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Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo
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Shadow & Bone (edition 2012)

by Leigh Bardugo

Series: Grisha (1)

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2,2802152,802 (4)108
Member:cleoppa
Title:Shadow & Bone
Authors:Leigh Bardugo
Info:Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Kindle, Read
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Read January 2013

Work details

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
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 |
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 | Feb 20, 2017 |
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK! I don't have many words to say, but I was just so hooked onto it. I stopped halfway through siege and storm because someone had stolen my library copy, but I will surely be getting my own copies of these books so I can finish these stories. This has been my favorite book of all time, and so far nothing has topped it. I was extremely happy when Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo came out as well, and will be reading the duology as soon as I finish the Grisha Trilogy. At times, Alina would make me frustrated the way she was so easily falling for The Darkling, (although I had slowly fallen for him as well.) But, I was so upset when he turned out to truly be an evil man. I love Mal however, but that one part where he kissed a Grisha in the beginning that wasn't Alina had me angry along with her. Just by typing this now, I can see how much I loved reading that book, and how emotional it had made me feel as I read it. I will surely be finishing it soon. ( )
  Lena_L | Feb 11, 2017 |
I LOVED this book and I couldn't stop reading it although I had a huge exam today!! My heart stopped when the Darkling put the collar around Alina's neck but thank gods she found a way out. It reminded me of the scene in Queen of Shadows where Arobynn put the ring on Aelin's finger and I had a heart attack... I honestly thought she was going to be controlled by his forever... I also thought Mal was going to die and I'm so glad he didn't. Although I don't love him as a character yet (I certainly don't dislike him. it's just that I feel he hasn't developed much as a character) but I can't wait to get to know more about him in the next book. At first I shipped Alina with the Darkling because I thought they would make a great couple with both of them being extremely powerful Grishas and MY HEART WAS SHATTERED IN PIECES WHEN THE TRUTH WAS REVEALED!! Darkling, how dare you betray me like that!! I believed in you!! Even though I knew you would turn out to be a villain!! I still don't own the second book and I'm going to go insane if I don't get it soon! ( )
  bookishpeach240 | Feb 7, 2017 |
When her best friend’s life is in danger, Alina Starkov reveals a power she never knew she had. She is torn away from the world she knows to be trained to fight monsters from the Shadow Fold, an impenetrable darkness that is tearing the world in two.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Jan 31, 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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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 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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