Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy)

FeaturedHot
 
4.9 (4)
 
4.8 (27)
11563 17

User reviews

24 reviews with 5 stars
27 reviews
 
89%
 
11%
3 stars
 
0%
2 stars
 
0%
1 star
 
0%
Overall rating
 
4.8
Plot
 
4.9(27)
Characters
 
4.9(27)
Writing Style
 
4.8(27)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Back to Listing
24 results - showing 1 - 10
1 2 3
Ordering
Interesting!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Shadow and Bone was an interesting fantasy novel filled with magic.
I liked the plot and the world building. I found Ravka and the Shadowfold really intriguing. And the Grisha were also really fascinating with their different powers and abilities.
The characters were also interesting. The Darkling had so many mysteries surrounding him. And Alina and Mal were also great.
With unexpected twists in the story this was an exciting novel and I'm eager to find out what happens next.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
A Great Start!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
We follow Alina, a young girl who was taken in by the Duke. She has no family. She finds a friend Mal, they are everything to each other. But he's great at everything and she's nothing special. All that changes when they have to cross the fold and her Grisha power is unleashed.

Things change fast for Alina. She's pulled away from the First Army by the Darkling (Swoon) and starts to uncover a dark plot.

This was a very fast, entertaining read. I enjoyed it so much! I read as fast as I could, just hoping to dig deeper into this world. I needed more about the Darkling. I'm in total love with him. I do think it's a bit overhyped so that's why I gave it four and a half stars. I expected more. I thought I was going to be blown away by this book and that didn't happen. I was blown away by the Darkling though! I really love him.

I can't really point out what I disliked, maybe it was how Alina was so drawn into herself. She's not a bad person but she thinks of herself so lowly. Like she's less than everyone else and I don't like that. It was sad to see but she did slowly start to change as the book went on and that was awesome. I love character development.

I don't really care for Mal. He's had years to confess and tell Alina how he feels and yet he's too busy sleeping with Zoya and not caring until Alina is taken from him. Dumb boy. He's too used to having her around that he took her for granted. I hope she doesn't get with him. I hope she's smarter than that.

I'm still wondering where the Darkling falls. Is he truly evil? Misunderstood? I must know! Honestly, I'll be reading the rest of this series just for him. Not even kidding. He's worth it.

The world building is top notch, I love the dark feel of this book. The side characters are wonderful as well. Overall, a quick, fun, and action packed book. If you've not read this series yet, pick it up! You'll love it!
Good Points
1) Sucks you in quickly

2) Fun and fast paced
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Wholly original and unputdownable
(Updated: September 14, 2016)
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
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!
Good Points
Check out my blog and other reviews here: www.thebookcorps.wordpress.com
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Book Review: Shadow and Bone
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE: http://theroundtheclockperuser.blogspot.com/2015/07/book-review-shadow-and-bone.html
Good Points
If I am going to be honest right from the get-go, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is one hell of a fantastic adventure. It follows the story of an orphan named Alina Starkov, who is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become one of the Darkling's apprentice. He takes her to the Little Palace to provide her some shelter as she trains her power to summon the Sun. But everything is not what Alina is led to believe . . .
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Amazing world
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Shadow and Bone review
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Wonderfully imaginative
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Hot dog!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Need to start the second book!
Good Points
That was really great, a new idea. Liked the characters, the plot.

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!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Unique
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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
Good Points
Everything
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Shadow and Bone: WOW
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
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.
Report this review Comments (1) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
24 results - showing 1 - 10
1 2 3