This is exactly the book I was looking for in this moment. Shadow and Bone fulfills my craving for YA romance/fantasy in that special niche the genre has. Bardugo’s characters are interesting, often underdogs brought to the surface after an uncovered special ability. This is a trilogy set in the Grisha-verse, the same world in which Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom take place, a fabulous duology of six main characters from all different backgrounds. This first book focused on a couple of characters from Ravka, but I believe Bardugo will weave more of the cultures into subsequent books.
Similar to SJ Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses, the main female character seems naive, vulnerable, and not terribly powerful. However, she clearly has low self-esteem and comes from a low income background, so I believe this is to be expected (at least in my experience working with this population). Now she’s learned some things after this book, and probably she’ll just get more badass as the series goes on.
Honestly, there’s not a lot of the meat on the bones of this first installment, and if this wasn’t the genre I was currently craving, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed this book as much as I did. Definitely not a book I recommend to get into the genre if you don’t already read YA fantasy/romance. If, however, you’re a fan of SJ Maas’s ACOTAR and need a quick fix, this will definitely do the trick.