Shadow and Bone

Audio Book (CD) | May 21, 2013

byLeigh BardugoRead byLauren Fortgang

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Alina Starkov doesn't expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they?re sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold. Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling's favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her . . . and only she can save the future.

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Alina Starkov doesn't expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they?re sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with m...

Leigh Bardugo was born in Jerusalem, raised in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. She indulges her fondness for glamour, ghouls, and costuming in her other life as a makeup artist in Hollywood, and she can occasionally be heard singing with her band, Captain Automatic. This is her first novel.

other books by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows
Six of Crows

Hardcover|Sep 29 2015

$17.62 online$21.99list price(save 19%)
Crooked Kingdom: A Sequel To Six Of Crows
Crooked Kingdom: A Sequel To Six Of Crows

Hardcover|Sep 27 2016

$24.00 online$26.99list price(save 11%)
Ruin and Rising
Ruin and Rising

Hardcover|Aug 24 2016

$6.00 online$21.99list price
see all books by Leigh Bardugo
Format:Audio Book (CD)Dimensions:6 × 7 × 1 inPublished:May 21, 2013Publisher:Brilliance AudioLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1480527726

ISBN - 13:9781480527720

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Customer Reviews of Shadow and Bone


Rated 5 out of 5 by from In love! Wow! The world-building, the action and fight scenes, the Darkling, Mal, Alina, and all the other unique characters really made this a fantastic story. I felt that it was a bit slow-paced to start off but the middle and the end really made up for it! The INSANE plot twists that were like bombs and the drastic shift between <i>"oh everything's fine and dandy"</i> to <i>"OH FUCK NO EVERYTHING IS SO NOT FINE AND DANDY!"</i> was overwhelming but so cleverly done. I loved Mal, and I have conflicting feelings with the Darkling, he's a damn good (and sexy) villain with a hell of a way with words and yet.. so evil. I loved the vast variety of personalities in characters. It took me a little while to develop much of an opinion on the main character Alina, but now I'm starting to really love her and I loved her character growth and strength in this book. I can't wait to see more of her kickassness in the other books in this trilogy!
Date published: 2016-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book I really enjoyed this book, I'm excited to read the rest. I usually don't read books in this kind of genre but this one was really refreshing. It seemed really unique, not like anything I've read before.
Date published: 2016-12-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from :D This wasn't as good as Six of Crows but... I can't deny that there is something special about this world that Leigh Bardugo has created
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book The cover of this book caught my eye so I picked it up and didn't expect to not be able to put it down. I am in love with Russia so I love how the author included Russian words and items into the writing.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I bought this book couple years ago, and didn't really read until this summer and since then I have read the book 3 times. I'm addicted!
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning I like sitting in my house with the wind absolutely shrieking outside, wrapped in blankets while reading about a land in wintertime. The author said this in her Q&A at the end of this printing, but I love that she did something with her world that's different than the usual fantasy novel. I'm all for medieval England-inspired books George R.R. Martin style, but this definitely added something special to the story. The "science" or magic isn't super out of the ordinary in the way that's it's divided. Different people have different abilities, some people don't have any. The usual. The thing that makes Bardugo's world stand out is that she takes the things that are normally metaphors in fantasy- light being good, dark being evil- and makes them physical. Darkness is an actual place. That sounds simple but I like the way she used it. The main character, while she struggled and didn't fit in, as is common for YA, she also wasn't annoying about it. Nothing about this book was annoying. The constant inner monologue in my head actually shut up while I was reading this because I loved the main character and cared about what happened to her. Most of the characters weren't black and white, even if they were dark and light. There was no one who was inherently evil or on the other side completely unselfish. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good start! While reading this first novel of the series, I found myself intrigued and interested and was very excited to read the next book of the series. I liked the characters, but wish I had gotten more feeling from them, since this is from one characters perspective it lacked when it came to the other characters in the story.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh At firs, I was intrigued and it was good world building. Although, I couldn't really connect with the characters and I didn't feel as much emotion as I feel with other books. I didn't really like it, but my sister really did so I guess it depends on preferences.
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Promising I have mixed bag of feelings about this one. Overall, I liked it quite a bit, so I'm rounding up to 4 stars. Half of Bardugo's writing was was fairly plain, but the other half was lush, beautiful, and poetic. Some scenes were cinematic perfection with on-the-nose dialogue. Some scenes made my heart ache. But then, some just felt like they didn't fit with with the overall tone of the story. For example, although I found the Darkling attractive and enjoyed the slow-building romantic tension between him and Alina, I thought it was ruined when the romance suddenly got too quick. SPOILERS COMING! There is also a bit of a love triangle. I usually hate love triangles, BUT for the first time (perhaps) ever, I myself am torn between the two love interests. I feel like I could ship either way. A part of me is disappointed that Mal and Alina couldn't just be best friends, though. I feel like the value of best friends is often diminished in favour of romance in YA lit. That being said, people can be lovers and best friends at the same time. I just think it's important to show that two people can love each other without any sort of romantic feelings being involved. I guess I'll have to see how this progresses. I have a feeling the romance isn't done between Alina and the Darkling, either, however. As for the world building (because I must always discuss world building when I read a fantasy), it could have been stronger, but it did give me a good basic idea of the geography and culture of Ravka. I would love to know more history, so I hope there's some additional background in the second book. Anyway, even though this was not a top-notch fantasy for me, it was addictive, and I recommend it.
Date published: 2016-02-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Premise, Weak Execution & Lead I think the hype surrounding this book can make it a disappointing read for YA fans who have read many fantasy-high fantasy books. I didn't find Alina to be a very likeable heroine. She was a little dull for my tastes. It also doesn't help that the pacing is all over the place for this book. It has its faster moments but for the most part, I found it to be terribly slow. Because I have read a lot of high fantasy recently, this book just didn't meet the standards I've become accustom to.
Date published: 2015-09-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Didn't Deliver As Much As I Wanted This one was ... interesting. It had so much promise but it just didn't deliver the way I wanted it to. I started out really loving this one, the writing style was great throughout. I did find the pacing a bit off though and as if there were multiple ideas that wanted to be brought together into one story but didn't quite fit together. One of my pet peeves with books is when the author creates a new language or new words, but does not explain them to the reader. We are supposed to just know what they mean, but clearly we do not. Like the volcra. I just assumed they were like overgrown vultures, but who knows?? They aren't really given a description so who knows what they are. The idea of the court intrigued me until it became a feature of the book. It was just a way for the author to show that everyone is catty and gross, even Alina. I also didn't like that Alina complained and complained about being "ugly" and then started using her powers and was magically beautiful. Then Zoya appears and Alina becomes a bitch. She complains about Marie and Nadia being so rude and judge-y about people, but then does the same thing to Zoya. I also didn't see the point in the displays of training or the court because it had like zero to do with the actual plot. I was (and still am) conflicted about the possible romance between the Darkling and Alina. He is kind of old for her even if he looks young. However, I don't like that her relationship with the Darkling was seen as a blip in her relationship with Mal. It also seems strange that when Mal came to the palace, he was so mad at Alina for not telling him she was okay when he has been on the move? What did he want her to do, magic a letter to him? She had been writing, he just didn't get it. The best part was the encounter with the stag, but I gotta say I still rolled my eyes. Like of course Mal is basically a magical tracker and able to find this magical stag once he has Alina with him even though the stag had alluded him for like MONTHS when he was first trying to track it. I also liked the Alina was able to really harness her power. I am intrigued to see where this is going, but it really wasn't enough. Overall: 3/5 stars. It was interesting and had potential but it just wasn't enough for me. I feel like I went in with too high of expectations and it just didn't deliver.
Date published: 2015-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing An alternate universe 19th century Russia that is so well written you won't find anything like it anywhere else. I work in a bookstore and the one thing I always tell customers is that this book well suck you right in without releasing you until it wants to, the characters are diverse and entertaining with so many secrets you never know what to expect.
Date published: 2015-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This book was simply amazing. Great story idea, interesting plot, varied and developed characters, and brilliant writing.
Date published: 2015-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is the first book in a trilogy and I will definitely be reading the others in this series. I read this book super fast. I literally could not put it down. I loved the main character, Alina, so much and despite the fact that the book is written in first person (which is sometimes a turn off for me and very rarely results in me becoming attached to any character), I stayed engaged for the entire novel. The action is ongoing, the relationships between Alina and the Darkling and Alina and Mal are complex and the mystery of the Fold along with the politics in her country, make the story intriguing. This is the first book in a trilogy and I will definitely be reading the others in this series. I highly recommend Shadow and Bone!
Date published: 2015-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Is on one of my favourites of all time! Alina and Mal, best friends since childhood, they grew up together under the care of an orphanage. Their parents long gone, they only had each other for comfort. Now older they take up positions in the First Army, Alina as a mapmaker and Mal as a tracker. Their new assignment is to cross the Fold. A place where volcra live, creatures of the dark and vast plains. When there are suddenly attacked by a flock of volcra, Alina saves Mal, blinding him in a bath of pure light. What she doesn’t realize is that she is a Grisha, and a very important one, a sun summoner. Set in a medieval like era, Alina’s world is under the ruling of the King, and the Grisha’s leader, the Darkling. What happens when she realizes she has powers that can help her country Ravka? A war torn teenage girl finds put she is stronger than she thinks and goes on a journey to find out. The whole world that Leigh has built was astounding. Throw in a group of people who have powers that seem like magic, and add in a tyrannical leader and you get a book that will leave you wanting more. Seriously, I had to stay up and finish this book. It was that good. You can get lost in this world, and rightfully so. The writing is fluid, so easy to pick up that the scenes just meld together in one continuous journey. I love the growth of the characters. I love Alina. Her confidence already shaken by being plain and scrawny. She thinks she’s not worthy of Mal’s attention, but is she ever wrong. Their relationship felt right. Not rushed and corny as most of the YA romances I have read. There’s enough fantasy, adventure, action and romance in here to keep any reader busy.
Date published: 2014-11-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Such a Good Book. I couldn't put it down! And the still my heart.
Date published: 2014-10-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A pleasant surprise! The story, the characters, the plot - it was all so well done. I thoroughly enjoyed this book although the ending felt off.
Date published: 2014-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from exquisite storyline you will not regret reading this book
Date published: 2014-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth every cent. Amazing book, I couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2014-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great start This book has the best start to it. As the book moves along, so do the characters and I personally love that. The book is so vivid and the's so fluid! Everything moves so smoothly! Great story.
Date published: 2014-06-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth every cent. Excellent, well written story; I couldn't put it down! Now on to the second in the series!
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book I've Read this Year! Leigh Bardugo has created a fantastic new world in her Grisha Trilogy. This book was recommended to me by my best friend, I bought it that same day, and had finished it by 4am. The book instantly pulls you in with its seemingly regular heroine Alina, hooks onto you with the mysterious Darkling, and propels you through the rest with a gripping and action packed plot. As soon as I finished the novel I returned to the book store the very next day to purchase the sequel because I could not take another hour, let alone another day, without knowing what would happen next. At this time, all books seem to be about the same thing and have very similar plot lines. I was very surprised, impressed, and enamoured by this new novel, set in middle aged time in a land known as Ravka which is not too different from Russia. The language and idea of 'Grisha' are interesting and unique once you get a hold on them. If you enjoy a good storyline, love magic, and relatable characters, this book will not disappoint you. It's a very easy read and I guarantee you will not regret it!
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderfully imaginative! From the first sentence, I was quickly drawn into the world of Ravka. The book begins quickly and never slows down, leaving me at the edge of my seat at all times. The plot was so well done, and I was so easily wrapped up in the story that the plot twist completely took me by surprise. By the time I hit the ~50% mark I found that I couldn’t tear myself away from the story, and now I’m kicking myself for not buying the sequel. The world of Ravka is wonderfully imaginative. It’s a welcome change from the typical setting of “the middle ages,” and the elements of Russian folklore that are weaved into the world are a really nice touch. While the language and the Grisha hierarchy take a little bit of time to get used to (you have no idea how proud I was when I finally got the hang of it), they add to the magic and mystery that makes Ravka so intriguing. I think it goes without saying that the writing is wonderful. The descriptions are vivid and I could easily visualize the Grisha world. It certainly helps that there’s a map at the beginning of the book, though the detailed descriptions kept me from having to tear myself away from the story and check it. And the romance! I found myself swooning over all the fictional men, since all of those scenes are just so well-written. All of the characters were very well-developed. I can’t say too much about them since I don’t want to spoil anything, but they all had distinct personalities and I loved them all so much. Alina is naive, weak, and rather self-conscious at the beginning, but by the end of the book she has undergone a journey of self-discovery and becomes a force to be reckoned with. I loved her loyalty and determination, and I can’t wait to see how her character deals with certain conflicts in the sequel. Mal is sweet, loyal, brave, and protective. If it weren’t for the fact that he didn’t truly notice Alina until she was gone (and the fact that I completely ship Alina and the Darkling) I probably would have liked him a lot more though, admittedly, he did start to grow on me near the end. And then there’s the Darkling. It took less than two scenes for me to become hopelessly fascinated by his personality, power, and the mystery surrounding him. If there’s ever a novella written from his perspective, I can guarantee that I’ll be the first in line for it. I absolutely loved Shadow and Bone, and I can’t recommend it enough. Go on, read it – you certainly won’t regret it.
Date published: 2013-08-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great start to a new series I was very excited to read this first book in The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo. I had heard so many great things and everyone has recommended it as one of the best series' to read. The book lived up to the hype. It was exciting, different, and interesting. However, as the first book in the series it could have given me a little more background information in the "Before" chapter at the beginning of the book. I felt that I didn't have enough information about Alina and Mal to truly care for their story at the outset. I had a lot of unanswered questions that were left unanswered. I am hoping that as I read Siege and Storm some of the past will come to light. The love triangle between Mal, Alina, and The Darkling is atypical for this genre and the "bad boy" Darkling has the mystery and appeal as is the norm in all our favourite bad boys. In this first book, we don't really see enough of Mal to be able to root for him. I'm sure that Book Two will give us a little more Mal. The world that Bardugo has created is imaginative and unique and pits light against dark, good against evil. The Slavic-like setting works well with the super powers that she has created for The Grisha. Leigh Bardugo's writing is enjoyable and never long-winded. She tells the story without hiding it behind a lot of fluff. I have high hopes for Siege and Storm and am happy that I already have it so that I can just jump right in. Book Three is set for release in June 2014 however there are three companion folk tales (Grisha 0.5, Grisha 1.5, and Grisha 2.5) that may help to pass the time until it arrives and possibly help to fill in some of the gaps. Solid 4 Stars! Can't wait to see where Leigh Bardugo takes us!
Date published: 2013-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely loved it! Alina Starkov is an orphan of the border wars and, along with her best friend Mal, is a member of the first army. When they're attacked trying to cross the dangerous Fold, Alina discovers a dormant power in her that makes the once easy-to-overlook mapmaker sought after by The Darkling, a powerful Grisha who leads the magical elite. I really enjoyed this book. Alina had raised herself into my top ten favourite female characters by the halfway point of the book and, by the end, she was firmly in my top five. She grows a lot in the book, going from a shy, quiet, kind of insecure girl to a strong and determined young woman while remaining a realistic character even in a world completely different from ours. There's no suddenly-a-badass syndrome with her, she earns her bumps and bruises from her teachers. The plot and world that was created was amazing. I was completely sucked in to the point that I didn't realize how late it got while I was reading. This is the kind of book I need to set an alarm for while I'm reading to bring me back to reality so I can go to bed at a decent hour. Even though there wasn't always a lot of action, it never felt too slow or unnecessary. I also really enoyed Alina's relationships with people. Her best friend Mal, even when they were separated when she was taken to be trained as a Grisha, she still thought about him and he has a huge effect on her. Her wanting to be friends with Genya even though Grishas' with Alina's status don't really associate with someone like Genya. The way her teachers kept pushing her and never coddled her. I enjoyed them all. I can't wait to see what happens in the sequel.
Date published: 2013-03-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Decent read Excellent start, slows somewhat in the middle and ends strongly. I look forward to reading more.
Date published: 2012-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review from Esther's Ever After It completely makes my day when I discover that there are new fantasy YA books coming out - and then I heard everyone one raving about how amazing Shadow and Bone is, so I had extraordinarily high expectations when I read Leigh Bardugo's debut, Shadow and Bone. And here's the thing: I didn't think it was as awesome as I had hoped, but I think I was also expecting the second coming. While it's not that, it is an particularly noteworthy new release and one of the strongest debuts I've read in a long time. Plus, it features a strikingly rich and incredible fantasy setting unlike other books I've read within the genre. Reasons to Read: 1.A GREAT fantasy setting: You can kinda pick this up from the cover, but Shadow and Bone features a distinctly Russian influence for its setting - which is pretty sweet, if I do say so myself. You can really tell that Leigh drew some of her inspiration from it, which lends to this sort of magical setting that already exists within the book. And it keeps the characters and place just unfamiliar enough for those of us who aren't familiar with Russian language or names. 2.Dark, sexy villainry: I really love it when an author can come up with a really GREAT villain; someone that you both sort of admire and despise, in a twisted sort of way. It's a complex relationship, and I think that's why it's so hard to do. So I treasure these rarities whenever I can find them- but I love it when a villain never seems quite ALL bad or totally evil (kinda like Darth Vader. Completely evil, but we still love him for some reason). Leigh is a master at this. And this is the kind of villain that you can develop a book crush on, easily. 3.Childhood best friends: I'm a sucker for these relationships; I love it when two friends grow up together, and then something happens that tries to keep them apart. It's agonizing! But I always find that I feel such a deeper, stronger connection to the characters and I typically end up more emotionally invested in their story, because of their shared history. Mal and Alina are just too adorable; they fight like an old married couple (which sounds better than brother and sister). 4.A plot to care about: I love that the plot has clear direction and totally owns the story- the plot keeps the story moving along and we don't lose ourselves in side stories or minor characters. Yes, other things are happening- but the focus stays on the Fold and what can be done about that. And the volcra? Yeah, those are FREAKY. I got really excited about this story and it kinda sucks that I'm now twiddling my thumbs waiting for the next book ALREADY. Like I hinted at in the beginning of my review, my only complaint about this one is I think it may be a bit overhyped- yes, I definitely think this is a must-read YA of the year and one of the best books released in 2012. But I still felt like I was expecting TOO much from this one. Perhaps because I love and appreciate a good fantasy so much, I tend to put it up on a pedastal and I'm not sure this one is quite as exciting as I had hoped it would be. But it is utterly magical, with kissing scenes to make you swoon, lovely writing that easily showcases Leigh's talent - why can't we have more books like this one? E-galley received from publisher for my honest review; no other compensation was received.
Date published: 2012-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review of Shadow and Bone Overall Rating: 5/5 stars! NOTE: this review MAY contain spoilers. Take caution as you read. Review: Leigh Bardugo will go places with her skill to write so vividly and creatively to weave a beautiful story plot such as Shadow and Bone. Leigh Bardugo starts the story right into the world of Shadow and Bone, letting the reader absorb as much information of the story as possible. The world of Grisha is unique in all its way: the setting, wardrobe, language and naming of characters (how can one not love its originality?) Alina Starkvov, the heroine of Shadow and Bone. However, Alina isn’t your typical heroine in a fantasy novel such as this. It is easy to relate to Alina because she has so much emotions that the readers could feel into. The feeling that she does not belong anywhere because she grew up as an orphan and even with her best friend right next to her, she still felt alone because growing up, she would feel that they would sometimes drift apart. “I hesitated by the door. This was the hardest part of being around him—other than the way he made my heart do clumsy acrobatics. I hated hiding how much the stupid things he did hurt me, but I hated the idea of him finding out even more” -Shadow and Bone, pg. 22 This quotation is an example of the many relatable things I could feel with Alina. Sure, almost every young adult novel has this unrequited love thing going on but the way Leigh Bardugo wrote this statement and built this friendship, is another aspect that stands out from the novel. “I’ll meet you in the meadow” -Shadow and Bone, pg. 33’ Just wanted to fan-girl a bit and express how much reading that one short sentence truly tugged at my heartstrings. I think right at this moment, Malyen Oretsev owned by heart… except, well after I’ve met the Darkling. The Darkling’s character was very, very intriguing. I truly love this part of the book the most. The way Leigh Bardugo made the Darkling as suspicious as possible, however, giving enough information so that we could understand what’s going on. Also, making him so “loveable” but giving us all the reason and making it impossible for us readers to suddenly hate him. “Why can a Grisha possess but one amplifier? I will answer this question instead: what is infinite? The universe and the greed of men” -Shadow and Bone, pg. 173 Gah! That line was such a beautiful foreshadowing. And I think the most twisted part about this whole thing is that, even after everything that the Darkling did, it seems as if it is truly impossible to hate him. Last but not the least, Malyen Oretsev. Alina Starkov’s best friend. It is impossible not to love this guy as much as it is impossible to hate the Darkling. He is charming and every girl will truly fall in love with him. Their backstory of growing up together is something that I’ve rarely seen occurring in young adult novels these days. “It’s probably for the best. I told myself, how would I have said goodbye to Mal anyway? Thanks for being my best friend and making my life bearable. Oh and sorry I fell in love with you for a while there. Make sure you write!” Hahahaha, I would STILL laugh each time I read that. Shadow and Bone may appear to be just a historical, fantasy, warrior-like novel but at its heart it is a novel of love and growing up, as she comes to understand things of herself and everyone around her. Finally, Leigh Bardugo’s style of writing, the character progression, plot progression, the plot itself, the world of Grisha, just every aspect of the novel truly calls out for a 5/5 stars! It is unlike anything young adult book that I’ve read. Just make sure that you are ready to have your mind blasted will all the unexpected events to come and take good care of your heart as you read through because I think mine is beyond repair after finishing the book—I must, must read the sequel! Happy Reading Everybody! Originally posted at Litupmyworld’s Twitter: Shadow and Bone Fansite:
Date published: 2012-07-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not a bad ride! FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. When the galley for Shadow and Bone came out, I was very intrigued. The premise sounded awesome and everyone was raving about it. Naturally, I requested the book from NetGalley and dove right in! I admit that I loved this book the minute I started reading it — the pace moved very quickly and I was turning it page by page, eager to find out what was going to happen next. I really loved the main characters, Alina and Mal, and was quite interested to see how things would turn out for each of them. Leigh Bardugo does know how to write an exciting book — I didn’t want to put this one down! I was a little confused about why Alina’s power is such a great power, but it was a unique kind of power to have. Things were a little predictable and parts of the story had just a little too much focus on fashion and makeup (and strange theatricals that just seemed a little weird?). That being said, the world that Bardugo created was quite fascinating and exciting — I just felt that while the excitement was there, the plot was just a little too predictable. I wouldn’t say that there was a love triangle per se … it was a little predictable what was going to happen. I found myself swooning over one character in particular and was happy that things worked out how I wanted them to. While I really did enjoy reading this book, I found myself feeling on the fence when it ended. There was so much action and I was turning the pages as fast I could, but when I finished I didn’t find myself overly excited to get to the next book in the series. Keep in mind that I’m not too into series books these days, so it might just be me, so I’ll have to see when the next book comes out how intrigued I am. Now, that being said, Bardugo tied most things up at the end of the book, which was nice — rather than making the first book a stepping stone to the rest of the series, leaving too many things open. If you really enjoy fantasy YA books, you should like this one. It’s very much like Maria V. Snyder’s Study series, but with a little less focus on the training.
Date published: 2012-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book of this year, possibly in the next ten years. no competition. Ok, this is one of the best books I've ever read, no doubt. And that's hard to get. I've read alot of books. (5-7a week). This is such an epic story. To start of, I love the main character, Alina Starkov. The book is told in first person from her point of view and she has a very sarcastic humor, worries over her friends extensively, is loyal, mostly positive and full of hope. It was an amazing experience seeing the world through her eyes. She is rather innocent and a bit naive; once you find out the "big secret," I highly doubt you'll see it coming either. The plot was beautifully created and even though it's something that has been seen before, the way the author has written it and artfully manipulated it to fit her story, makes it an amazing story. As you can see from the description, Alina Starkov is an orphan, along with her best friend Mal. They have their adventures in the first army, Alina as a mapmaker and Mal as a tracker. Alina struggles with slight insecurities as she has developed a bit of a crush on her childhood best friend who is now handsome and brave as well as the object of many girls admiration. Soon though, as their division is travelling through the Fold, they are attacked. Mal is injured trying to protect Alina and when a monster dives for her, the last thing she can remember, is fainting while seeing a bright light. when she wakes, she is informed of her power and taken to train as a grisha. Without her best friend. In the small palace she tries to fit into her new world while struggling through training, but making some friends and also falling for the mysterious Darkling. As for what happens next and all the other juicy details that include the fate of her world, well you'll have to read the book for that. This book is filled with twists and turns that no one will see coming and takes place in a wonderfully new and exciting world where the principals of light over dark and good over evil take on a new meaning, the characters ( who are extremely well developed and likable) take on challenges to save, help or destroy the world, powers, tempers and emotions rage and the writing will have you speechless. I advise you to take the time to read this book. You will remember the story for a long time and will not regret it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- favourite quotes: (Alexie); "where have you been?" "Nearly getting trampled by the Darkling's coach," I replied..(....) Alexie drew in a sharp breath. "Really?Did you actually see him?" "Actually, I was too busy trying not to die." --- (after Alina arrives at her new home and the maids have to get her ready to meet someone very important) (alina) "What is going on? Who are you? "I don't have ti-" "Make time!" I snapped. "I've covered almost two hundred miles on horseback. I haven't had a good nights sleep in a week, and I've nearly been killed twice. So before I do anything else, you're going to have to tell me who you are and why it's so very important that you get my clothes off." -- there's more but I really don;t have time to look for them all..... but yeah. read the book. you won't regret it. as far as buy or borrow, this is definitively one you'll want on your shelf.
Date published: 2012-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the BEST books to ever hit the shelves! There's no doubt in my mind that this will end up being one of the BEST books of the entire year! Best world, best heroine, best writing, best romance... There are just so many breathtaking things in this book, I can't believe I ever had a doubt! Shadow and Bone is high fantasy at its best. (There's that word again!) The world-building of Ravka is flawless. It makes you believe and fear the terrible Shadow Fold that splits it in two, with its ravenous monsters, but there's never an overwhelming dump of information. It's always showing not telling, captivating not repelling, and kind of perfect — which I don't say for high fantasy very often (or at all)! Alina — smart, strong, vulnerable Alina — is one of my favourite heroines ever! She's not blindingly beautiful or perfect with her new found ability at first; she doesn't always know the right thing to say or the right people to trust. But she's one of the most REAL characters I've ever met, and she grows, learns, and loses so much that I almost wish I didn't care about her like I do so it wouldn't hurt as much. But of course, with Alina, that's impossible! And I loved the rest of the cast too — especially the Darkling, who seriously brings a new definition to the word mysterious, and Mal, for never giving up on Alina and always being the sweetest best friend ever! ♥ The romance is really a spoiler on its own, but I promise it's not your average best-friends-plus-one romance. I adored it so much! Also, I can't even say whether or not I expected the big twist near the end because I was so enamoured by the everything that I didn't pause a second to make any guesses! With some of the best writing and most brilliant worlds ever, Shadow and Bone will undoubtedly be topping people's favourites lists everywhere. I can honestly say that it's my favourite high fantasy book of all time... and that's coming from a fantasy-loving girl. ;) BUY or BORROW?: You will buy this book and love it and be at Leigh Bardugo's feet with me, begging to read the sequel! This is an absolute MUST, and I can't even stress how buy-worthy it is enough! (Want a reminder? Count the number of times I used "best" in this review!)
Date published: 2012-06-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Shadow and Bone is a 2012 must-read! 4.5 maple leaves! I didn't really know what to expect about Shadow and Bone even though the epic premise grabbed my attention from the moment I first read it. Yet, what I found on Leigh Bardugo's debut novel really impressed me and surprised me with a unique story and a wondrous new world. Alina and Mal are orphans who grew up together and were tested by the Grisha (beautiful people with extraordinary abilities) to know if any of them had any kind of special skill that could make them Grisha. However, none of them showed any sign of power. Years later, they enrolled in the army and one day they are sent to cross the Folt, a place reigned by shadow and horrific winged creatures. It is here when the dark horrific creatures attack Alina but Mal, Alina's best friend, saves her life, but not without risking his own. Alina, in the despair to save Mal's life, feels something unchain a power that was long buried inside of her, freeing a unique skill that would change her life forever. Here the story picks up and I was unable to put the book back down. One of the things I love the most about this book was the exquisite and unique imagery. I think Bardugo's creativity is outstanding and definitely 3D movie material. Also,The Grisha concept has highly intrigued me. Grisha are people who, for some reason, are born with an special gift. They also have a hierarchy and a culture in a complex world lead by the mysterious Darkling. I loved Shadow and Bone and everything it has to offer. The story itself was enthralling from beginning to end. Alina is a character whose reaction are very realistic. I am glad how much thought Bardugo put into this character to make her more than just ink on paper, she made her flesh! Also, there is the Leader of the Grish, the Darkling. He is mysterious, alluring and extremely powerful. These three elements are more than enough to confuse Alina (and any reader) between Mal and the Darkling. Mal, in the other hand, is not very present in the story, at least not until the last third of the book. Yet, with what little I could see of him, I confess that I only needed those few pages to fall hard for him! Shadow and Bone is an excellent debut and the only "but" is that when Alina was at the little Palace, I felt that the story slowed down for a while. Besides that, I would dare to say that this book is perfect and 100% a Dazzling Read! Leigh Bardugo's debut novel is definitely a 2012 must-read!
Date published: 2012-06-09