Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy) Featured Hot
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.
What a World!
I don't know that I would have initially picked up SHADOW AND BONE. The cover didn't initially draw me in and I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I am SO GLAD that I gave this book a chance. The world building was amazing. Right away, you are sucked into this beautiful and seemingly terrifying world.
I want to write a lot about the Darkling but I won't in this review. His character is so complex....are we supposed to love him or hate him? I really don't want to spoil anything for you. I want you to learn about him as you read.
And then there is Mal. The beginning of the book I didn't care for him all that much. I'm still trying to decide if he was written that way on purpose. The journey and the sacrifices he makes led me down a totally different path by the end. I can't wait to see what is in store for him down the road.
Of course, we can't talk about this book without talking about Alina. I loved Alina. I really enjoyed the emotional journey she had during this book. Her fear, love, and confusion all seemed so authentic. Nothing about her character seemed forced or contrived.
I'm really interested in how this series will continue. What characters will be back? How much more is there to the Darkling's story? Who is loyal to Alina? These are things I must know!
Overall, I don't think you should pass this book up. I almost did and I would have missed out on a fantastic story.
Excuse me while I FANGIRL all over this book!
The last couple of books I've read, have been such downers for me that I've either been unable to finish them or tempted to throw in the reading towel altogether. That is until this book... I'd seen the reviews, heard the hype and had it recommended to me by numerous people but honestly, when I got it and realized there was a map in the front, I was in no hurry to bump it up in my TBR pile. What's the big deal about a map? They just scare me. Always have. Old ones, new ones, doesn't matter. I see a map and a part of my brain panics. (Irrational, stupid, silly...I know.) Maps don't deter me from reading books but they do delay me sometimes which is what happened with Shadow and Bone and I am kicking myself for it.
This is a fantastic debut! Bardugo has created a colorful world filled with fantasy, adventure, and a heart-clutching love story. Her world building is detailed, her characters complex and engaging and the story itself sucked me in immediately. I couldn't and didn't WANT to put this book down!
Alina is a strong willed MC, whose courageous, with a good heart and a witty sense of humor. Mal, is a mix of comfort, strength and swoon (OhMyMal!) and the Darkling, a character that's equal parts beauty and danger, is one you can't help but feel drawn to. There is SO MUCH I want to say about this book *flails* and I don't want to spoil anything, but the plot twists and turns kept me guessing right up to the very end and left me craving the next book.
A Captivating Debut
There's so much to love about SHADOW AND BONE. My favorite, though, has to be the world building. It's exceptional. The reader is instantly immersed in the alternate-Russia world of Ravka, with its wars, its customs, and its magic-wielding Grisha. There isn't one false note in the entire book. It's like reading a thoroughly researched, gorgeous historical. It's a world I want to revisit again and again.
The characters are interesting, and each is distinct on the page. I would've liked a bit more of Mal before Alina is taken to the Little Palace so that I could feel connected to him and not just know I was "supposed" to feel connected to him because Alina did. But that was a minor thing, because every single character came off the page in vivid, brilliant life.
The plot is fascinating and goes hand in hand with the world building. The only small drawbacks for me were that I wanted more showing of emotions rather than telling and there were two pivotal moments (once where she listens to what sounds like lunacy from a secondary character and very quickly accepts the words as truth and once where during the climax she suddenly understands something that changes the entire outcome of the story) where I felt we missed a bit of lead up so that the reader could more fully accept these sudden decisions/changes from Alina. However, I can honestly say that I remained captivated throughout the entire story, I thought about it after I put the book down, and I can't wait to read book two.
An Absolutely Stunning Debut
Oh my gosh, what a delightful gem of a book Shadow and Bone was! This book made me have all the feelings. It was intense, dark, and all around just wonderful. I am very excited to see what story Leigh Bardugo will share with us next, as Shadow and Bone was just all around an awesome awesome book.
I suppose I should first start off by telling you that fantasy is pretty much my thing. High fantasy even more. So when I find a high fantasy as good as this one, I kind of freak out. Especially when it's a high fantasy as good as Shadow and Bone AND it is on the darker side. So basically, Shadow and Bone was everything I was hoping for.
Shadow and Bone started out a bit confusing - it took me about 40 pages to completely grasp what was going on. After this, Leigh Bardugo spins a tale that is so enticing and intriguing that doesn't let up until the final page has been turned. The plot of this book was SO GOOD. Even after I finished, I couldn't exactly wrap my head about it. I couldn't decide who I wanted to trust exactly and who had been at fault entirely and who I wanted to completely succeed. Shadow and Bone is storytelling at its finest and I loved every page. There were so many twists and turns throughout the book, and I am really excited to see where Leigh Bardugo will take her characters in the next chapter of their story.
Leigh Bardugo's writing is just gorgeous. This was probably the first thing I noticed about the book and I found myself reading some sentences over, as I just loved her writing so much. Along with this, Leigh Bardugo has created a world so real that I felt like I was walking on the pages alongside the characters. Everything about it was so intriguing and I cannot wait to see more of it in the next books in the trilogy.
There characters were all so delightful. I feel like I am not supposed to love the Darkling. But I totally did. He was so devious and always with his plotting, yet completely attractive. I loved Alina - She grew so much throughout the book and I loved going through that with her. Genya was another really great character. Mal was a character I loved from the first time her walked on the pages and I kept waiting and waiting for him to show up again.
Pretty much this is just a giant lovefest for how much I loved Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. If you only read one book this summer, this is the one to go get your hands on. It's that good.
Wholly original and unputdownable
I can’t even begin to explain my love for this book. It was a wholly original storyline with fantastic, loveable characters and incredible world-building. This creative book had me on the edge of my seat for half of the book, while the other half I was left gob-smacked at the plot twists, turns, romance, surprises and the magical elements.
Shadow and Bone follows the story of Alina Starkov, an unremarkable, ordinary map-maker in the King’s First Army, who serves with her best friend Mal, a soldier. She lives in Ravka, a country home to an elite class of warriors, scientists and healers called the Grisha, who have special, innate abilities. But Ravka is not the powerful country it used to be and is frequently threatened by enemy neighbours. Centuries ago, a power hungry Grisha called the Black Heretic created the Shadow Fold, an impenetrable swath of darkness that extends from one side of Ravka to the other, leaving Ravka severely weakened. On her first journey through the Shadow Fold, Alina discovers that she too is a Grisha when she attempts to protect her friend from danger and it is discovered that she has the ability to summon light, a highly sought after power. She soon finds herself in a dangerous world filled with politics, murder, adventure, betrayal and in the middle of a menacing plot that could destroy Ravka for good.
(warning: spoilers below)
The novel begins quickly and essentially throws you into the deep end, head on. The reader is immediately introduced to several characters as well as the fantasy element of the book. Usually, I detest this kind of pacing in a novel, especially in a fantasy one. It is quite confusing to keep up with everything, as the writer needs to thoroughly explain a complex magical world, along with the history and culture of said world. However, this is not the case here. Bardugo cleverly explains her world of magic in a quick, precise manner that I wish I knew how to emulate. The magical elements were incredibly fascinating and I often found myself wanting to read more about this interesting world. There is no time for the reader to pause and catch their breath, and for once, I enjoyed that. It made me hungry for more.
The characters were wonderfully animated and developed. Alina was a great protagonist: she was a funny, charming, insecure, rude, angry little ball of fire who I related to on a personal level. I am so thankful that Bardugo constantly emphasised that Alina was not classically beautiful, like so many other YA protagonists are. This is something many YA writers need to be made aware of. Your protagonists do not always need to be beautiful. They can still be badass women who get the guy at the end with plain, or ugly, or average features. Alina really grows throughout the novel: at the beginning, she is terrified of this power within her and convinced she will fail. Slowly, her training improves and her power develops, as does her confidence. I would have to say Alina is one of my favourite YA heroines; she’s up there with Aelin Galaythinus, Feyre Archeron, Rose Hathaway and Clary Fray.
Alina and her best friend, Mal, had a strong relationship. They grew up together in the same orphanage and joined the army to be close to one another. Alina harbours a secret crush on Mal, and has for years, one he is blissfully unaware of. They spend a good chunk of the novel apart, which allows Mal to realise his feelings for Alina were no longer platonic.
My favourite character was, not surprisingly as I love a well-written bad guy, the Darkling. The Darkling is the only Grisha of his kind; he can summon darkness and is the most powerful of all the Grisha. The only person in all of Ravka who has power of him is the King. The Darkling even has his own army, dubbed the Second Army, full of highly trained Grisha. The Darkling is presented as the good guy at the beginning of the novel, and it is suggested he is Alina’s love interest. I know I thought there would be a love triangle between Alina, the Darkling and Mal, with Alina eventually choosing the Darkling. The Darkling continually references the fact that he and Alina are the only two of their kind. I thought this would go the way of every other YA book and was so happy when it didn’t. The Darkling, it’s revealed, was actually the Black Heretic and wants to use the power of the Shadow Fold to extend it rather than destroy it, as he stated he would with Alina’s sun power. I think my jaw actually dropped onto the floor when his true identity was revealed. Kudos to Bardugo on that one.
The plot was so original and exciting – I didn’t want to put the book down! Once Alina discovers her powers, she is taken to the Little Palace (the Darkling’s residence) to train and hone her powers in order to use them against the Shadow Fold and save Ravka. No pressure at all. After she discovers the Darkling’s true nature, she escapes with the help of the Darkling’s mother and decides to hunt for Morozova’s Stag, one of three magical creatures that will amplify Alina’s powers by killing them and fashioning them into cuffs and a collar. The Darkling had plans to control Alina through the amplifiers, so Alina plans to find them first.
What I loved most about this novel was the magical element. The Grisha do not have magic. It’s called the Small Science which they practise and are able to manipulate. The Grisha are divided into three orders: Corporalki, Etherealki and Materialki, and then further divided into specialised types. Their powers are extensions of the natural world, which is explained thoroughly in the novel. I really like that magic is not simply magic, it’s a science. Bardugo has developed a complex, interesting and original magic system here.
Bardugo is a great fantasy writer: concise and yet beautiful. I was able to easily visualise everything she described. I have never really been a fan of first person writing, but I think it worked for this type of book.
This was a fantastic first novel in a series. The world-building was rich, the characters wonderfully developed and the plot fascinating. I can’t wait to read the next!
Book Review: Shadow and Bone
READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE: http://theroundtheclockperuser.blogspot.com/2015/07/book-review-shadow-and-bone.html
Normally, I'm not much of a high fantasy gal. I love the fantasy genre, but something about high fantasy has always turned me off. Too much of a good thing, maybe? However, after hearing all my blogger friends rave about Shadow and Bone, and loving the synopsis, I knew I had to give it a chance. And I'm so glad that I did.
We are thrust into an entire new world - which I am sometimes a fan of - and Leigh did not disappoint in her world building. Taking place in pseudo-Russia, Shadow and Bone tells the story of Alina, a woman who transforms from a simple map maker to one of the most powerful Grisha encountered. One a suicide mission to cross The Fold (a place devoid of light and filled with monsters that a past Darkling created some hundreds of years ago), Alina's hidden powers come to light (ha!) as she attempts to save Mal from a volca and it is revealed that she is the Sun Summoner. At this point, Alina is brought to the Little Palace for Grisha training to strengthen her power in effort to help the current Darkling destroy The Fold.
I'm very much about all the characters we encounter, especially our main three: Alina, Mal, and the Darkling. Alina's character does a complete 180 within the novel. She starts as this meek map maker who is in love with her childhood friend Mal to a strong and courageous woman who fights for what is right. She is broken from all angles, and one point in the novel she loses all hope, but every time she picks herself up and comes back much stronger than she ever imagined she would be. By the end of the novel, you wouldn't even recognize her as the Alina we first met.
The Darkling is a very intriguing (and yummy) individual. I'm extremely curious to know more about his back story and about him in general. There isn't much known about the Darkling and even less that he is willing to tell. My feelings about Mal fluctuated throughout the novel, but when he comes to Alina's aid, essentially undoing all he has worked for in the process, I warmed up to him immediately. Especially during a certain little scene while they are in the woods. *swoon*
Even the minor characters stick out in my head, though one in particular more than the others. Genya befriends Alina when she first comes to the Little Palace. There is definitely more to her story than she is sharing with Alina and this creates the perfect amount of mystery that makes me want to read The Tailor - if I could freaking figure out where to buy it!
There is a love-triangle, but there isn't. I can't really go into detail about what that specially entails without giving away a spoiler; however, I am fully behind this not love-triangle love-triangle.
There is a weird combination of a lot happening, but not a lot happening either. Even when the plot is moving along slowly, it isn't. Things are happening. Information is being found out. Characters are progressing. Relationships are being formed. Relationships are ending. I flew through the last half because I just had to know what was going to happen! I mean, I kind of had an idea since I know Siege and Storm exists and Ruin and Rising is in the works, but I had to know. Ya know? However, when I got to the ending ("After" to be specific), I felt kind of . . . empty. Like, "that's it? I know there are two more books, but that's it?"
It's something to note that I absolutely love the way she wrote "Before" and "After." I love that Leigh brings things full circle to how Alina and Mal have changed from being orphans to who they are now. I also think it it super adorable that she refers to them as "the boy" and "the girl."
Leigh created an amazing world, filled with vivid descriptions and beautiful writing. I want to know more about this world and these characters. I feel like she has only skimmed the surface of what is going to happen, but in a good "I need more!" way.There are so many questions that I need to answer to and I'm torn. Do I start Siege and Storm now (because I need to know!) or would the wiser course of action be to wait until we're a tad closer to Ruin and Rising's June 3 release date so as not to torture myself? Decisions!
Sun Summoner Love!
This book kept me on the edge of my seat with action and romance. When I thought I figured out the story I was proven wrong as the plot twisted and thickened. I loved the characters of this book as well as the plot and ending. I will continue on with this series because I just have to know WHAT HAPPENS! This book has found a permanent home on my shelf!
My full review is long and goes into more detail. It can be found on my blog:
Aristocrat's Ransom: Shadow and Bone
The gifs and full formatting of this review can be read at http://ransom-reads.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/aristocrats-ransom-shadow-and-bone.html
MAJOR SELLING POINTS:
Ravka is one of the best fantasy worlds I have read. I love the influence some cultures from our world have had on the locations in the story. It gives me a better idea of what everything is like. There is also unique magic, using the elements and more unique power sources and abilities. Ravka also has a rich and dark history that we're only just starting to uncover and I look forward to learning more.
Reread for ARC!!
I won an arc of SIEGE AND STORM. I WON AN ARC OF SEIGE AND STORM. That's the main reason I am rereading SHADOW AND BONE. But the fact that I want to reread it (and that my rating of it improved upon rereading) should tell you something...
The start of this story seemed like a nice fantasy. All happy and learning magic, coping with attachments that have been severed, and just generally enjoying the journey and relationship of the characters. Then the twist happened. It comes very quickly, though there are little hints along the way, and I was not expecting it the first time I read SHADOW AND BONE. This was not the happy story I thought it was going to be. And I loved it. The plot sped up and became really interesting as the darkness increased (ahahhahahaha, intended pun if you've read the book)
This is told first person through the main character and I have to say I really enjoyed her voice. It was strangely familiar to me but I can't figure out why. Everything flowed beautifully and reflected the world. There were some nice lines in there and beautiful descriptions. My heart leapt and bled with the main character's, which to me is one of the best things that can happen in a novel.
Alina is my favourite character in SHADOW AND BONE. I connected to her really well, which is good because we're in her head the entire time. She's really interesting, and I loved uncovering the secrets of her power and her world alongside her. Some of the things she had to learn to use her power actually helped me realise a few things about myself when I first read it. And for that I am very grateful.
Mal is incredibly sweet. Although that's not what I thought the first time round (not entirely anyway). The second reading of SHADOW AND BONE allowed me to look at his character more, and I noticed things I never had. It made me love and appreciate him--and what he meant to Aline--more.
Oh, the Darkling. He has made many a fangirl sigh dreamily. There are scenes I could name, but I won't. You need to experience them yourself. There's just something about a dark mysterious guy with amazing powers, apparently.
The romance in this is good. With plenty of tension (you have no idea how much). And even though one person in one of my OTPs turned out to be evil, their chemistry still made me ship them in the reread. I am still devastated they turned out evil though. I WANTED THEM TOGETHER. THIS CAUSES MORE PROBLEMS. But not really, cause now I knew the fate of that relationship, I starting backing my other OTP and began to appreciate it more than I did the first time I read SHADOW AND BONE.
-Alina x Darkling
-Alina x Mal
-The Fold x Burning
-Volcra x NOPE
-The Stag x Antlers
-Good people X Happiness
-Ravka x Peace
Shadow and Bone review
I'm so glad everyone wouldn't stop singing the praises for this book, because I wouldn't have read it otherwise, and I'd never know what my life was missing.
I never planned to read this because I'm pretty wary of the fantasy genre in general. On top of that, it has all the cliches going for it: the girl who doesn't know the powers she has to save the world, the love triangle with one (very) bad guy and one nice guy/best friend, and the whole peasant-to-royalty situation. Despite my initial opinions, I decided to give it a chance after hearing all the positive reviews. And let me tell you, I'm so glad I decided to read it because Bardugo manages to do so much more with those cliches.
Let's talk about the love triangle. I wasn't really a big fan of Mal in the beginning. He already had Alina's affections (whether he knew it or not) and the advantage of Best Friend. I'm not really sure why that automatically made me unsympathetic to him, but it did. Plus, he's running all over the place chasing other girls, so there's that (I know, I know. Not really his fault.)
Then we have The Darkling. First of all, his name is kind of sexy. So he has that going for him. Then he has the whole Bad Boy thing going for him. Not in a I-ride-motorcycles-and-don't-care-about-anything way, it's more that he just has kind of sinister, forbidden air about him that should probably make me dislike him, but doesn't. The Darkling is new and just so freaking hot with his little touches and small signs of weakness towards Alina.
By the end, though, I was on Team Mal. The Darkling is still hot, though.
The thing is, it doesn't feel as much like a love triangles as others do. Though Alina does switch the object of her affections a few times, she's always firmly on one or the other. She starts out with feelings for now, but because of Things, decides to forget him and move on. Then comes The Darkling. Then more Things happen and Alina firmly directs her love to Mal again.
Next, we have the Girl With Secret Powers cliche. Admittedly, the formula is much like other stories, but there is one thing I really liked about Alina's situation; her powers are discovered, but then for quite a long time she's basically incapable of using them. She has to go through some growth before she can fully embrace and use her powers. Plus, the powers are all kind of neat. They remind me a bit of the bending from Avatar: The Last Airbender since they deal with the elements for the most part.
I'm not sure I'd call the rags to riches story ground-breaking or anything, but I enjoyed the way it was handled. Alina doesn't fit in at first, of course, but she slowly gets used to it and starts to get comfortable to her new life. I like that she still finds herself missing her old life as a mapmaker sometimes. She doesn't get a big head about the power and position, but she doesn't shun it either.
The Nutshell: Basically, read this. If you don't think you'll like it, read it anyway. The love triangle is done in a way that doesn't entirely lend itself to "teams" and I found myself being swept along with Alina when it came to both romances. The Grisha powers themselves are also interesting and I enjoyed learning about them. I'd love to see more in the sequel, especially where it concerns The Darklings powers as I find them fascinating.
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.
Need to start the second book!
Admired the friendship that Mal & Alina shared. Both coming from war torn countries having this bond that couldn't be broken even when they were separated.
Liked Alina's character. She goes from being an orphan, somebody that wasn't wanted, to suddenly being wanted by everyone. Good or bad. In a way evolves throughout to book to finally embrace who, or what, she really is. Having to decide between saving the world or to help destroy it.
The Darkling (for some reason kept picturing "The Jew Hunter" from "Inglorious Bastards.") was an interesting character. He used his powers to get what he wanted from everyone. Went from somewhat of a nice guy to an evil mastermind. Crazy, but I liked him!
Can't wait for the second one!
Shadow and Bone is the story about Alina Starkov and how her new discover power led to become train to be a Grisha and meet the mysterious Darkling.
I just stepped into a dark, mysterious, and scary place and I loved every part of it. This book is something completely different from what I have read. The plot is wonderful, all the twists and turns work magnificently. Leigh Bardugo is such a great story teller. Shadow and Bone has everything a good book should have: mystery, action, humor, romance, betrayals, an awesome setting, cool characters, unexpected twists. Such a well-written book that it was painful to put it down. I absolutely felt in love with the Darkling, he truly is something. The Grisha have the "magic" the makes me thing of the Full metal alchemist, they control the elements. It so unique to read about these mysterious beautiful looking people. I loved the connection between Alina and Mal. And a little of romance can't hurt no one. I really enjoy Shadow and Bone can't wait to start reading Siege and Storm (book two on the Grisha triology). Also, I can't hardly wait to watch the movie, Who could be the Darkling? Mal? Alina?.
Shadow and Bone made me feel like I was in some type Russian scary myth. I loved it, seriously a must read trilogy. 5 Darkling Stars
Shadow and Bone: WOW
That's my initial reaction after completing this novel. Like Veronica Roth says, Shadow and Bone is "unlike anything I've ever read." I don't know why, but I couldn't stop myself from crying, shouting in joy, and screaming at the author. I loved the characters, the adventure, and of course the romance. I can't wait to read the next, since I feel like Alina, Mal, and The Darkling will go through a lot of changes throughout the rest of the series.