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Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow & Bone (edition 2012)

by Leigh Bardugo

Series: Grisha (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,4452222,522 (3.98)110
Title:Shadow & Bone
Authors:Leigh Bardugo
Info:Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Kindle, Read
Tags:Read January 2013

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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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    The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde (4leschats)
    4leschats: Both books have an ordinary human girl who is orphaned but learns that she has great power to change the world.

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Showing 1-5 of 220 (next | show all)
I was so immersed in the book I didn’t even realize what time it was when I was halfway (about 2 AM in the morning.) Yes it was that good. I loved everything about it.
The plot was fast moving and good - although it had some different elements, it is with the same template of: “Girl finds out she’s got extraordinary powers to make a difference in the world and is sent to a boarding school to enhance those skills”. Although it’s not any different from those types of books out there, the characters and the setting make up for it and provides an exciting read.
It seems like the language is based on Russian words (correct me if I’m wrong here.) With the terminology and setting loosely based on the language. I found this pretty interesting and fun to read, it certainly does provide a particular theme and flavor to the novel which adds to the joy of reading the book.
Character wise, I loved just about everyone in the book. Alina isn’t your typical character. She’s got a wry humor and has a tendency to be hard on herself. I really like her though. She’s not a damsel in distress, she’s a tomboy, but when push comes to shove she can look like a girly girl and enjoy it if she wants to. Her character develops throughout the book and she goes through some real tough times. She’s not whiny about it but she takes it all in almost to the point of admitting self defeat. I actually liked reading this about her. It’s makes her more human.

*****spoilers below you’ve been warned*****

Now who to choose? Mal or the Darkling? I fell for the Darkling. I really did. I loved his mystery and his charm and I wanted to kick myself in the butt for falling for him as hard as Alina did. He just HAD to be the bad one. Well, sometimes we just fall for the bad ones don’t we? ;)
I liked Mal too though. He was everything you wanted in a guy friend about to be boyfriend. He was just as charming but he had the good boy persona on him. I’d have to say, Alina had some good prospects (if only the Darkling didn’t have such a horrible agenda.)
Overall I loved this book and I’m definitely going to grab the second one. Can’t wait to see what happens! ( )
  sensitivemuse | Jun 21, 2017 |
It pains me to say this but I really didn't like this book. I expected so much more from it considering the hype and how much I loved Six of Crows, but I just found it average? I didn't get attached to the characters, I didn't care about the storyline, and I will definitely not be reading the rest. I just can't do it, even though I love the world. But I did like seeing how much Leigh's writing has evolved since. ( )
  Banoczi_Henrietta | Jun 19, 2017 |
A boy and a girl, orphaned by war, grow up to be best friends. Alina feels something more for Mal but he's still playing the field. When their military unit is sent forth by The Darkling, a most powerful and unique Grisha who leads the Second Army, to cross the Shadow Fold, Alina and Mal's chances of survival are not great. When Mal's life is threatened, something unexpected is unleashed in Alina -- a kind of Grisha power that hasn't been seen in many years.

The discovery not only drives a wedge between them but marks Alina as a valuable asset to The Darkling -- and his enemies. Alina's powers as a Sun Summoner could be the key to destroying the Shadow Fold that separates Ravka from the bounty and benefits of the True Sea. As she learns how to use her ability, however, Alina can see that all is not well in Ravka's leadership and that she may be a pawn in a new (and old) power struggle.

Action-packed world-building that features a young woman discovering her self worth; slight political intrigue; plenty of good vs. evil, especially where power is concerned. ( )
  bookappeal | Jun 13, 2017 |
Summary: Alina grew up with Mal, two orphans in the Duke's household. Now that they're older, they've both joined the army - Mal as a tracker, and Alina as an assistant cartographer, neither nearly as powerful or important as the Grisha with their magic abilities. Alina has started to see Mal as something more than just a lifelong friend, but he remains oblivious. Together, their regiment is sent across the Shadow Fold - a strip of unnatural darkness populated by terrible monsters, that cuts the country of Ravka off from the sea. When the monsters attack, in order to save Mal, Alina unleashes a great power - the ability to summon light - that she didn't know she possessed. As this ability is extraordinarily rare, Alina is spirited away from her regiment and taken to the royal court, where she will be trained as a Grisha. The Darkling - the mysterious man in charge of the Grisha - is particularly interested in her training, and Alina finds herself strangely attracted to him... feelings which he, unlike Mal, seems to return. But as Alina gains more and more control of her power, and becomes more and more attracted to the Darkling, she learns that all is not what it seems in Ravka, and the secrets she discovers have the potential to destroy not only those Alina loves, but the country itself.

Review: Although the a lot of the blurbs on the covers talk about how unique and original this book is, I didn't entirely agree. On the one hand, I have not read much (any?) fantasy set in a Russian-inspired setting (except for Russian fairy tales, obviously). That element of the story, I really enjoyed. However, on a plot level, I found this book to be fairly predictable. Fun, and engaging enough to keep me reading, but not particularly original, compelling, or ultimately all that memorable. I had a pretty good handle on at least the broad strokes of the plot from pretty early on, both in terms of some of the emotional beats, but also in terms of what the "shocking" secrets and betrayals etc. that Alina uncovers were going to be. I did appreciate that even though this book is the first in a trilogy, it has a pretty good story arc all on its own. Towards the end it was looking like it was going to leave it on a cliffhanger, which is not out of keeping with the genre, but it wound up coming to a pretty satisfying conclusion. Not everything is resolved, of course (although the answers to some of the unresolved questions are pretty obvious; see above re: predictability), but there's enough sense of closure to make this book satisfying on its own. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: I enjoyed this book well enough to be interested in reading the sequels, but not enough to move them to the top of my list. It's a solid entry into the (admittedly crowded) realm of YA fantasy trilogies, and the unique setting might give it a little bump if you're tired of medieval-European-based stories. ( )
  fyrefly98 | May 28, 2017 |
This one is a solid 3 stars. I found it entertaining, and loved the setting & world that was created. The magic system was really unique, and I appreciate that because YA fantasy has the tendency to be incestuous about its tropes and magic systems. With that said, nothing much happened in this first book of the trilogy. Even when things seemed like they were getting going, 2 pages later the "conflict" would be over or resolved with no push and pull from both sides. I am intrigued enough to continue on with the series though, so it was certainly enjoyable. ( )
  Derby_Lane | May 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, and because they haunted the Duke's house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches.
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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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