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Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh…

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy) (edition 2012)

by Leigh Bardugo

Series: Grisha (1)

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1,1551317,046 (4.07)77
Title:Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy)
Authors:Leigh Bardugo
Info:Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, young adult, fantasy, magic, ability, monster, orphans, monsters

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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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**No spoilers.

JUNE 2013 reread: ★★★★★

Just as good this time around. My taste has changed drastically in the last year and a half and yet, my initial impression of Shadow and Bone has held up.

If I had to point out a negative that I didn't notice or mind the first time around, it'd be Alina's obsession with everyone's physical appearance. Specifically, her own low self-esteem. Despite this, I was just as invested in the story and the characters as I was a year ago. Bardugo is a great writer and it's a show of her skill that she can make you detest a character just as much as you love them. I can't wait for [b:Siege and Storm|14061955|Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)|Leigh Bardugo|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1362166252s/14061955.jpg|19699752]. Just one more day!! _____

JULY 2012: ★★★★★

Initial reaction after finishing book: I really don't want this to be over. Lawd, how long will the wait for the next book be and how will I sleep?

Well. Okay then. Review. Yes. This is gonna be hard, because I’m awful at writing reviews for books I love. If you look at most of my “favorites” reviews, they’re all pretty bland across the board with a lot of ErMahGerd’s and other lackluster fangirl commentary. But, I’ll try:

ErMahGerd, I love this book. It was like, really good and stuff.

I’d rate the first 75% of the book 3.5 – 4 stars, because while it was entertaining, it wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before. I was settled in for a nice, but predictable ride, but then… ErMahGerd. My whole world was turned upside down and shit got really real! See? I don’t know how I’m going to write a decent review. It doesn’t help that I was so engrossed that I didn’t take a single note. Although the first ¾ of the book wasn’t 5-star material, the last ¼ blew me away. Anytime a book causes me good anxiety, I’m hooked and this definitely caused me good anxiety. And tears. And pain. And why would you..? How could you? Yeah. I didn't see all of that coming and I was way too comfortable for this book's liking, so shit got really real. Curse you book and bless you as well.

The MC, Alina, was likeable. She wasn’t “all-powerful”, but neither was she a stupid twit. She had her moments of not-so-bright, but I found them to be believable. If I placed my old teenaged self in her circumstances, I would have reacted in the same ways. Who wouldn’t want to indulge a bit if they were suddenly placed into a privileged life, especially if one is an orphan? New clothes, new room, food galore, a unique power to boot, a hot, sullen, super-powerful Darkling… I’m an old and gray 33 year old and even I started to fall for him, so why not her? =D Mayhap an older woman would better know that all that glitters isn’t gold, but she’s a teen girl after all and an orphan that was raised with nearly no guidance. I think she handled herself well, considering.

I give Bardugo credit, because in comparison with many-a-teen-heroine, Alina was head and shoulders above many. I especially loved that when Alina would have a TSTL thought, she’d immediately chastise herself for having a TSTL thought, so I didn’t have to wish fervently for her death. So refreshing!

I would not ever want to live in Alina’s world. I’d never feel at ease, unless I had a “superpower” to protect myself. I was unnerved by the myriad ways one could perish. I was also perturbed by the different “superpowers” of the Grisha. I found them to be creepy, but in an interesting way.

I was a bit flustered at first with all the words and shit. It took a bit for me to acclimate, but then it all started making sense. I thought it was an interesting enough world, but I would have liked more background info. I felt a bit thrust into the thick of it, rather than eased in slowly, as I would have preferred. Hehe. Thrust. Hehe. Eased slowly. Yes, I’m a child.

I don’t want to talk about any potential love interests in detail, because you should get to know any potential love interests on your own in this one. Just trust me.

Geez. There’s not much else I can throw out there without spoiling, soooo back to fangirling. READ THIS BOOK!! It’s a fun, but dark read with a twist and that’s fun! And dark! And twisted! Cute boys!

My review of Siege and Storm, The Grisha, #2.

( )
  JennyJen | Aug 14, 2014 |
Read my full review here.

I actually finished reading this book awhile ago, but I procrastinated in posting my review. Part of the reason is that I was super busy, the other reason is that this book stumped me. I am so torn.

I will start with what I do like. Bardugo knows how to weave an intricate and unique story. The world in which she created is so fascinating that I was drawn in to the history and the culture but also the supernatural aspects.

Alina relishing in her power was also intriguing because a lot of the time, supernatural characters in books hate their powers or never want to use them.

The fact that Bardugo literally tells us the Darkling is evil and then proceeds to show us that he isn’t then shows us that wait, he actually is evil is really well-written. She tricks us, much like the Darkling tricks Alina, into believing that maybe he’s misunderstood.

The premise of the underdog (if you will) accidentally discovering she/he has powers is not a new premise but it felt fresh here. Also, a friend having unrequited love for their good friend is not a new trope. However, what doesn’t quite sit well with me is why Alina wasn’t mad at Mal for being so rude to her once they were reunited. She seems like a person who doesn’t take crap - especially not from Mal - yet she didn’t tell him off and just accepted his (rather weak) apology. Perhaps she was just happy to be with him, but something about it felt odd for Alina.

For the biggest portion of the book in which Alina is at the palace, the pacing is quite slow. However, the last quarter of the book feels very rushed. I understand not telling us every detail, but since that portion is just as important as the rest of the novel, I don’t think it should have been so quick and minimal.

The final thing which stumped me is Alina’s preoccupation with appearance. I can’t decide if this is merely to show a flaw in the character or if Bardugo’s writing failed a little on some level. Bardugo attempts a few times to present Alina as though she doesn’t overly concern herself with her looks which isn’t cohesive with the majourity of the book. Mostly, Alina seems to be acutely aware of beauty and craves it for herself. There isn’t anything wrong with Alina having this ideal, but the conflicting way Bardugo writes Alina made me just as confused as Alina seemed. So. I’m stumped.

Overall, this book was well-written and engaged me. I read it in a short period of time because I was drawn into the world Bardugo created. However, some issues and inconsistencies left me a bit confused. ( )
  CaitlinAC | Aug 10, 2014 |
“I'm sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now.”
Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

What the book promised, that is what I got. And so much more actually. I can't believe I just read this now!

*insert fangirling GIFs here*

Ahhhhhhhh. Few hours after reading Shadow and Bone, my heart still won't stop pounding so hard! There's this feeling that it's about to explode and jump out of your chest! And the feels. THE. FEELS. Book, where have you been all my life??

This is what fantasy books should be like! Amazing world building, interesting conflicts and absolutely lovable and unforgettable characters. Everybody made a mark. Gaaaah even the villains are awesome. I don't mind if people seems to see a same trend over and over on YA fantasy books and of course I did get confused by those Russian-like terms at first but.. I LOVED this book no less!

The characters:

“If I told you I'm trying to save the world, would you believe me?”
Alina. She is now a fave heroine of mine. She is not perfect by any means. I don't liked it when she's in her self-pity party. But.. I liked her down-to-earth personality. And also her bravery and endurance.. I admire her because she knows what sacrifice really means.

Mal. Ahhhhh. Don't even get me started with him. Gaaaah. I am fangirling so I may form incoherent sentences. He is loyal, trustworthy, protective and irresistible. He's everyone's kind of hero. I am hopelessly smitten by him.

“C’mon,” he said. “One foot in front of the other. You know how it’s done”
“You’re interfering with my plan.”
“Oh really?”
“Yes. Faint, get trampled, grievous injuries all
“That sounds like a brilliant plan.”
“Ah, but if I’m horribly maimed, I won’t be able to cross the Fold.”
Mal nodded slowly. “I see. I can shove you under a cart if that would help.”

The Darkling. I have mixed feelings about him. I liked him. He was charming, handsome, scary and dangerous. But mostly, I just see a sad boy. I wonder what will happen to him in the next installments! Hey Darkling, you are one confusing guy!

The ending:

Fantastic! Brilliant! Amazing! Great endings are those who left the readers anticipating what is to come, makes them crave for more. And Shadow and Bone did that to me. I. Can't.

Awww, I can't wait to read the sequel. I can't really pick a Team because there is no team. There is only Mal and he made it to my list of greatest book boyfriends ever! I can paste all my favorite lines here but I think it'll be too much and the entire book will be all over this review.

And with that, I leave you this:

“I'm not like you, Mal. I never really fit in the way you did. I never really belonged anywhere."
"You belonged with me.”

If this line was said from an overly cheesy book, I would have gag. I mean, that line is plainly overused. But Mal said it and it was perfect.Right? *Off to dreamland to fangirl some more.*

P.S. So if you haven't read this one yet, what are you waiting for?????

Final Rating: 4.5/5 stars ( )
  margaraawr | Aug 8, 2014 |
“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.”

From the before and chapter one, Shadow and Bone immediately pulls you in and makes you feel like you have to sit and finish the book all at once(which I did). It’s interesting. It’s something very different. The cover is beautiful and the map inside the book is pretty cool, along with the page with the different orders at the beginning.

The writing and detail is so beautiful. While there are some errors in the book, like some Russian inconsistencies, it can be ignored just for the sake of the story.

The story’s setting is that of a place that seems to be heavily based or influenced from Russia, but it is called Ravka. It gives the story, I believe, a nice touch and backdrop. It is something that does make this story unique in itself. It gives a very clear mental image of a place by comparing it to a real culture.

Alina Starkov is a main character with an attitude that is refreshing, but she does go through that phase which almost every character seems to with the “You’re mistaken. I’m not special/worthy” speech. When she finally is able to summon her power, she changes from how she was before. I liked how she was able to make it come about and how it was connected to Malyen and then again later in the story.

Malyen Oretsev is Alina’s friend who was also an orphan. They’ve known and trusted each other since they were taken into the Duke’s house. I liked his character really well.

The Darkling is mysterious in some ways, but not overly mysterious where he’s on the verge of being too annoying. I did like his character, too. I was surprised with the kiss he planted on Alina at first. It came pretty much out of nowhere, but later on you’ll see exactly why.

The Grisha, I’m not sure what to feel about them as a whole. Beautiful and powerful, they’re the special flock. Some/many of them are awfully stuck up in some way or another. My favorite Grisha is probably Ivan, although.

Overall, this book is wonderful and in other ways kind of sad (at least to me). I’m nervous about the other two books for the sake of the characters. I could easily let this one end the way it does and not seek the others out. ( )
  CinaChilders | Jul 31, 2014 |
Alina and Mal were best friends growing up in an orphanage, and now that they’re sixteen they’ve joined the national army of Ravka together. While on a mission to cross the Shadow Fold – a giant, malevolent cloud that splits Ravka in two – Mal is seriously injured and almost killed. Alina freaks out, and *something* happens. Alina has special powers that place her among the Grisha – elite magicians in the service of the King. She is whisked off to Grisha training camp where she will learn to use her powers, and also learn the truth about the origin of the Shadow Fold.

A lovely, Russian fairy tale-inspired start to a series. With a gorgeous map. It’s just clichéd enough to feel comfortable, but the world is imaginative and the characters are authentic. The plot of this one book wasn't fantastic, but the overall arc is intriguing and I can wait to start the next book. ( )
  norabelle414 | Jul 16, 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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