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The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo

The Gathering Dark (edition 2012)

by Leigh Bardugo

Series: Grisha (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,7651903,990 (4.01)91
Title:The Gathering Dark
Authors:Leigh Bardugo
Info:Indigo (2012), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Read, Library Loans, Read but unowned
Tags:fiction, read, 2012, library, december, fantasy, eastern european, romance, magic

Work details

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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Alina Starkov and Malyen Oretsev grew up together under the care of a Duke who took in orphans. Growing up, they were all each other had, and their connection continues into their teenage years. Now they both serve Ravka's First Army, Alina as a mapmaker and Mal as a tracker. They're both assigned to cross the Shadow Fold, a terrifyingly dark and dangerous region of Ravka where they risk volcra attacks. Not many people come out of the Shadow Fold alive.

Accompanied by Grisha, an elite group with magical powers, they set off into the Shadow Fold, where they're immediately attacked. Alina watches in horror as her friends are killed, but something inside her sparks when Mal is in danger. Suddenly, Alina is being whisked away to meet The Darkling, the leader of the Grisha. She doesn't know anything about these powers she suddenly has, doesn't even know if it was really her who saved the day, but she's told that she may be the only thing that can save Ravka from the ever-expanding Shadow Fold.

I bought Shadow & Bone back in August 2015 with every intention of reading it while on vacation. Turns out I read everything except for this book, and I kind of forgot about it until the end of December, when I was craving some YA fantasy. This book turned out to be better than anything I read on that vacation. Oops.

I'm a sucker for a good friends-to-lovers story. Look at any of my previous reviews of romances and that will be abundantly clear. I really thought that I was going to be shipping Mal and Alina. Alina has had a crush on Mal forever, and he's never seen her as more than a friend. When Alina comes into her powers, he suddenly realizes that he loves her, and she's been there all along.

“I'm sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now.”

It didn't do it for me.

What actually did it for me was The Darkling. Now, I never fall for the villain, but this guy is head and shoulders above Mal.

“The problem with wanting," he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, "is that it makes us weak.”

Excuse me while I swoon.

But the thing is, we never really know if he's actually into Alina, or if he's manipulating her over to his side.

And as for Alina, I could take her or leave her. She's a lot like most YA fantasy heroines. Thinks she's ugly (because god forbid she think she's attractive), yet has every man in the vicinity falling over her. Has no idea of her power, but is the only person who can save the world. Doesn't get along with most girls because she thinks they're petty and mean. And she's so dumb, believing literally anything anybody tells her without questioning, never thinking before she acts, always relying on one of her love interests to save her.

Strangely, the heroine was my least favorite part of this book.

In the end, I'll just say that Shadow & Bone is a quick, easy, entertaining read, and I'll most likely have Siege & Storm in my next big book order. ( )
  Sara.Newhouse | Feb 11, 2016 |
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 9, 2016 |
Loved this, read in one sitting. A great world with interesting magic/power structure. Very enjoyable. ( )
  Laurochka | Feb 6, 2016 |
I absolutely devoured this book, it was delicious.

At first I was not sure if I would like this book, but I decided to give it a chance and it sucked me in from the very first page. The world of Grisha was totally immersing and Alina came across as a heroine that was very genuine as a female character. I could really relate to her, and I did not want this book to end.

Its very easy to read and is fairly fast paced, I read this one within two days and already I am hungry for the sequel. This book was too short for my liking!

Highly recommended if you want to dip your toe into the fantasy genre, its a nice easy book. ( )
  4everfanatical | Feb 5, 2016 |
This book was an interesting change of pace from the contemporary YA that I've been reading lately. I prefer when characters have actual names instead of, for example, "the darkling" and I found a lot of the vocabulary and imagery distracting, but overall it was a good read. ( )
  lovelypenny | Feb 4, 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

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


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)

(summary from another edition)

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