Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone

Book - 2012
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Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protegé 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.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt, c2012.
ISBN: 9780805094596
Characteristics: 358 pages :,map ;,22 cm.
Alternative Title: Shadow & bone

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m
missq12
Jul 18, 2018

I LOVED this book! It's about a seemingly ordinary girl with a humble up-bringing who discovers she is one of the most powerful Grisha (a magical being in her world) with a very unique power. She teams up with another very powerful Grisha in the hopes of using their magic to save their war-stricken country. It's a perfect mix of adventure, magic, and romance and I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy/magical stories with a twist. I could not put it down! This is book 1 of the Grisha trilogy and I am really looking forward to reading the next installments!

s
susan_findlay
Jun 28, 2018

Quick paced fantasy in a Russian inspired setting. The first book of a trilogy, a fair amount of time is spent world building and introducing us to the heroine, her power and the impending doom she'll need to prevent. I didn't need the romance with the childhood friend; the story would have worked as well with them caring about each other as friends who were brought together as orphans and bonded strongly - in this book, at least. But I understand why the author made that choice.

Well written and I look forward to the remaining books in the series.

f
faithmurri99
May 17, 2018

I'M SHOOK

The Writing and Worldbuilding

The writing style wasn't my favorite, I gotta admit. There wasn't anything wrong with it, per se, but it just wasn't that engrossing for me. I did really enjoy the story though. THAT PLOT TWIST I should have seen coming but didn't, because I'd blinded myself was so great!

I found it really hard to tell what time period this was supposed to be a parallel for; the clothing and weapons supports anywhere between 1500 and 1800 AD in the West, but the dialogue sounded modern day. I guess it's supposed to be high fantasy so it really doesn't matter too much, and I should stop thinking too deeply about it, but idk I don't like ambiguity in a setting.

The magic system was super cool. I really liked how it doesn't drain you to use your powers, but I would like to know what the limits are, because there have to be some. How far can someone go? What is the extent of their power?

The Characters

Alina: She was funny and spunky, but sometimes it was weird because she was too spunky in some situations she really shouldn't have been spunky in, and it came across as reckless, proud, and ungrateful. But I totally related to her naivety sometimes.

The DaRkLiNg oh my goodness: I don't even know what to say other than, "I should have known but I didn't" and "oh my goodness I don't even care to a degree"

Mal: Mal was cute and nice, and I really liked how he changed from where he's at at the beginning of the book and when we see him again later on, having been affected by the war. I wasn't a fan of the whole, "I'm sorry I didn't see you before. I see you now" thing because that's pretty darn cliche lol

Genya: I really liked her! The audiobook I was listening to gave her the weirdest, most ethereal sounding voice that was hard to get used to, but I still got a good idea of her character.

Baghra: THAT PLOT TWIST THO didn't see it coming

Conclusion

I'm pretty darn glad I read this, because I love me some fantasy and this is the unique YA fantasy I needed in my life right now. I'm so glad it lived up to the hype because I don't know how much disappointment I can really handle in my life anymore.

PimaLib_ChristineR Feb 24, 2018

I recently had the same thing to say about Laini Taylor. If you've just discovered Bardugo and love her more recent books, this will probably disappoint in comparison; whereas, if you read it when it came out, it may have felt fresh and new.

Shadow and Bone focuses on Alina, a war-orphan raised by a Duke that has taken in many orphans. Other than the fact that it means that she grew up with her best friend, the tracker Mal, for whom she now has feelings, this fact isn't very important. They could have been raised by villagers, or wolves, whatever. The only point is that Alina will do anything to stay close to him, and they join the army together where Alina's powers come to light and she suddenly finds herself one of the Grisha, those special soldiers of the Second Army who use the "small sciences" (magic) to help the kingdom fight its wars.

So much time is given over to Alina's lovelorn angst that it really detracted from the story for me. That said, it was still a good story. Whom should Alina trust? What is the end game of her new boss, "The Darkling"? Can Alina's powers protect her country? We get answers to at least a few of these questions and the final chapters find Bardugo at her best: writing an action-packed adventure. While it's not ground-breaking, those who love the world of Six of Crows will enjoy this for another taste of the same fantasy universe.

The best way too describe this series is by saying it’s an alternate universe 19th century Russia where the main character has some inkling of her abilities but after a certain incident chooses to hide them. For a good portion of the book the author pulls you along into and enchanting story about a boy and a girl, but you keep thinking that the girl is going to end up with one boy most of the book before the author pulls you in the comeplete opposite direction. Mind you it’s been a few years so I should reread it.

j
JSteed99
Nov 11, 2017

Started the Grisha Trilogy after finishing Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. If anything, its a testament to Bardugo's growth as a writer since its publication. The story is fairly predictable and trope driven, but as someone who does enjoy a good YA fantasy novel, it was alright. I'd recommend reading through this so you can get to Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising, as Bardugo pushes away from the tropes of the genre more in her more recent novels.

I'd give the full trilogy 4/5 but this is definitely the weakest example of Bardugo's writing! I'd almost recommend starting with Six of Crows (my personal favorite of the 5 books) just to get a taste of the world lore and get some context before embarking on the Grisha Trilogy.

Definitely a fun easy read. Not remarkable but worth it for the overall quality of the trilogy! If you like the genre, just do it.

3
3je82rs9
Oct 12, 2017

I really enjoyed this story. The book was set at a nice space and the world was really developed. I loved all the characters to, and would recommend this book to friends and family. The only downside: the page count. I got this as an ebook and the story finishes at 60% !! The last 40% of the book is just sneak peeks at the second and third book -_- and though that's nice in its own right, I thought I was going to get a much longer read out of the book.

s
Snieto1
Aug 29, 2017

Exceded all my expectations, despite all the mixed reviews saying that Leigh's first book wasn't really good I found the plot, writing style, and overall aura very enjoyable. 5 stars

h
heavenne
Jun 21, 2017

Fantastic book - albeit with the template of "Girl finds out she has powers and goes to a school to enhance them". It's still worth the read due to the unique setting and terminology. I'm definitely going to read the second one!

a
ApollosRaven
Jun 21, 2017

Ravka, at war for over 100 years, has been ripped in two by the "Unsea". Orphans Alina and Mal are conscripted into the military, and while crossing the Unsea Alina unexpectedly reveals a rare magical power - one she must learn to use before Ravka's enemies, both external and internal, assassinate her. First in series.

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Age Suitability

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m
missq12
Jul 18, 2018

missq12 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

v
violet_penguin_924
Jan 31, 2018

violet_penguin_924 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

r
red_wolf_2525
Dec 28, 2017

red_wolf_2525 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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rapunzel454
Dec 22, 2017

rapunzel454 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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3je82rs9
Oct 12, 2017

3je82rs9 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

w
white_wolf_80
Jun 04, 2017

white_wolf_80 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

c
c_tine
May 16, 2017

c_tine thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

b
blue_cat_7366
Dec 23, 2016

blue_cat_7366 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 18

l
lu1234
Jun 06, 2016

lu1234 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 18

n
Nymeria23
Jun 27, 2015

Nymeria23 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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Quotes

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n
Nymeria23
Jun 27, 2015

“You're shaking."
"I'm not used to people trying to kill me."
"Really? I hardly notice anymore.”

whitefalcon17 Sep 03, 2014

“I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I'd catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I'd seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I'd realize that you weren't there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I've risked my life for you. I've walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I'd do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don't tell me why we don't belong together," he said fiercely.”

p
pineapplemango
Jul 17, 2012

“I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I'd catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason , just out of habit, because I'd seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I'd realize that you weren't there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I've risked my life for you. I've walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I'd do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don't tell me why we don't belong together," he said fiercely.”

p
pineapplemango
Jul 17, 2012

“How did you fare with the Queen?" he asked.
"I have no idea," I said honestly. "Everything she said was perfectly nice, but the whole time she was looking at me as if I were something her dog spit up.”

p
pineapplemango
Jul 17, 2012

“I had spared the stag's life. The power of that life belonged to me as surely as it belonged to the man who had taken it.”

Summary

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whitefalcon17 Sep 03, 2014

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

Notices

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Nymeria23
Jun 27, 2015

Violence: Man chopped in half, volcra attacks/deaths, etc

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