Me screaming because nothing happened in the entire book

I don’t think I liked ANYTHING about this book. It took 50% of the book to get me even slightly interested. But being the asshole that I am, I will be continuing this series because EVERYONE tells me that Six of Crows is fabulous and so… for the sake of a greater good, I shall lumber on.

24641800Novella #1 The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha #0.1)

This was a short novella about The Darkling’s *DUN DUN DUN* past. I don’t know why I read it because it did nothing to add to the plot but yes it did make me like the Darkling as a child but I still don’t like who he is right now.

Would I recommend it? Honestly… no, because it’s just the whole cliched “He-was-not-always-evil” crap. It’s just an attempt to make us sympathize with the evil lord he is right now (or at least tries to be).

Novella #2 The Tailor (Grisha #1.5)

17997353This novella is about Genya (One of Alina’s friend of sorts in Shadow and Bone). It’s about how she got to the Grisha court, her past and some of the scenes from Shadow and Bone itself.

I’m highly disappointed in this book because it gave out some pretty big answers to questions I had in the first book and that’s awful because THIS IS JUST A NOVELLA! IT SHOULDN’T BE GIVING OUT MAIN PLOT POINTS! A majority of the people don’t even read the novellas for god’s sake! SO NO.

Since I found ALL characters to be 2D, Genya was no different. And this novella doesn’t help me connect to her in anyway. It’s like, I know I should feel sad for her and I do, don’t get me wrong, I do feel bad for her but I don’t feel anything in me. I sympathize but not empathize, you get me?

Novella #3 The Witch of Duva (Grisha #0.5)

13643163OH MY GOD! I don’t know why I decided to move on and read this novella too but I AM SO GLAD THAT I DID BECAUSE WOOOOOW!

While it is set in the Grisha Universe, it has completely different characters and a completely different plot because it’s a companion folk tale. Reading this proved to me that Leigh Bardugo CAN make me fall in love with her writing because I was shocked and left with major feels by the end of this novella. The plot twist BROKE ME.

It’s only because of this novella that I am willing to believe that Six of Crows might just be as fabulous as everyone claims it to be.

So now tell me meine freundin! Did you like these books? I’m not hating on anyone for liking these books. These are just my opinion on why I didn’t enjoy them. Feel free to disagree with me down in the comments and do let me know if this series gets better.

Lots of love,



12 thoughts on “Shadow and Bone & a few other novellas by Leigh Bardugo

  1. Hello! *waves* Among the books here, I only read “Shadow and Bone” and I don’t plan on reading the succeeding books at the moment. I really wanted to read Six of Crows but my OCD-ish tendency is preventing me from jumping to it before finishing this trilogy.

    I agree on the characters being one dimensional. And i think this is my second try for YA Fantasy for this year (the first one was Falling Kingdoms) and I really felt that characters are being dropped on the story just because and the twists felt like random…

    My ship might or might not sail on the succeeding books but I’m not sure I’ll ever find out.. 😦

    Great review! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Soooo I do love this series.πŸ˜‚ Book 2 is my FAVOURITE BECAUSE STURMHOND. ❀ ❀ But I agree there is little world building in the first and I'm always a bit eye-rolling at chosen one tropes. It just is so overdone ahem. And I haven't read ANY of the novellas?!? I need to get onto that immediately clearly. Although I agreeeee that big plot points shouldn't be in the novellas! They should add to things but like most of us don't even know to read them.πŸ˜‚ I didn't even know half these existed!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do agree with the ridiculous love triangle in the book and not really knowing Alina as a character. I will disagree about the world building in “An Ember in the Ashes.” I think the maps just help give you a better picture of where they go. The world is much more vast and used in the sequel πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, you summed up my thoughts completely! I didn’t feel anything for the characters, the plot bored me, the Darkling was not a great villain and the world-building was so average! I’m also going to finish the trilogy just to read Six of Crows, but I’m not expecting much!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I totally agree with you on the Grisha trilogy. Flat characters, lack of an original plot, lack of world building, et cetera, et cetera… But! Don’t let that stop you from reading the Six of Crows duology!! It’s so much better, I promise!

    Liked by 1 person

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