Books Young Adult Fiction Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy)

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy) Featured

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4.9 (4)
 
4.9 (21)
1610   13
Author(s)
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
June 05, 2012
ISBN
0805094598
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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.

Editor reviews

Average editor rating from: 4 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
4.9
Plot 
 
5.0  (4)
Characters 
 
5.0  (4)
Writing Style 
 
4.8  (4)

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.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

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.

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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.

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Jen, Editor Reviewed by Jen, Editor August 04, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (393)

Unputdownable!

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.

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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.
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

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.

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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.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Erica, Editor Reviewed by Erica, Editor June 12, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (192)

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.

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Overall rating 
 
4.9
Plot 
 
5.0  (21)
Characters 
 
4.9  (21)
Writing Style 
 
4.8  (21)
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:
Ya Fantasy

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...

SWASHBUCKLING:

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)

LINGO:

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.

CREW:
Alina

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

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.

The Darkling

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.

SWOONABILITY:

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.

SHIPS:
-Alina x Darkling
-Alina x Mal
-The Fold x Burning
-Volcra x NOPE
-The Stag x Antlers
-Good people X Happiness
-Ravka x Peace
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Bec @ Ransom Reads Reviewed by Bec @ Ransom Reads November 25, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (7)

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:
Ya Fantasy

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...

SWASHBUCKLING:

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)

LINGO:

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.

CREW:
Alina

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

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.

The Darkling

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.

SWOONABILITY:

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.

SHIPS:
-Alina x Darkling
-Alina x Mal
-The Fold x Burning
-Volcra x NOPE
-The Stag x Antlers
-Good people X Happiness
-Ravka x Peace

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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.)
Anyway.
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.

Direct Hit
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Jasmine Reviewed by Jasmine November 06, 2013
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (323)

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.)
Anyway.
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.

Direct Hit

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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.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Erin Laidley Reviewed by Erin Laidley September 03, 2013
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (21)

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.

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Need to start the second book!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Duks Castro Reviewed by Duks Castro August 03, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (82)

Hot dog!

Need to start the second book!

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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
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Viviana Ortiz Reviewed by Viviana Ortiz July 24, 2013
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (29)

Unique

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

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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.
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Heather Reviewed by Heather June 21, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (75)

Shadow and Bone: WOW

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.

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I loved this book, it was amazing. I liked the story, it was very interesting and kept me interested, which made me want to keep reading it.

Shadow and Bone is about Alina. While she is crossing the fold and Mal, Alina's best friend and crush is attacked and hurt. Alina saves him and passes out. When she wakes up she finds out that she is Grisha, a sun summer which she doesn't believe to be true.

She is then taken to the Little Palace. While she is there she doesn't think that she belongs there and wants to go back to Mal.

Alina and the Darkling get closer through the book and he tells her how he wants to destroy the Fold and how she with help him to do it together with the stag antlers. Though it turns out the Darkling is using Alina and was also the one to create the Fold, which he said he wanted to destroy. Though in realty he wants to control the Fold and he is able to with Alina and the Stag's antlers.

For some odd reason I started to like the Darkling even though he turns out to be the villain at the end. Which made me sad, but I still like him. I loved this Book and I can;t wait to read the second book.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Amanda Reviewed by Amanda June 12, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (6)

Amazing!

I loved this book, it was amazing. I liked the story, it was very interesting and kept me interested, which made me want to keep reading it.

Shadow and Bone is about Alina. While she is crossing the fold and Mal, Alina's best friend and crush is attacked and hurt. Alina saves him and passes out. When she wakes up she finds out that she is Grisha, a sun summer which she doesn't believe to be true.

She is then taken to the Little Palace. While she is there she doesn't think that she belongs there and wants to go back to Mal.

Alina and the Darkling get closer through the book and he tells her how he wants to destroy the Fold and how she with help him to do it together with the stag antlers. Though it turns out the Darkling is using Alina and was also the one to create the Fold, which he said he wanted to destroy. Though in realty he wants to control the Fold and he is able to with Alina and the Stag's antlers.

For some odd reason I started to like the Darkling even though he turns out to be the villain at the end. Which made me sad, but I still like him. I loved this Book and I can;t wait to read the second book.

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From what I’ve read, Leigh Bardugo’s debut novel Shadow and Bone is a love-or-hate sort of book. I see very few middle-ground reviews. I requested this from the library because most feedback I read was positive. Strictly speaking, fantasy is a genre I’m most likely to be unimpressed by, so I did come into this book somewhat leery of what I would find.
I did have a few issues with Shadow and Bone, which I expected.

It’s very obvious that the world this novel takes place in was inspired by Russia, which is actually quite awesome. However, when you consider the wealth of detail and tradition that comes with a Russian setting, I felt that Leigh Bardugo didn’t invest as much into her setting as she should have. Superficially, I could see that this took place in some sort of pseudo-Russia, but I found the richness of a truly well developed alternate Russia to be lacking from the text.

The basic framework for Shadow and Bone’s plot is also somewhat lackluster. Plain Jane discovers she’s destined to save the world. Been there, done that times a jillion. Throw in a love triangle and we’re set for a boring and too-typical YA novel.
Those are my complaints, and, when all is said I done, I personally find them to be rather minor ones. I was actually pleasantly surprised by Shadow and Bone, and though I shudder at the thoughts of getting caught up in the waiting game for yet another series completion, I totally plan on continuing with this.

Aside from my complaints about the blandness of Bardugo’s “Russia”, I was hugely impressed with the Grisha themselves. I wouldn’t say their powers are super unique, but the way this author wrote them was fascinating and not at all info-dumpy. It was a very interesting cultural set-up, and I almost wish it had been expanded on a little bit more.

As for the characters, I thought they fit very well into pre-established character types. Alina was the typical YA “kickass” heroine who had a problem with her appearance: brown eyes/brown hair. The villain was pretty standard, too: he’s evil because he wants unlimited power and will stop at nothing to get it. (Wouldn’t it be interesting if someone wrote a YA novel from the villain’s perspective and gave him/her a realistic motive?) Love interest Mal was a nice boy-next-door type; second love interest Darkling was a broody dude with a past. Courtiers are petty and fashion-obsessed. You know, the usual.
But. But it is the way all this was written that sealed the deal for me. I found myself not minding the flat character types because Leigh Bardugo gave them personality. I allowed myself to wave off the vague world building because the author’s way of presenting things was extremely compelling. Even the shallow romance was acceptable, because I could see what Bardugo meant to accomplish, so that even if I don’t think she did it as well as she could have, I was able to visualize the reality she truly intended.

Lots of times, fantasy only pretends to be gripping and action-packed. Yeah, there’s a lot of fighting, but it gets buried beneath philosophical discussions and passages of purple prose. Not so here. Shadow and Bone is narrated in a crisp, effective manner that engages the reader from start to finish. Add in a very compelling twist on an overused premise, and I’ve found myself to be highly impressed with Leigh Bardugo’s debut.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Renae M Reviewed by Renae M March 25, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (184)

shadow and bone

From what I’ve read, Leigh Bardugo’s debut novel Shadow and Bone is a love-or-hate sort of book. I see very few middle-ground reviews. I requested this from the library because most feedback I read was positive. Strictly speaking, fantasy is a genre I’m most likely to be unimpressed by, so I did come into this book somewhat leery of what I would find.
I did have a few issues with Shadow and Bone, which I expected.

It’s very obvious that the world this novel takes place in was inspired by Russia, which is actually quite awesome. However, when you consider the wealth of detail and tradition that comes with a Russian setting, I felt that Leigh Bardugo didn’t invest as much into her setting as she should have. Superficially, I could see that this took place in some sort of pseudo-Russia, but I found the richness of a truly well developed alternate Russia to be lacking from the text.

The basic framework for Shadow and Bone’s plot is also somewhat lackluster. Plain Jane discovers she’s destined to save the world. Been there, done that times a jillion. Throw in a love triangle and we’re set for a boring and too-typical YA novel.
Those are my complaints, and, when all is said I done, I personally find them to be rather minor ones. I was actually pleasantly surprised by Shadow and Bone, and though I shudder at the thoughts of getting caught up in the waiting game for yet another series completion, I totally plan on continuing with this.

Aside from my complaints about the blandness of Bardugo’s “Russia”, I was hugely impressed with the Grisha themselves. I wouldn’t say their powers are super unique, but the way this author wrote them was fascinating and not at all info-dumpy. It was a very interesting cultural set-up, and I almost wish it had been expanded on a little bit more.

As for the characters, I thought they fit very well into pre-established character types. Alina was the typical YA “kickass” heroine who had a problem with her appearance: brown eyes/brown hair. The villain was pretty standard, too: he’s evil because he wants unlimited power and will stop at nothing to get it. (Wouldn’t it be interesting if someone wrote a YA novel from the villain’s perspective and gave him/her a realistic motive?) Love interest Mal was a nice boy-next-door type; second love interest Darkling was a broody dude with a past. Courtiers are petty and fashion-obsessed. You know, the usual.
But. But it is the way all this was written that sealed the deal for me. I found myself not minding the flat character types because Leigh Bardugo gave them personality. I allowed myself to wave off the vague world building because the author’s way of presenting things was extremely compelling. Even the shallow romance was acceptable, because I could see what Bardugo meant to accomplish, so that even if I don’t think she did it as well as she could have, I was able to visualize the reality she truly intended.

Lots of times, fantasy only pretends to be gripping and action-packed. Yeah, there’s a lot of fighting, but it gets buried beneath philosophical discussions and passages of purple prose. Not so here. Shadow and Bone is narrated in a crisp, effective manner that engages the reader from start to finish. Add in a very compelling twist on an overused premise, and I’ve found myself to be highly impressed with Leigh Bardugo’s debut.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Oh My God! I loved this book. Truthfully, I had seen everybody talking about it on goodreads but I didn't check it out until recently. While reading it I could not believe that this was the author's first novel.

I loved the characters, from Alina to Mal and I have to admit I liked The Darkling in the beginning. They all developed beautifully and were realistic, even though some of them had "powers", they all had flaws.

The world that Leigh Bardugo created was simply magnificent. It was like Russia but at the same time it really wasn't Russia. I think this land has the ability to rival Narnia, that is how good it truly is.

This was one of those books that I couldn't read fast enough but at the same time dreaded ending. I will definitely be purchasing it since I checked it out of the library and will also be buying the sequel. Too bad I have to wait forever for it to come out!

If you haven't read this book yet you really should. It is simply amazing and it is written beautifully.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Sarah Reviewed by Sarah March 06, 2013
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (47)

Shadow and bone

Oh My God! I loved this book. Truthfully, I had seen everybody talking about it on goodreads but I didn't check it out until recently. While reading it I could not believe that this was the author's first novel.

I loved the characters, from Alina to Mal and I have to admit I liked The Darkling in the beginning. They all developed beautifully and were realistic, even though some of them had "powers", they all had flaws.

The world that Leigh Bardugo created was simply magnificent. It was like Russia but at the same time it really wasn't Russia. I think this land has the ability to rival Narnia, that is how good it truly is.

This was one of those books that I couldn't read fast enough but at the same time dreaded ending. I will definitely be purchasing it since I checked it out of the library and will also be buying the sequel. Too bad I have to wait forever for it to come out!

If you haven't read this book yet you really should. It is simply amazing and it is written beautifully.

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This is in my top 5 books of 2012, probably top 2 of the year, also. This was SOOOOO, so good!!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
G Donald Cribbs Reviewed by G Donald Cribbs December 21, 2012
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (24)

Russian Steampunk=Tsarpunk. SHADOW AND BONE is an amazing debut!

This is in my top 5 books of 2012, probably top 2 of the year, also. This was SOOOOO, so good!!

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