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Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow & Bone (edition 2012)

by Leigh Bardugo

Series: Grisha (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,3131475,926 (4.04)80
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

  1. 10
    Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente (MyriadBooks)
  2. 00
    Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman (bluehighlighter)
  3. 00
    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.
  4. 00
    A Heroine of the World by Tanith Lee (kylenapoli)

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There are not enough words in the English language to describe how I feel about the Darkling.

Don't judge me. I've always had a soft spot for villains. The Joker stole my heart and never gave it back. Ever since then, I've been shipping villains with heroines. It's like a drug.

And if there's one thing I gathered from Tahereh Magi's Shatter Me trilogy is that the "villain" should never be under or overestimated. Even there, I adored Warner, and was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

So, yes, I am shipping the Darkling with Alina something atrocious. Mal? He's boring, and I couldn't help but feel that he only really started "seeing" Alina after she learned about her powers and became pretty.

Yes, became pretty. Beforehand, she was scrawny and boring, and of course Grisha powers change your appearance, too.

That's pretty convenient, right?

But never mind that. I'm sticking Shadow and Bone straight on my 'faves' shelf. Just for the Darkling, because he's perfect.

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

He's powerful and ruthless, everything I look for in a convincing villain. One who doesn't bow down to mercy and does a 180 turnaround within days of meeting the heroine, but someone who uses the heroine's weaknesses against her. I love that.

The same cannot be said for the never-ending love interest Mal. Oh, he is boring as hell and so predictable. Always making fun of Alina, baiting the others into picking on her when they were soldiers, just being a general dick whilst helping her swoon all over him in private. I get that he's a lad and that's how lads are, but really, is it necessary?

Don't even get me started on the "Alina, I see you now" bullshit that obviously came about just because she found her powers and, subsequently, beauty. If he wasn't interested before, I don't see why he should have been given a chance after. Dick.

I'm going to be totally honest and say I had my reservations when I started Shadow and Bone. Like most trilogies and series, I'm always worried that the first book is awesome and the next ones aren't. So I was trying not to get too invested in the first book. That all changed when the Darkling popped up out of nowhere, grabbed my heart and ran away. The story-line, the characters, the way Alina falls under the Darkling's spell... it's so juicy!

Alina is a cartographer in the army when she and her group are sent across the terrifying, murderous Shadow Fold to retrieve weapons and goods from the other side. She's nervous, understandably. In the Fold, there are monstrous creatures that prey on human flesh. Those who cross... a lot of the times, they don't return.

So when the skiff is attacked by the volcra, Alina and her best friend Mal are in the heart of the action, the monsters are aiming for the two friends. Something inside Alina snaps and suddenly, the Fold is speared with light.

Turns out, Alina is Grisha. The Sun Summoner. And the Darkling has some very special plans for her.

I cannot contain my excitement whenever I think of this book. It was fast-paced, action packed, funny and the villain is someone I'd rather drool over than stab. Of course, that doesn't include my utter dislike for Mal. Can't he just go away?! Although I liked the idea of the pre-existing love interest, I just couldn't buy into Mal's sudden change of heart when it came to Alina. Where I could believe Alina's love for Mal, I couldn't believe Mal's 'love' for Alina. It seemed too... convenient. "Oh hey, she's gorgeous and powerful now, I guess I can reciprocate those feelings I never had before."

No. Just no. Okay? No. ( )
  Aly_Locatelli | Jan 26, 2015 |
Alina and Mal were raised in the household of the Duke because they are orphans. Their world has been plagued by war for over a hundred years and the King depends upon the power of the Grisha, humans that have the power to manipulate the natural world, to help keep his kingdom alive.

Alina and Mal were tested for powers when they were young, just like all children. Neither showed any affinity. Now they are older and have joined the military, Mal as a tracker and Alina as a mapmaker. They face a journey across "The Fold", a dark, sinister landscape filled with winged Volcra that feed on humans. What happens next will change Alina forever.

Leigh Bardugo's fantasy world is filled with interesting characters and has an end that will make you question everything. Some of the language needed more description but I was able to find Bardugo's Pinterest page to help visually explain what a kefta looks like:


And more from Bardugo:


I cannot wait to read the next book in the series "Siege and Storm" ( )
  afetterly | Jan 21, 2015 |
i'm booooooored. i can already predict that mal (if that's how you spell his name; i don't know; i only listened to the audiobook) and alina are going to fall in love. bardugo's either going to leave it at that, or a fancy prince will come along, and some excuse of an obstacle will make him and alina be together. then alina will fall in love with him, and i will throw the ipad across the room in disgust. so before i do that, i'm quitting. ( )
  IsaboeOfLumatere | Jan 14, 2015 |
Brilliant world building and likeable characters. It did however take me a little bit to get into it as it was a bit all over the place and a tad confusing at the beginnin. A quarter bit into it though, I was hooked with the creativity the author had put into the story. Plenty of twists and turns and fabulous character development. On many occasions I was so engrossed in the story that I didn't want to put it down. I look forward to reading the next installment. ( )
  mountie9 | Dec 23, 2014 |
Enjoyable book with a strong yet vulnerable heroine. It has a little bit of everything -- fantasy, adventure, romance -- even magic. The romance is pretty tame -- the violence somewhat opaque. Fine for fifth grade on up. ( )
  amydelpo | Dec 9, 2014 |
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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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Book description
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart
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Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protege 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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