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The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo
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The Gathering Dark (edition 2012)

by Leigh Bardugo

Series: Grisha (1)

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1,9981993,364 (4)100
Member:wyvernfriend
Title:The Gathering Dark
Authors:Leigh Bardugo
Info:Indigo (2012), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Library Loans, Read but unowned, Read
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, read, 2012, library, december, fantasy, eastern european, romance, magic

Work details

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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    A Heroine of the World by Tanith Lee (kylenapoli)
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» See also 100 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
The quote on the cover from Veronica Roth pretty much covers it: this book is unlike anything I've read before. I read this over the course of a few hours and I was actually irritated when I fell asleep before I could finish it the first night.

I can't wait for the second book in the series. ... Which leads me to a horrifying thought: how many trilogies are never finished? It must happen, right? Oh, no. ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
About halfway through, I started getting that weird "I've read this before" feeling. Then I realized I haven't read this one, just two or three others like it. I would have given it five stars if I had read it first. ( )
  mtlkch | Jun 21, 2016 |
Excited by this author and the rich and developed Grisha world she has created. I read this one after reading Six of Crows, her latest book which is not part of this series but still based on the same world. I would definitely recommend reading these before Six of Crows. Now should I race through all of these before Crooked Kingdom comes out? Aack! Too many books, too little time! ( )
  jmoncton | Apr 24, 2016 |
Actual rating - 2.5 out of 5

I decided to read this book as I saw it was on the selection for World Book Night and perhaps I've judged it a bit harshly because of that. As the WBN books are chosen by the public and examples of brilliant writing, I thought that this novel would be a lot stronger than it actually turned out to be. However, it's not entirely without merit.

The setting and world building are, frankly, excellent. Shadow and Bone is a departure from your typical high fantasy setting. The country of Ravna is loosely inspired by Imperialist Russia, taking much of its technology, political structure and aesthetics from this period. It's decadent and very beautiful, filled with rich descriptions of opulent castles and beautiful clothing. Its magic system is interestingly different, featuring some typical elementalists but also people who can control cloth or, simply, stop a man's heart with a look.

However, beneath this really original exterior is a rather standard story. Shadow and Bone is a very light read, containing little of the complexity of the likes of Red Queen or Graceling. It's a world of black and white. Characters that appear good at a glance generally are, while characters that seem evil have no subtlety. There are no shades of grey in the world at all which made the overall story very predictable. The plot also relies heavily on deus ex machinas to save the day, leading to a very sudden and weak climatic battle.

While the novel gets off to a strong start, this is quickly derailed as the inevitable YA love triangle between naive girl, bland childhood friend and bad boy creeps in. Personally, I found this to be the story's weakest point. Not enough time is spent on developing either relationship so I ultimately didn't really feel for Alina as she was drawn between them.

This is a problem with a lot of the characters in general - I just wasn't given a reason to care for them. While I did like Alina most of the time, she had random moments where she suddenly flipped character and did things that I couldn't explain. Similarly, Mal just irritated the Hell out of me. He projected his negative feelings for the situation on Alina, blaming her for things that she really had no control over. The Darkling was probably the most interesting character, at least initially, however he also provided to be rather 2-dimensional over all.

In all, the novel had a nice concept but was mired by some rather unoriginal plotting and characters. I hope that these issues are ironed out over the rest of the trilogy. ( )
1 vote ArkhamReviews | Apr 19, 2016 |
Great characters and story. Impressive world building.

A keeper. ( )
  CarmenFerreiro | Mar 28, 2016 |
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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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