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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
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Shadow and Bone

by Leigh Bardugo

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Grisha (1)

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2,3302172,705 (3.99)109
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Showing 1-5 of 214 (next | show all)
I was so scared going into this because of all the mixed reviews, and I am so happy to say that this book worked out very well for me. In fact, it worked out so well that it is now going on my "favorites" shelf.

I didn't expect it to be a single first person narrative, but I found myself enjoying that it was.
Alina's point of view was perfect for telling the story. An orphan who never felt as she belonged anywhere was basically thrown into a whole new world. The way she was trying to navigate that new world, grudgingly, was quite hilarious to read at times. I also thought that she had the perfect amount of a whiny teenager in her - she wasn't good at anything, but she tried; she whined and cried and complained, but in the end she always sucked it up and did what was asked of her. And she was blunt and sassy! So what if she acted vain when she got to enjoy a hot bath by herself, or when a beautiful silk dress was made for her. For an orphan and an army girl that can be completely pardoned.
I found the Grisha world to be absolutely fascinating, and I did feel that the book needed more explaining on how Grisha work their magic! But since this is a trilogy I am giving it a benefit of a doubt and hoping for more information from the next 2 books.
All of the Slavic cultural references warmed my soul. However I found it funny at times how some words (mostly Russian) were taken and turned into a different word for a ravkan language.

I heard some people say that the pace was slow, and the events were dull, but I didn't feel that way at all, I guess it's all the matter of a perspective.
For a moment there I was afraid that it was turning into an insta-love story, but no, thank goodness it didn't take that route.
The Darkling turned out to be a very fascinating character, his persona and his power were mystique and bad-ass. But as of this point I don't like him much - to me he seems like an ancient evil creature who likes to seduce young girls to get what he wants. BUT, I can tell that there is more to him, and that the human in him is still there (deep,deep,deep down) so I foresee some kind of redemption for him in my eyes.
Also that twist - pretty darn good, I was just as surprised as Alina herself.

If there were problems with this book, I didn't notice, for I was so entranced with the beautiful and witty writing. And I am also afraid at this point that Bardugo can do no wrong in my eyes, so my points of view on her books are becoming quite biased. ( )
  bookandsword | Apr 27, 2017 |
There are probably endless with reviews explaining what this book is about and if you are a reader of YA you have probably heard about this before. So I will just go straight ahead to what I think about this book.

Shadow and Bone is a great book...if I was younger (yes I am old and picky) or for instance never had read any books by Robin Hobb. But now since I'm old and since I have read Robin Hobb, well that means that YA books like this, never really get that interesting. Mainly because I think the book lacked any depth both to the characters and to the world. That doesn't mean that the book isn't any good. I liked it, liked it quite a lot in the beginning, I even thought that it would get a 4-star rating the first 1/3 of the book...but then it just lost steam and suddenly it was down to a stable 3-star rating instead. Which isn't bad...but I was hoping for a greater story. I wanted to be blown away by it, to love the characters, to immerse myself in the world. But I did not.

But that is just me. In the end, none of the characters really stood out for me. None did I really like. I mean I love dark characters (professor Snape is my favorite character in Harry Potter and I adore Darth Vader) but the Darkling? Meh! Boring and honestly a bit of a boring name/title.

I will probably read the next book...if I can get it very cheap..:P ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
You know what's weird? I've had Shadow and Bone on my to-read list for about 3 years but I still read Six of Crows, which is set in the same universe but was released much later, first. Anyways, Shadow and Bone was a book that originally caught my attention as it was listed as a recommendation at my local library. It took me forever to actually pick it up and read it though. After reading Six of Crows (you can check out my review here) I decided that I really wanted to learn more about the Grisha and dive back into the world that Leigh Bardugo created. Luckily Shadow and Bone is the first book of the original trilogy so I settled down to read it as soon as I could.

Shadow and Bone was a book that I read in approximately three hours. I was actually completely ignoring my schoolwork and just devouring this book! It's an easy read and fast paced so that every time I stopped, I did so begrudgingly because something was always going on. I liked its fast pace and I especially liked the realistic way in which Alina was portrayed. She went from, "Idk what I'm doing, I'm going to fail so horribly at this" to "Come at me bruh." Mal was difficult to figure out, and while he had some character development, I felt like I wasn't 100% sold on him even at the end. Other characters were similar in that I felt like I had only skimmed the surface with them. And that's actually ok, because as the first part of a trilogy, I think it's acceptable to do so. While the books get reviewed as separate entities, they're all telling a part of one overarching story, so I hope that I see more of the supporting characters and more character development in the following books.

Read the rest of my review here: http://intersomniaindiem.blogspot.com/2016/06/book-review-shadow-and-bone-by-lei...
  Sheila_23 | Apr 9, 2017 |
This book is so different to anything else I've read!! The writing is so beautiful and I couldn't put it down. I loved how the magic was done in this book and felt that the complexity of the characters made for such a vivid experience. The only problem I seemed to have was that it was quite hard to get into the world at the beginning so I did feel like I needed more from the world building at the start of the book, however the more I read the better it seemed to get. Overall Shadow and Bone was an amazing read and I can't wait to find out what happens next.

5/5 Stars ( )
  SophieElaina | Mar 27, 2017 |
In a YA fantasy world where everything is all about the romantic relationships, this was a breath of fresh air. At times I think Bardugo wanted the romance to take over, but this didn’t read like a romance to me at all. Which was nice. Because I like plots.

I didn’t find the male characters particularly impressive – Mal and the Darkling are pretty much the only ones we see, although I did like Alexei at the beginning. However, I did enjoy Alina, Genya, and Zoya. I thought Alina was genuine and reactive while Genya was sweet and smart. If the story had gone in that direction, I think that Alina and Genya would have made an excellent team… but of course we followed the relationship instead of the friendship.

Zoya was an interesting character. She only appeared a couple times, but always with importance. I suspect Bardugo was just playing her up as the “mean girl” but honestly, I would like to see her come back as someone who switches sides. Baghra as well seemed to be a character with a lot more to offer… I hope we see her again as well.

Maybe it’s because I read this in February, but Shadow and Bone felt cold. Despite the fact that Bardugo describes sunshine and the sea and the lake where the Summoners practice… the vibe I got from this story was very “tundra, dark, despairing, gloomy”. Which I liked. A lot. I love my forest-based fantasies, but every once and a while it’s nice to have something a little different!

Although she doesn’t go deeply into detail about it, the concept of Small Science is so important to this story. Magic must always have rules and reason and limitation. Most stories don’t discuss this as all, even to have it mentioned as a theory, but I like knowing that Bardugo has really thought this through.

The concept of the superficial monarchy and the rise of the Grisha is also and interesting element to this world. We are shown hierarchy and chaos in the first chapters of the story, and it will keep everything structured.

At the surface, this definitely comes off as a one of those girl-of-ultimate-power, oh-no-who-should-I-love? gushy YA stories that we’re all getting pretty tired of. The thing that kept me on board here was the fact that every time Alina got kissed… something went down. She had no time to really *enjoy* the sensation or be all gooey about it because something immediately more pressing required her attention – and she actually dealt with it. Yes! Thank you!

On a serious note – yes, we’ve more or less heard this story before. Good verses evil. How to handle power. It’s still a good story, though, and told in a refreshing enough way that yes, I want to know more.

Bardugo. Is. Wonderful. Her storytelling is simple enough that it leaves some things up to the imagination, but precise enough that you can see the Little Palace. She also makes a lot of choices that aren’t popular in YA literature right now, which makes her stand out as an author with confidence in her plot and characters rather than falling into too many cliche trends, which I really appreciate.

She does use some non-English terminology which may throw a reader not expecting it – like kefta, for example, but she always explains herself well and I feel as though these terms accent the storytelling rather than draw away from it.

Overall, I very much enjoyed the unexpected twists and turns in this story. I like Alina’s heart and look forward to seeing the next step of her adventure. The magic was interesting and smooth, and the dynamics between characters were interesting. There were many times I was ready to groan about a love triangle, but Bardugo used devices while simultaneously breaking cliches, which definitely gives her points in my book. I loved Shadow and Boneand will definitely be picking up Siege and Storm when I can. ( )
  Morteana | Feb 24, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bardugo, Leighprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ahrens, HenningTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deas, RichCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fortgang, LaurenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thompson, KeithMap artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wang, JenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, AprilDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my grandfather: Tell me some lies.
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The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest...
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protegâe of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold.… (more)

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