Read Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo Online


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 injuredSurrounded 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....

Title : Shadow and Bone
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780606319034
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 358 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Shadow and Bone Reviews

  • Nataliya
    2019-02-03 14:20

    The biggest issue with this book is actually NOT the utter fail at correctly incorporating the Russian elements into the story.It's that I'd never be able to pick this book out of a generic YA book lineup.It's like a ninja, perfectly blending into its surroundings, into that painfully generic landscape that plagues YA literature recently, the lackluster background against which few gems truly stand out. And gem this one is not.I think at this point there is a formula that many YA writers view as foolproof, and that's what we have got working here. First of all, the story has to be told in the first person by a young female protagonist.¹ And so here we have a teenage girl who thinks of herself as unremarkable and plain² but at least she has the three winning S's - she's smart and sarcastic and sassy!³¹ Why does it seem that almost every YA story nowadays features the first-person narrative by a teenage girl? Is that a new law?² We know she is plain because she has the ugliness-defining brown hair, a YA prerequisite for plainness. Also, she is too skinny, which apparently is a common YA flaw.Skinny brown-haired women, ladies and gentlemen. The ugliness is overpowering, right?³ Or, actually, that's what we're *supposed* to think. What she comes across is the OTHER S's: sullen, sulky and self-absorbed. She is also a bit stupid¹. Oh, and also specially-equipped-to-see-negatives-in-every-situation-including-perfectly-happy-times. Seriously, coming from poverty and harsh military life, she still finds the will to complain about a horrible horrible day in what amounts to the Dreamland of this kingdom because people were soooooo meeeeeeeeeaaaaaaan to her, woe!¹ Case in point for stupidity - you don't mouth off to the second most powerful person in the kingdom who you believe is capable of evil. You just don't. It does not come across as sassy but as stupid.Anyway, then she finds a super-special snowlake-unique power that apparently no one realized she had, and eventually becomes all pretty and desirable and stuff. And lands herself in a boarding school/king's court full of mean girls¹ and even has several makeovers! Along the way, she unexpectedly becomes a fighting badass! And then there are two hot boys² swooning over her! ¹ Why is it that most pretty girls in books like these always have to be evil to the plain-Jane protagonist? Why do women writing about women tend to vilify women? (Yes, I loved writing the word 'women' three times in that short sentence.) I know, I know, there is Genya who is nice, but all other pretty women are eeeeevillll or stupid.² Well, in all honesty, one of them could make centenarians look like children. (view spoiler)[And it does turn out that it's not just Alina's inner and outer beauty that turn him on but that he actually has an ulterior motive for pursuing her. Therefore this love triangle gets snuffed out rather quickly. But I do think that this ill-fated almost-romance/attraction will come into play in the sequels, however. (hide spoiler)]At some point, she inevitably makes a requisite decision about self-sacrifice for a noble cause, if needed. There are declarations of undying love. She also makes big and stupid decisions for the sake of loooooovvvvvvvveeeeeeeee.Sounds pretty generic, doesn't it? Yes, it does. But the attempt at drawing inspiration from Russian culture could have set it apart from the other generic stories for the largely Western-centric crowd.See, adding some Rusianness is supposed to make your story infinitely cooler, right?But alas, that did not happen. If not for occasionally thrown in exotic-sounding (to a Westerner) Russian names for people and objects (add a samovar to a story and occasionally call your king a tsar for your ethnic flavor!), you would really not be able to tell where this story is supposed to take place. I guess the real country where it's set is the faceless characterless dystopic YA-landia with the traditional settings, stock responses, and common conventions.============================But since I read this book for its butchered (and really inconsequential) Russianness¹, I will spend some more time discussing it. (Tatiana, by the way, has written an excellent review touching on this subject.)¹Speaking of getting so many Russian things wrong. Well, first of all, why do we even care? Well, the reasons are twofold and both stem from the fact that Russia is the biggest country on the planet, which means that:(a) It should be pretty easy to find information about its culture and language, including a native Russian speaker beta-reader, perhaps.(b) There are quite a few people in this world that will be easily able to spot out what you did wrong.Also, don't give me BS about the country of Ravka not being Russia but simply being inspired by it. Bullshit. You use Russian names and Russian words in your book - therefore I will assume that Russian is indeed the language you are using. End of story.The titular 'Grisha' is still what makes me cringe. Every. Single. Time. It is a diminutive of a Russian name Grigori, and roughly equivalent to English 'Greg'. Just imagine you reading a story where the elite yielding mysterious powers is collectively known as 'Mike' or 'Bob' or 'Billy'. Do I need to say more?..............................Grigori Rasputin. His mom probably called him Grisha.Since Alina is a woman, her last name should be a feminine version of Starkov. Basically, her last name is Starkova.¹¹My original thought that maybe in this world Russians just stopped distinguishing between feminine and masculine last names was proven wrong when there was a mention of the character who does possess a feminine name - Morozova². Therefore I must conclude that the distinction is preserved in Ravka.²Interestingly, the character with the feminine last name Morozova has a masculine first name - Ilya. So either this world is flip-flopped in that way, or Bardugo could not bring herself to do a simple google search of name Ilya to see where it was a boy or a girl. It is NEVER a female name, despite ending in a vowel (just like Nikita is only a male name, by the way). It's particularly annoying because a 10-second google search could have spared this mistake; no knowledge of Russian culture is even necessary here!'Otkazat'sya' really does NOT mean 'abandoned'. It means 'to refuse'. It's a verb and should not be used as a noun. A 5-second Google translate search gives me a better version than Bardugo came up with.KVAS. OH MY GOD, KVAS. Dear Alina, a boy who groped you while drunk on kvas does not have an excuse of drunkenness, after all. Kvas is a fermented drink containing less than 1% alcohol. You'd have to drink a barrel of it to be drunk, after which you'd be too busy peeing nonstop rather than groping girls. For crying out loud, my mom let me drink it when I was a toddler. Getting drunk on kvas is like suggesting that people get drunk on Seven-Up. Therefore comparing champagne and kvas is like comparing oranges to chalk or monkeys to cactus. Same kid after 10 years of kvas drinking. Dangerous drink, I say, dangerous!Now, there were good things about this book, too, don't get me wrong. It was a very easy read in a relatively decent prose. It flowed well (but so did Twilight, after all). The love triangle died in utero. There was an actual plot and not just lovesick gazing. The love interest was actually a rather decent guy who is not tortured by his dark past.But there was NOTHING about this story that allowed it to stand out even a little bit out of the uniform landscape of similar books. Nothing except the little frustrations with the misused Russian inspiration. I guess you'd like it if you're looking for another book that's "just like" a fantastical book with a young heroine and a love story that you read and loved. If you're looking for any originality, it's not there. Therefore I award it the lackluster 2 stars.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Sarah Maas
    2019-01-21 15:06

    I don't think words can properly describe how much I adored SHADOW & BONE. The characters, the completely blew me away. There were moments when I was so stunned by the beauty and the brilliance that I had to stop reading. I never wanted this book to end.This is the best YA fantasy novel I've read since SABRIEL or THE GOLDEN COMPASS.

  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)
    2019-02-03 20:06

    (3.5) I really enjoyed this and I'm definitely going to be continuing on with this trilogy, but I did have a few issues with it. While I was fascinated by the world, but at the same time, I didn't feel like the world was fleshed out enough. We don't really get much world building, you're just kind of thrown into the world, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but for me there were things that I needed to be explained more for me to be able to fully visualize the setting. I also just wasn't a huge fan of the main character Alina, and maybe I'll grow to like her in the next few books, but in this book she annoyed me. I did LOVE Leigh Bardugo's writing style. I found it to be very unique! I'll be doing a video review / discussion soon so look out for that!

  • Tatiana
    2019-02-14 20:06

    As seen on The Readventurer2.5 starsIt is alright, if you are into fantasy lite. I, on the other hand, am a little weary of this lightish, breezy and superficial entertainment. Give me something juicier, something more thoughtful, something more sophisticated.Shadow and Bone is a decent book. Bardugo's writing style is easy and engaging. The plot is developed enough to masquerade the fact that the biggest chunk of it is the usual boarding school fare with makeovers, mean girl drama, petty rivalries, balls and a bit of steamy(ish) romance with the hottest guy on the block. Bardugo even succeeds at creating an "exotic" backdrop for her story - an early 20th century Russia-inspired fantasy land of Rivka. Even with my issues concerning the accuracy of everything borrowed from Russian culture, I will still say that the author manages to create a very distinct atmosphere in her novel. And speaking of this atmosphere, Russian "flavor" if you will, Shadow and Bone is a rare book whose covers (both US and UK) reflect the novel's mood well, even though I find UK's tagline to be a bit misleading and melodramatic. This novel is not as romancey as the line "A dark heart. A pure soul. A love that will last forever" would imply.With that said, the reason I did not enjoy this book the way I had hoped I would is that it is just so uncomplicated and straight-forward. I have no usual complaints about Bardugo's characters and the plot. But they are familiar and well used and not very rich. These characters are simple, void of complex emotions and motivations. Same goes for the plot and conflicts. There is no complexity to them either. The conflicts are of good/evil variety. The plot is easily predictable. Twists? What twists? I do not think Shadow and Bone is a good fit for many adult readers, unless they are in a search for going-through-the-motions sort of story with a standard "kick-ass" protagonist (I am thinking Tris from Divergent or Ismae from Grave Mercy), and they do not expect to be challenged intellectually or emotionally.Now, to the part of my review that will reflect exclusively my personal problems with this book, which will not bother 99.9% of its potential readers.Shadow and Bone is, as I mentioned earlier, a Russia-inspired fantasy. I took pains to check out Leigh Bardugo's website, to see how exactly she addressed this inspiration. Here are her words: "Ravka and its language were heavily inspired by Russia, but with a few deliberate exceptions, the words and place names in Shadow & Bone are my own invention. My goal was to keep things simple and to make sure that Ravkan words still had resonance for readers. In short, I took a lot of liberties and I hope the purists won’t beat me about the head and shoulders."Sure, I do not want to be a language nazi or anything. I can skim over Russian-sounding made-up words, even though they linguistically do not make much sense. Not every writer can be like Catherynne M. Valente, who embraced Russianness so fully in her Deathless, that I had to do some research to find out if she was Russian herself (she is not). But is it too much to ask of an author to at least google the actual Russian words she does use in her work? I swear, it would only take 10 minutes to research the glaring mistakes I found.For instance, if you want to give your characters Russian names, it is not that hard to find out that men and women in Russia have different variations of the same last name? Let's take the book's main character, Alina Starkov. Starkov is a masculine version of the last name. Correctly, it should be Alina Starkova. In the same way, there is another character, whose name is Ilya Morozova. The problem with this name is that Ilya is actually a male name, while the last name has a female form. In the book, Ilya Morozova is a "she." If you google "Russian last names," this information comes up in the second or third link from the top. How much time would it take to do this research?Then there is a matter of "kvas," a beverage everyone seems to get drunk on in Shadow and Bone. In reality, you can not actually get drunk consuming it. This is a non-alcoholic beverage (well, almost, it occasionally has alcohol content up to 1%) which is given to children as well as adults, like, let's say, soda. Wiki this word, I am not lying. You want to write about alcohol, use "pivo" or "braga" or "samogon," if researching that is too hard, use "vodka."And, I swear, the last example (of many on my list). The name of this trilogy - The Grisha (in the book, the Grisha are magic wielding army). Grisha is actually a short form of the male name Grigori. Come on now, no better ideas, no better words to call your magicians other than this random personal name? Or "otkazat'sya," which in Bardugo's interpretation means "The Abandoned." In reality "otkazat'sya" is a verb which translates into "to refuse." That is why I am saying that even the words made up by the author make no sense, linguistically.To be sure, all these things will not bother anyone except select few, but I do not think it is too wrong to expect the author who builds her whole magical universe using Russian culture, to respect this culture enough to do a cursory google search, to give her work some appearance of credibility and care? This sloppy use of a foreign (my) culture affected my enjoyment of the novel. Shadow and Bone is not an isolated example of a lazy handling of Russian language and culture, and very often I feel very much compelled to offer authors, who choose to base their stories on Russia, my help, to at least check the spelling of the words. But then I see that they do not care to do the most basic of researches, so why should I care?To wrap this up, I do not recommend against reading Shadow and Bone. It is a light and engaging enough entertainment. In fact, after reading a few Goodreads reviews, it looks like many people found it to be utterly enchanting. I am glad they do. I, however, will not be back for more.

  • Steph Sinclair
    2019-02-04 21:22

    Check out the interview with Leigh Bardugo where she saves Kat Kennedy and I from Ninjas. True story. Also, there's a giveaway of a finished copy of Shadow and Bone!If I could wrap up my emotions about how I felt after reading Shadow and Bone and send them to you through my computer screen, I totally would. Instead, I'm afraid you'll have to settle for my words: THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING! I wish I could unread it just so I can go back and re-read it again for the first time.Yes, I loved it that much.Now I've come to the part where I am supposed to describe to you the awesomeness that is Shadow and Bone and I'm finding that rather difficult to do. Why is that? Is it because while reading a book you love your get so swept away with the story that you can't be bothered to take notes? Or perhaps it's the fact that you don't want to give away too much of the story? You want other potential readers to go into the book blind, expecting little and gaining everything the story has to offer? I suspect it is a little of both for me and with that, I offer my sincerest apologies if you do not find this review helpful. It is my hope, however, that my inability to do this book justice in my review speaks volumes in and of itself.Shadow and Bone follows the story of Alina Starkov, a remarkable young girl, who holds a power not even she realizes she has. All her life she's never fit in. Not in the orphanage where she grew up alongside her best friend, Mal, nor in the First Army where she serves as a mapmaker. In her world people of elite status with unique abilities, called Grisha, serve as nothing more than fanciful servants to the kingdom of Ravka.  One day, while protecting Mal, it is revealed that she too is Grisha with a very rare and sought after power: the ability to summon sunlight. She soon finds herself in a very different world filled with adventure, betrayal, and a sinister plot that could destroy all of Ravka.Within the first 10% of Shadow and Bone I knew that I would give it at least 4 stars. The book begins quickly immersing the reader into the kingdom of Ravka head on. Terms are thrown at the reader at a reasonable pace for a fantasy novel and for once I didn't immediately feel overwhelmed or the need to "play ketchup" with the characters. I can tell Bardugo employed the rule of "show, don't tell" and I believe she did it well. I found myself hanging on the edge of my seat waiting for more of the world to be revealed to me. There was never a dull moment reading Shadow and Bone; no downtime for me to catch my breath. And I loved every minute of it!I thought the plot was very well done and I got so caught up in the story that the plot twists just blew me away. I was so engrossed that by the time the climax hit I felt an intake of breath and couldn't tear myself away from the book for the duration of the read!Oh. My. God. NOooooooo!And the characters.... ahhhhh, the characters! I loved them all to pieces! Alina is naive, candid, and feeble in the beginning, but she grows so much throughout the novel. (Yes, Yes! I know! Character development! It really does still exist in YA novels!) Does she make mistakes? Absolutely! But she realizes them and she strives to be better. I can see there is a lot of conflict in her character to come in the next two novels in the series and I am VERY eager to see how that is handled. I also loved the Darkling. I can't really say much about him because I am NOT giving away any spoilers in this review--not even in a spoiler tag because I know how some of you are!-- but he was awesome! Just the right amount of intrigue and mystery. And Mal. *sigh* Oh, Mal. Let's just say he is another love interest we can add to our swoon worthy list right next to Tucker Avery. ;)"I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I'd catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason , just out of habit, because I'd seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I'd realize that you weren't there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I've risked my life for you. I've walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I'd do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don't tell me why we don't belong together," he said fiercely.I think it goes without saying I loved the writing. The descriptions were vivid, easy to visualize and thankfully, not overdone (I'm really hoping there will be a map in the finished copy. Please tell me there's a map waiting for me!). The book is told through Alina's PoV, so we get a first hand account of the happenings. And boy are there some happenings! I'll tell you one thing, Bardugo can write a kissing scene... well. And the romance? Man, I just loved the romance. It was so sweet and by the end it just tore at my heart!The moment our lips met, I knew with pure and piercing certainty that I would have waited for him forever.*sigh*This book. I just love it!I'm really not sure what else to say about Shadow and Bone besides the obvious: it was awesome and you should read it. If you are a fantasy lover, rejoice! If fantasy isn't your thing, still rejoice! Because this is a book that is sure to take you and your heart on a wild adventure this summer.EDIT: I've been informed that there will be a map included drawn by Keith Thompson! Click here to check it out!ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. As always, this review expresses my honest opinion of the book. No gifts or monetary funds were exchanged for a review. For more reviews like this one be sure to check out Cuddlebuggery Book Blog!

  • Kat Kennedy
    2019-02-12 16:15

    Damn you, Leigh Barduga. Damn you for tricking me.Leigh Barduga is like some kind of literary crouching tiger, hidden dragon or something.You would be forgiven, upon commencing this novel, for thinking Shadow and Bone is redundant, cliched piece of tripe book with poor story-telling, average writing and a predictable plot. People who haven't read countless Young Adult novels probably wouldn't notice the trends, but I did. This is what I thought and Leigh led me down the primrose path until... BOOM!Game change. Glorious, glorious game change. Black is white, up is down, you are not secretly attracted to me. EVERYTHING CHANGES.Kaching. Lights on. Real show begins and we hope you enjoyed that prelude. Also, while you weren't looking, we falcon-punched your ovaries.The themes of Shadow and Bone center around power, and the struggle for it. What does it mean? What is it worth? What do you do with it? Also, there's love and romancey stuff for those who care for such things - and who have a functioning heart.More importantly, for me, was the violence, court intrigue and sexy times of which make up some part of this novel. These aspects were definitely there but they were flirted with. I would have liked more of these and a little less of the boarding-house shenanigans and bitchy-mean girl drama. It was outside these factors that I loved the novel.It's strengths definitely rely on its characters and powerful storyline because the actual narration and writing tended toward the telling as opposed to showing side.For example: Alexei's fingers slipped on the railing. I lunged forward and grabbed his arm. "Hold on!" I cried. Then the flame vanished, and in the darkness I felt Alexei's fingers pulled from mine. "Alexei!" I shouted. His screams faded into the sounds of battle as the volca carried him into the dark. Another burst of flame lit the sky, but he was gone.Still, I'm wondering if maybe the things I loved most about Shadow and Bone will be carried on in the next novel. To the very last page I loved the Darkling - not because he was sexy - but for the dark, rawness of his character. The dynamic it played with Alina in how she saw herself. Identity, concepts of misplaced idealism. Lust, love, ownership vs freely given love. It was all there amidst a world-building that was surprisingly lite for this caliber of novel - yet hinted at so much more.Overall, a great read and I look forward to the next book where Leigh will probably rip out my still-beating heart and feed it to a raging bear while I applaud in amazement. Or, you know, something synonymous.

  • Rick Riordan
    2019-02-10 18:19

    So many YA fantasy romances out there these days. You would think it would be hard to put a fresh spin on the concept, but Leigh Bardugo makes it look easy. Her debut Shadow and Bone takes Russian folklore and mythology and creates an alternate tsarist Russia (Ravka) where magic and military might coexist uneasily. Imagine a cross between Cashore's Graceling and Westerfeld's Leviathan . . . and yet Shadow and Bone is unique.Our main characters, Alina and Mal, grow up as orphans at the estate of a kindly duke, until the time comes for them to serve their country. Both are tested by the Grisha, an ancient and powerful order of magicians, but neither show aptitude, so Mal becomes an accomplished military tracker, while Alina studies as an army cartographer and has nothing to look forward to but a mundane existence. Homely and scrawny, Alina watches as her dashing, handsome best friend Mal, whom she secretly loves, gets attention from all the girls.Their lives change when their regiment is ordered across the Shadow Fold, a deadly rift of darkness that cuts Ravka in two, separating the eastern capital from its ports in West Ravka. When the caravan is attacked by gargoyle-like monsters called volcra, Alina discovers powers she didn't know she had. Immediately, she becomes the most important person in the kingdom, the target of enemy assassins, and is whisked away to the palace of the Darkling, the head of the Grisha and right hand of the king, to learn the ways of magic. Alina might hold the secret to destroying the Shadow Fold and saving Ravka, but only if she survives her enemies -- some from other countries, some from within the kingdom itself.Shadow and Bone works on every level. It's a believable and poignant romance. It's a great mystery in which the villains and heroes are not at all who they seem. It's a first-rate adventure. Maybe I was especially drawn to this book because I got to visit Russia last summer and can easily imagine the Grisha slipping through the corridors of the Winter Palace, but I suspect this book will appeal to many readers even if they have no knowledge of Russian history. I'll be anxiously waiting for the second book in the series!

  • Val ⚓️ ShamelessBitchySKANKY ⚓️ Steamy Reads
    2019-02-19 19:35

    4 StarsSo confession:I originally snagged this book after waiting so long to read it, because I was able to snag it on sale for $1.99 on amazon kindle. Halfway through reading it, I realized I was really enjoying it... And I knew I would want to read the rest of the series...And then I saw how pretty the covers were...AND they were cheaper than the kindle versions at the time of this review. So, of course, I bought the last two books in the physical. And of course, God forbid I have an unfinished set. Geez.So much for saving money. Nice work, Val. Anynonsense, this book has been reviewed at length, so I'll keep this brief. This was for me what I though the first Court book would be. Meaning that it read fast and the story kept me entertained. I was never bored and things never felt tedious. Everything flowed and I was interested cover to cover. I say interested - and not enthralled, mind you, thus why four and not five stars. Also, I could have done with some stronger world building to start.I have nothing else to add that thousands of other reviewers I'm sure mentioned, so I'll stop here. I really like Bardugo's writing style and look forward to book two.

  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
    2019-02-11 19:24

    I went into this book with pretty low expectations. Everyone seemed to not love it and I wanted to read it just so I could get to the Six of Crows duology. Well turns out I really liked it!Not a fan of the romance/love triangle ish but the world is interesting and the magic system is awesome!Will definitely continue!

  • Emily May
    2019-02-17 15:34

    Please note: this is not really a review. In fact, this may be my most useless non-review to date (there have been a few) and is actually better described as a random mish-mash of my thoughts and feelings on this book. "Aren't all your reviews like that, Emily?" I hear you cry, but alas, the random incoherentness is somewhat even more pronounced in this one.You know, I've wondered ever since Shadow and Bone was released last year whether I would fall into the camp of gushing, never-ending love for it... or find myself sat sipping kvas with the other sceptics and laughing over the preposterous idea that we could ever get drunk on it. I was prepared for it to go either way. However, I find myself uselessly sitting somewhere in the middle, lonesomely twiddling my thumbs and pondering all the different things I liked but didn't love and disliked but didn't hate. How very annoying of me. I'm sat here going through my mental list of the book's faults whilst simultaneously trying to figure out what organs and/or limbs I can get away with exchanging for an ARC of Siege and Storm. I mean, I didn't like Alina that much. She was okay. She was fine. But you know something is wrong when the heroine is merely "okay" and "fine". I found her a touch (a touch too much) on the wimpy side for my liking, she was too eager to play the damsel in distress on multiple occasions but I've heard she gets better in the sequel. Let's hope so. Admittedly, I only decided to read this now because of the hype surrounding the sequel so I have my fingers crossed that Siege and Storm can rid us of the problems I have with this series.Especially the fact that this is quite a poor excuse for fantasy. Limited world-building, light fantasy-style background which is heavily diluted by romance, mean girls, bitchiness and seemingly useless tidbits of information about noble life. This is like the chick-lit, high school version of fantasy, filled with characters who are supposedly hardcore warriors but spend much of the novel keeping their hardcore warrior hands disappointingly clean. The roughest, most gruesome bit of this story is perhaps when a poor stag gets murdered. Which is really just depressing all round. Thankfully, though, the novel's large amount of tame scenes did provide me with some entertainment and a few laughs. There is a certain base addictive quality to Bardugo's writing that makes it incredibly easy to digest and even necessary to read on.Another negative - sorry - is the rather silly obsession with looks in the novel. For one, I couldn't give a damn about the various vanities of the Grisha women; for another, it annoyed me how Alina seemed to equate her worth with her looks from the very beginning. She denies her power can possibly exist because she isn't a luminous ball of hotness like the others. But, as with good old plain Bella Swan, everyone falls in love with her anyway. To be honest, that is an unfair comparison because Alina - even with her faults - is a far more interesting character than Bella. But still, get a grip on yourself. And douse yourself with some badassery so you can stop being such a wimp because so far this world is looking awfully like the disappointing one of Grave Mercy.Also - is there a love triangle here? I'm not even certain what's happening. I kinda hope there is. Ha, bet you weren't expecting that! But, you know, Darkling is really quite a sexy word, don't you think? And maybe Ms Bardugo hasn't got the whole fantasy thing down in this book but she sure knows exactly what she's doing with his characterisation. He's dangerous, he's sexy, he likes to make out with you in secret rooms, he's arrogant with a little side order of hidden feelings to kick you right in the ovaries and the heart at the same time. I suppose Mal is the safer and more sensible option and the one I'd be telling Alina to go for if this was the real world and she was a friend of mine. But - yay! - this isn't the real world and the complexity of the Darkling attracts me. The way I feel about him is similar to how I felt about Ido in Eona but hopefully this won't have a similar conclusion.Thank you if you actually read my non-review. If anyone knows how I can acquire an ARC of the sequel, please tell me and I shall be forever grateful.

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    2019-01-29 16:06

    Am I going to be crucified if I admit I may love this more than the Six of Crows duology? I think this may be due to the fact that I should have listened to everyone and started with these first. I was so confused initially in SoC that it took a lot longer than it should have for me to get sucked in. So far the grisha trilogy feels darker and more serious than SoC as well. I'm really liking Alina more than I have liked other female leads of recent and was pleased this book didn't end with her being the weeping willow I've grown tired of. Don't hate me, but I still <3 THE DARKLING . Beard of Moses. All the heart eyes. I may have to just binge the rest of the series because I just gotta know what happens before I start searching for spoilers. Really glad I have Kainat and Bentley to hold my hand through these tough times y'all. I apologize for waiting so long to read these and not listening to the masses. *******************************Buddy Read with the fabulous Bentley<3

  • LolaReviewer
    2019-02-12 20:28

    I loved it from page one. One incredible journey.I’m going to tell you guys something: My first ever read in English was Throne of Glass and that was last September. I thought, with my knowledge of the English language (at that time) that picking a 400 page book up as a first read in English was going to work out well for me. ‘‘Piece of cake,’’ was what I told myself.Well, not exactly…I struggled with that book because of how the writing was, in my opinion, complex and all those new terms that I’ve never seen or heard of before. I literally had a dictionary next to me and searched through it one or two times per new page turned. So, yeah, I did not have a great experience even if I ended up enjoyed the book. It in fact took me three weeks to read it when, you all know, I now finish a book in 1, 2 or 3 days—exceptions apply. I was reading so slowly. SO slowly.The point is... I did know about Shadow and Bone at that time as well but was very afraid of not rightly comprehending the world-building since it seemed to me very complex, just by reading the blurb. Yesterday, though, I finally felt like starting it, even if in my interior I was wondering if I was truly ready and going to understand it well.Turns out I didn’t have to worry and knowing that I imporved my English so much in only a year makes me so happy. But, also, Leigh Bardugo did a great job introducing it to us along with its elements and I hope she will surprise us with many other new things related to the world-building in the sequels because it is amazing. AMAZING.Alina is the kind of main character I love reading about in a fantasy book. Yes, she could have been more fierce, strong and clever, but was is wonderful still and her vulnerable part actually made me connect with her and relate to her more than I usually do with main characters. I enjoyed seeing her character development and, when she felt sad, I surprisingly felt her feelings too. That’s how much I sympathized and was invested in her story.Mal…he is charming and I couldn’t resist him. The kind of relationship he and Alina have is unique and true and definitely beautiful.‘‘Just you and me,’’ Mal said.‘‘Really?’’‘‘It’s always just you and me, Alina.’’They were meant for each other.Although, as much as I may have loved Mal, I did have a perference for the mysterious and dangerous Darkling.He did not turn out to be as lethal as I would have liked...but he is a fantastic villain still and I am dying to read more about him in the sequels.The writing was excellent and I'm definitely applauding the author in my mind. She is one talented author of whom I will read every work, that is for sure.Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on it? If you haven't, then, believe me, it is one you will want to read. The fantasy fan in you, if this applies to you, will find himself/herself in admiration with this unique world and well-developped characters.Art source.

  • Katerina
    2019-01-24 18:34

    You're gonna question your moral compass, and you're gonna be happy about it.

  • Steph Su
    2019-02-03 20:32

    People have been throwing 4 and 5 stars at this book left and right, and I wonder what I missed. I was prepared to give this book 2 stars, maybe even 3 if I was feeling generous on the day I wrote the review, but as I pushed myself through the first half of this book, I encountered increasingly more things that irritated me, until the one that pushed me over the edge and convinced me that I’d be okay with not ever finishing SHADOW AND BONE.It started out strong: atmospheric and engrossing. Past the prologue, however, when the book switches into first-person narration, it was downhill for me. I simply could not get behind Alina as the narrator. Instead of a strong and self-reliant young woman, we get a clueless and un-self-confident weakling who enters “damsel in distress” mode the second things start going crazy, never mind the unique abilities she supposedly possesses. She’s in the habit of saying things along the lines of “But I can’t possibly be special!” every time anyone tries to talk to her about her abilities. Even better is her reasoning behind why she can’t be special: because the grisha—of whom she is now one—are all beautiful women, and she is plain.Really, now?SHADOW AND BONE’s strange obsession with the significance of beauty continues as Alina enters court and promptly receives a magical makeover. This is a very important step to her character development, peoples! Right. Alina’s closest confidante at court is this magical makeover artist who—obviously—is the most beautiful woman ever, and—obviously—is hated by nearly everyone at court.If that doesn’t make me roll my eyes enough, there’s the additional grievance that Bardugo apparently underestimates the intelligence of her YA audience. There are constantly “telling” statements when characters, locations, and/or events are introduced that forcibly “guide” readers into thinking a certain way about that character, location, and/or event. For instance:The Grisha seemed obsessed with emulating serf ways, right down to the clothes we wore beneath our kefta. But there was something a little silly about eating “hearty peasant fare” off porcelain plates, beneath a dome inlaid with real gold. And what peasant wouldn’t pick pastry over pickled fish? The Little Palace was a storybook version of serf life, no more like the real Ravka than the glitter and gilt of the royal court.Wouldn’t it be better to, I don’t know, show this gradually through depictions of court vs. common life, instead of dumping this theme on us within a few pages of introducing us to the court?And when the queen is introduced:The Queen was beautiful, with smooth blond hair in a perfect coiffure, her delicate features cold and lovely. But there was also something a little odd about her face. Her irises seemed a little too blue, her hair too yellow, her skin too smooth. I wondered just how much work Genya had done on her.On the magical makeup artist’s crush on a regular guy:Genya’s voice was light, but it had a funny little edge to it, and when I glanced at her, I saw that there were bright spots of color on her perfect cheekbones. I looked back through the windows to where I could still see David’s bony shoulders and messy brown hair. I smiled. If a creature as gorgeous as Genya could fall for a skinny, studious Fabrikator, there might be hope for me yet.That passage would’ve been so much stronger without that last sentence, which is not only over-the-top obvious, but also, once again, unnecessarily and annoyingly, brings up Alina’s lack of self-confidence.And so on and so forth. The Inner Editor in me was busy slashing out entire pages of words and mentally ordering the author to rewrite nearly everything.Other reviewers do a much better job of talking about SHADOW AND BONE’s lack of research into Russian culture. My knowledge of Russian culture and history is woefully lacking, so I’ll let them talk about that. But I will mention the thing that got me so mad that when I read it, I actually screamed out loud and immediately turned off the Kindle, knowing that this book had no more chances of getting me to read onwards.Writing a “Russian-flavored” fantasy with hardly any research into Russian culture is bad enough—but then there was the TRULY AWFUL use of Asian stereotypes that had me fuming.Our instructor, Botkin Yul-Erdene, wasn’t Grisha; he was a former Shu Han mercenary who had fought in wars on every continent for any army that could afford his particular gift for violence.Shu Han is clearly the SHADOW AND BONE-world equivalent of the Chinese race, taking its name from the ancient Han Dynasty, but with the unfortunate connection to the stereotype of hulking, dangerous-looking, surly, war-happy Asian soldiers-for-hire. (In pop culture, you can see this stereotype in the Disney movie Mulan, where they are known as Huns, which is another name for the Xiongnu, a nomadic military-centric tribe located in present-day Mongolia and coexisting—not necessarily peaceably—with the Han Dynasty. And this is all stuff you can glean off of Wikipedia, which makes it entirely inadequate for academic essays and fictions claiming to draw their influences from real-world histories and cultures.)“Is this what they teach in First Army?” he sneered in his heavy Shu accent as I stumbled up a hill...“Block!” he shouted, knocking me backward. “Faster! Maybe little girl likes to be hit?”...But before we were out the door, [Botkin] called, “Tomorrow, little girl comes early, trains with Botkin.”Why, for the love of any religion’s god(s), must Botkin sound like a campy version of an Asian instructor who would appear in movies the likes of The Karate Kid??!!??!!That was it. I was done. I’m fine with authors reimagining ancient or contemporary cultures into similar cultures in their speculative fiction. But when all evidence points to research that extends no further than cursorily watching the type of bad kung fu or propagandist Cold War-era movies that are the staples of fratty college sports teams’ bus entertainment (and I make this comparison from experience), I reserve the right to be pissed off and not finish reading your travesty of a misappropriation of rich cultures and condemn your perpetuation of hurtful stereotypes.The only thing that tempted to read onwards is more mention of the Darkling, he of the tall, silent, and powerful. But he’s kind of a YA trope as well, and ultimately, my unfounded crush on the mysterious man was not enough to overcome my frustration with the elementary writing no-nos peppering the book. Feel free to give this a try if it intrigues you, but know what you’re getting yourself into.

  • Bentley ★
    2019-02-14 21:25

    See this review and more on!Leigh Bardugo, you glorious, talented woman, you've done it again!Six of Crows captured my heart when I read it back at the end of January, yet this book took any established expectations I had and blew them out of the water! I know it's kind of a weird opinion, but I ended up enjoying this slightly more than SoC. I do think this is entirely my fault, as I'm now convinced that I should have read this series first! If you're wondering where to start, do yourself a favor and start here.There is so much worldbuilding in this book that give a lot of events and characters in SoC context that I struggled to figure out for myself when I was reading that book. While SoC definitely feels more ambitious than this one in terms of the scope of the story, this book became more compelling for me personally because of the way the world is introduced, the characters and plotting.The setting and magic system are both crazy good here. This is the perfect introduction to Ravka, and to the way the whole Grisha society works. Alina is such a great foil for the audience to experience the world through. As she becomes acquainted with things outside her realm of understanding, so too does the reader. It's not confusing or over simplified either, it's just casually injected into nearly every moment of the story; it all serves a purpose. Plus, I loved the gorgeous Russian vibes in this book, just as much as I did in SoC.Speaking of Alina, can I just take this moment to point out how much I liked her? I really enjoyed that while she was powerful and those powers were very necessary to the plot, Leigh Bardugo makes the conscious choice to have those powers be entirely passive. She can't cause harm with them, and can't defend herself from harm, and yet she's pivitol to events because of them. It allowed for the suspense to ramp up quite nicely, having a magically imbibed character in YA not be a total mary sue for once. As great as Alina was, the Darkling was 10x better and definitely my favorite character in the story. This is a character with depth, who believes in his motivations fully and with conviction. I understood him, and related to him and in some strange ways even rooted for him. Also, as I said to Chelsea during our buddy read, it definitely felt like the Darkling was written with a heavy sexual subtext. It's never erotic, and in fact I think many teens would completely miss it, but it's present in every conversation he has with Alina and it makes this series a joy to read now, as an adult. Lastly, the plotting itself is phenomenal. This is a real hero's journey from start to finish. I was glad that Bardugo didn't spend an outrageous amount of time showing us Alina's training. Rather, she skips ahead in order to really get to the good stuff. It allowed Alina to do her natural growth in power off-screen, without boring the readers, which I appreciated. One pet peeve I have with a lot of YA stories pertaining to magic is that they get bogged down in trying to prove their character isn't a Mary Sue by making them suffer and stink at training for the entire book, neglecting the plot. That isn't the case here, as Bardugo briefly has Alina stuggle, but quickly moves her on so she can stuggle with actual plot points, rather than mindnumbing training. I'm so excited to see where the story goes next! Onwards to book 2!🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 = a new favorite for me!____________________Let the buddy-read begin⚜ Chelsea HumphreyI am SO excited to be jumping back into the world of the Grisha before reading Crooked Kingdom later this year. <3

  • Christine Delilah (Maramochabooks)
    2019-02-16 20:27

    The Darkling: The Art of Seduction "Fine, make me your villain" @ the Darkling:Plot Rundown:Girl is a special snowflake and she never knew. Accidentally uses her power.Deny, deny, deny. In comes hot stuff, The Darkling and the MC is all:MC crying over childhood crush who wont reply to her letters. "I'm not powerful"*insert unneeded jealous mean girl*More MC brooding."You got it wrong""Why bother"*dramatic "I have no one" moment*And then:*Kissing*MC mooning over guy like:**PLOT TWIST** It's no secret I like villains and anti-heroes, but that doesn't mean I hate the "good guys". I do though, want even my heroines to have some confidence and not rely on others. Is that too much of a demand? Alina seemed too preoccupied with her feelings rather than looking at the bigger picture. Even in the end, she waited till the last minute to truly see things. The Darkling seemed like the most intriguing and complex character here. As I didn't feel connected or interested in the MC, I did in him. Everything he said was engraved with a deeper meaning or reason. It was interesting trying to figure out his next move and the way he worked. As for the MC, her move was always to, either A:brood, brood, brood.Or B: Wait for someone to command her. I feel like the ending could of been more climactic for her character development. We could have gotten a great "I am stronger" quote.Let's move on to Mal:Okay, I didn't have a problem with him. For some reason I feel like he's just another one of those characters used for the "we're different people now" trope, in which the MC moves on to find her actual love.At times his character got me smiling, but then he'd spout stuff like:"I came to save you because you saved me"Sure is nice that the reason you wanted to save your best friend since childhood, is because you "owe" them. "I'm sorry it took me so long to see you Alina, but I see you now."Maybe I just can't find that touching, but rather convenient. Or maybe, I'm an awful person who doesn't understand romance. Then there was Genya:Eh, she was okay. Towards the ending, I surely didn't like her. I understand why she followed along, but the friendship just seemed wrong after the turning point. Her entire character seemed twisted from the woman we knew.(had to find a Loki gif in reference to the Loki comments)I liked Genya originally because she didn't care about fitting in, but suddenly that was the only thing that mattered.Alright, now back to The DarklingFirst of all, this song is perfect for him: Arsonist's Lullabye - Hozier I loved what was done with his character: No excuses and no trying to explain himself. He just took it, and let people believe what they wanted to. The big question everyone is asking is: Does he actually care for Alina?See, I don't think he didn't feel anything for her. (view spoiler)[Of course he wanted to use her, but there was definitely desire on his part. Maybe a desire for someone to be his equal, to have the same motives, or to understand him. (hide spoiler)] Whatever it was, there's definitely something complex there. Do I ship them?It wouldn't work, due to the two characters being on different stands. Yes they might have some fluffy moments in the future, but I doubt it can progress to something more. He can't even pull a Warner on us. Maybe he could pull the "I never thought I would care you" smut, that's as far as I see any (view spoiler)[redemption (hide spoiler)] going. My big question is: What was the point of the mean girl?Are you just there to be there? Must we always have a Regina George. There's one thing I'm still curious about:The Princes. We aren't told there's two princes, with one mysterious one roaming around, only to not ever learn more about them. I refuse to believe that.*google searches to make sure theory is correct*THERE YOU ARE (view spoiler)[NIKOLAI! (hide spoiler)]If that was supposed to be a big reveal...Overall thoughts:Cool house colours! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • 2019-02-19 17:09

    HA! Just kidding. This isn't your fifth-grade English paper, darling.You don’t get points for trying.See, to me, YA is like the BIG LEAGUES when it comes to book genres.In YA… you have to be able to tell a story. And you have to do it really well. Because in this genre, you can’t rely on those really steamy sex scenes or hot business moguls with BDSM skeletons in their closet to carry your series. And you can’t use an infinite amount of those really pretty curse words to get your point across. ♦~ You. Have. To. Be. Able. To. Tell. A. Story. ~♦So! That being said!My reaction to Miss Leigh Bardugo:You have to be the best of the best to pull off this genre, sweetheart. And you're not.

  • ~Poppy~
    2019-02-01 16:07

    “I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I'd catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I'd seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I'd realize that you weren't there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I've risked my life for you. I've walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I'd do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don't tell me why we don't belong together," he said fiercely.”“The problem with wanting," he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, "is that it makes us weak.”I really liked this book!! What the hell happened? I feel so stupid I did not see that coming!!So, Alina and Mal grew up together in an orphanage at first and then they both join the military. Alina is in love with Mal but he has no clue. One day, Alina and the other soldiers cross the Shadow Fold, a place that is hunted by volcra(a monster who kill people) they get attacked and Mal was almost killed. Before, they get attacked again, Alina use her powers to save Mal's life (powers she didn't know she had). Because of these powers Alina was taken away by the Darkling(a mysterious and handsome man) to train as a Grisha.So, the important question is:Mal or the Darkling?(view spoiler)[Guess what? I don't have that answer!! We have a love triangle and I can't decide who I prefer! I have no team yet!1) At first, when we saw the Darkling and he took away Alina I hated him because she didn't choose this. But, the more he talked to Alina , the more I liked him. And when he kissed her, I was like I almost loved him.... but no no no he fucking use her!!His plan was to use Alina's powers to drive off the volcra in the Fold so that he could use his own powers to expand it and take over all the lands. I don't know if his feelings for her are real. I don't know anything.I feel betrayed. I gave my hopes up and now I don't know what I think. He wanted her because deep down he had feelings for her? Or he was more attracted to her power? All I know is that the man who I (almost) loved he is the villain in the book and he betrayed Alina! Ohh. I almost forgot. He wanted to wear a collar to Alina's neck to control her.Wtf?2)Mal....I liked Mal, but I didn't love him. Mal cares deeply about Alina.He loves her. We didn't see Mal a lot but what I saw was good. When he learnt that Alina was on the run, he tracked her, and he helped her to find the stag. He have done everything to help her. So, I am not team Mal yet but I think that I will be. We will see..“I don't care if you danced naked on the roof of the Little Palace with him. I love you, Alina, even the part of you that loved him.” 3)I loved Baghra!! Even though she is the mother of the Darkling, she also helped Alina escape so...4)I liked the ending!! I am so excited about the Siege and Storm!! I want to see more of Mal and I also want to see more of the Darkling. I am willing to forgive him if he has a good reason.I don't know. So yeah, I am undecided, don't judge me!5)OMG! I saw some reviews and the majority hated Mal... I don't understand it! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Dorreh
    2019-02-06 14:23

    Im IMPRESSED, is what i am!!!!!! I've had this book sitting on my book shelf for ages now, and just hadn't had the time to pick it up. after seeing all the fuss over Leigh Bardugo's new book, (which i also have idly sitting on my shelf), i decided i should read shadow and bone, and as mentioned previously, I'm impressed! This is an instant YA attraction. It's a typical fantasy YA with just enough action, the perfect romance, dancing around a fast paced plot and smooth eloquent writing. The characters are easily depict-able, and their roles are immediately introduced. The book wastes no time getting to the point, and although that is a risky path in fantasy, this boldness only added fever to the book. It took me exactly 4 and a half hours to read this, and not a single second in this consecutive reading did i feel even slightly bored. The book plays with excitement the way a child would with a new toy, cautiously at first and then a reckless swan dive all at once. I particularly enjoyed that little detail. Moving on to the characters; the main character, Alina, is really any other YA female protagonist with hidden talent, and a role to fulfill, but that is not all in all, in any way bad. I think given the way the YA genre works, with all the diversity, at some point at least one character will resemble another from a different story. However; it is adamant, that the simple and minor details shaping her main character create a sense of uniqueness, a sort of trademark to her writing. I believe the naivety of Alina expressed so honestly and openly got my attention, the simple reality of an insecure girls desire to fit in and be wanted, if not necessarily loved. The world created around her has its flaws, but i think perhaps its the perfect imperfections that make this world desirable. The way the world revolves and builds, and then simply unravels once again, it made me feel as if i were living in this alternate reality.The book had incredibly good pace, and it was truly action riddles. The descriptions of opulence and grandeur, and likewise destruction and chaos were vivid, yet not excessively detailed. i felt like the book prodded and pushed your imagination but didn't try to override it, something i truly appreciated.i just have an inexplicable pull towards all things dark and evil, and then right there in the middle a beacon of light coming to the rescue. I love Mal, and will continue to do so for eternity, because every powerful and troubled heroine needs to be an emotional damsel every once in a while, and who better than the handsome boy who you've been secretly in love with for the past couple of years. I feel however, there is more to the darkling, and i hope we get to see the different side as the book progresses.Cant wait to read the next book!!!!!

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    2019-01-30 21:07

    There was only one part in the book I didn't care for and took a star off so there you go. The rest of the book was pretty good. I enjoyed the characters and the different story lines. It seemed like it ended too soon or maybe I have been reading too many BIG books lately. Alina and Mal had been orphans together for years until it was time for them to do their own thing. But, there is a secret about Alina and she goes from ordinary to extra-ordinary in the blink of an eye. < -- blink of an eye in more ways than one, and no, I didn't have that planned. And you will only understand what I'm talking about if you have read the book and know what Alina is. Mal is one of the best trackers around and Alina ends up saving him and that's how they find out what she is and wow, just wow. Then she gets carted off. Anyway, Mal and Alina get separated because she's beyond special now and goes to live with the other special people with the king. The king is an idiot by the way. The Darkling was pretty hot and wanting to keep Alina all to himself and I loved him until he made me mad so there goes that. I loved Genya. I hated how she was treated at the castle by the others but she was my favorite character after the Darkling. Genya and Alina together were so funny and had such a good time. Alina has to undergo training and I loved old Baghra that she trained with using her special magic. Of course, it took a little bit for Alina to get her magic to work on it's own but she figured some things out and it was all go. It was one of those revelations moments. THEN, we find out some people are up to no good, or are they? I mean I don't know, sometimes things get twisted around and you find out something else in another book. Anyway, in this book some people are up to no good and Alina has to flee and ends up with Mal and then they get caught and some stuff goes down and then they are fleeing again. It's all pretty vague right? Well, read the book. You know you probably have it sitting around forever like I did, so get it out. Like I said I enjoyed it enough accept for one part and I'm hoping to love the next two books!MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

  • destiny ☠ howling libraries
    2019-02-11 16:25

    4 stars! (Though, let's be honest, Mal alone almost made this a 0.25/5 star rating, because screw Mal.) Let me start off by saying that I enjoyed this book and am really excited to start the next title, especially because many people have told me that Bardugo's books get even better as you get further in. That said, here's why I didn't give it a 5 stars like I initially thought I would: I wasn't crazy about the big "twist" regarding a few characters towards the end of the book, and I will admit that it took a couple of chapters for me to get attached to it, just because there are so many non-English terms that felt a little similar to one another and I had a hard time keeping them straightened out at first. I also struggled to connect emotionally with any of the characters aside from Genya, so I couldn't bring myself to feel much emotion while reading this one.That said, I did like the idea of the story and had a hard time putting it down. I felt like it was a really fast read, so I would definitely recommend it to anyone who's hesitant to commit to a fantasy YA series. Truthfully, I think I would've given this 5 stars if I hadn't read so many books that I was absolutely euphoric over lately (book hangover, anyone?). If the series gets better like I'm told, I've no doubt that Book #2 in the Grisha trilogy will get a 5-star review from me.

  • Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
    2019-02-08 19:16

    **Update 5/14/16... I feel like my original review just needed to say more about my heart for this book... so I'm rewriting this review. If I could give this series 6 stars.. or 7... or 8.... I would. One of my ALL time favorite series. I get so sad when I see people totally skipping this to go to Six of Crows (which I loved, don't get me wrong.) True, it isn't for everyone.. but my gosh it is a work of art. I love everything about this series. (Ps... I'll say it again, but I HIGHLY recommend the audiobooks for enhanced experience.)For those of you who would like to take the Darkling with you in the car on the way to work in the mornings, or for those of you who want to get a feel for the legit badassery that is this series.. here's aSpotify PLAYLIST!!;) ;)So let me try to put my love for this book into a few categories. Overall Plot + ThemeAlright. I don't want to go over the details of the plot in this review -- because I went into this not knowing one darn thing about it so every single page was a surprise for me! What I will say is this... this book will be a wild ride in a dark fairytale-esque world with unpredictable characters. There is action, magic, romance, intrigue.. and really.. what more could you want from a series? I was absolutely 100% entranced with every page that I read... and that feeling continued with the second and third book.But I will say this... just when I thought I knew what was going on... just when I thought I was safe... well, Leigh Bardugo, you got me.THAT PLOT TWIST THO....AND MY FEELINGS AFTER THAT....I found myself jumping out of my bed screaming.. LITERALLY screaming... "Run Alina run!!!" or "Give in Alina, just give in!" The World-buildingIf I could get stuck in any world from any book- this would be the one. It is vivid, dark, magical, and completely entrancing.Here's the thing. I've read a lot of negative reviews basing their reasons on the fact that Leigh Bardugo didn't make a convincing Russian world... but my opinion is that his is her world- not actual Russia- she can do whatever she wants! Sure it has Russian inspiration, but it is clearly its own place. Maybe if you are really attached to the Russian language, it would bother you... but my opinion is to leave preconceived notions aside and let this be what it is. The Characters Alina, our heroine.As with many first books, she needs to grow up some. She is fairly naive, but I liked growing up with her through this series. She's very relatable, in my opinion, darn right hysterical. She's very common with familiar insecurities that we all face. She gets a lot of grief for the mistakes she makes in this book... but come on ladies- I think we would all make the same mistakes she makes, if put in her situation. She will always be one of my favorite heroines because of how relatable she is. I adore her.On that note...(view spoiler)[Like for real... if someone like the Darkling is taking an interest in you... look me in the eyes and tell me you wouldn't act EXACTLY as she acts. And for Mal... the poor girl is heartbroken. Leave her alone. She grows up!(hide spoiler)]The DarklingI'm not going to say too much about him other than this. He is without a doubt the most interesting character I've ever read about. Ladies, good luck. Honestly I wish I could put some of my favorite quotes from the book here, but it would spoil.I can't even go into the rest of the characters without spoiling. Just enjoy trying to predict everyone!The MAGIC!![image error]This is my favorite magic system out of any book. I think that stems from me being an artist. The way Leigh describes the powers that some of the characters *cough* have.. its so unique and abstract... like a painting. And classes of magic? Freaking sweet.The WritingThis series overall is probably the most quotable one out there, in my opinion anyway. Simply gorgeous. And the pacing? I don't know how some people think this is slow... the pace was like.. holy freaking I can't keep up with my emotions...The AUDIOBOOK!I don't always recommend the audiobook version of a book to people- but the narrator who does this series is PHENOMENAL. It for sure enhanced my experience of this book 100000%. So yes, I HIGHLY recommend giving the audiobook a go! So to summarize all of my thoughts... Thank you Leigh Bardugo for this precious gift. Thank you.And just a hint for the next book... it may or may not introduce my next all time favorite character...;) ;) DON'T STOP HERE!!My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
    2019-02-20 17:14

    At some points, this could be a little slow, but there is a point in the story where everything turns on its head and I fell in love! (Also a little in love with the Darkling...)

  • Beth
    2019-01-27 16:32

    My first finished book of 2017, I am so pleased that I've finally read this. I've wanted to read a book like this for so long, I can't explain it. Where your hands are itching to read it (but I had work so couldn't) any break I had it out and was reading it, just hopelessly wanting to find out what happened next!What I liked most about the book, is that I didn't really find it to have filler scenes. I know there was a lot of scenes in woods and what not, however that was needed for the book.My god. The Darkling! I have never been so intrigued about a character, and still I don't think we really know a lot about him other than bits and pieces of information.I really liked Alina as a character, I was so happy that she wasn't a stereotypical female character who is beautiful and everyone wants to look like her, and the book goes on about her beauty. I'm not sure why, I just really enjoyed that aspect of the book. This book was so well wrote, and so easy to read, yet at the same time I had a few problems trying to pronounce certain names (I think I made up some).The magic behind these books is unlike anything I have read before, I've read plenty of books similar(ish) to this, but none with this kind of magic, if this makes any form of sense?Overall I honestly loved this book, I've wanted a read like this in quite a while, I didn't want to put it down, didn't want to work and didn't want to sleep and I haven't had a book I've liked this much in over two months! Please take all of the stars Leigh Bardugo!Here's to hoping the rest of the books are just as good!

  • Grace (BURTSBOOKS)
    2019-02-09 13:05

    I’ve wanted to read Six of Crows since what feels like the beginning of time, that is the main reason I started this series…. Also, everyone always talks about it, and I don’t like being left out. As I said, everyone talks about this trilogy all the damn time, so a synopsis seems pointless, but in short, Shadow and Bone is about Alina Starkov, a simple map maker living in the fictional country of Ravka. When Alina discovers that she can summon light her whole life changes and she's thrown into the elite world of Grisha without so much as a minute to pack her bags. I was expecting this book to be spectacular with all the rave reviews it gets constantly but it really wasn’t that good. That’s not to say I hated it or it was bad or anything… it was just mediocre.This book is entertaining; I'll give it that. The middle was a little bit slow but other than that the plot was fast paced and enjoyable. The thing is, I never actually reached for this book. I liked it while I was reading it but I repeatedly had to remind myself to keep reading, and as a result, it took me almost a month to finish. There are about four main characters in this book: Alina, Mal, The Darkling and Genya. I’ve heard so much about all of them that I had certain expectations of what they would be. Exactly none of them lived up to those expectations. Alina and Mal are bland and interchangeable with almost any 'childhood friends turned lovers best friend' YA duo. The Darkling is a creepy control freak manipulator old man trapped in pretty wrapping paper that honestly makes me sick. Tbh I don’t even know what I was expecting of Genya, but I went in really wanting to like her, and she fell flat too. I didn’t dislike them (The Darkling can choke) they just didn’t live up the hype, unfortunately. All this to say I still liked the book and I’ve already moved on to the rest of the series, so it wasn’t that bad. I just really wish I liked it more.

  • Maram
    2019-01-23 17:18

    HOLY MOLLY THIS WAS SO SO SO GOOD.The characters. The world-building. The twists. The mess that occurred at the end. All of them gripped my attention and left me wanting more.The story might be a little slow-burn in the beginning, but I honestly didn't have any trouble with it. It could be that I had an advantage because I read SoC before this and all the terms didn't feel like info-dump so I was able to breeze by the pages. But at the same time, I also feel like I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if I weren't so informed by the world already. That, however, won't take a point off because there are a different set of characters as well as it does take place in a different city and let's be real, I'm not surprised that I ended up loving it. Miss Leigh certainly has a way of making you feel for the characters first, understand their situations surrounding the world before getting to the good stuff. Oh boy am I very excited to see what book 2 and 3 has in store! ALSO imma pretend that this beautiful person right here is the Darkling because um.. they both give me the creeps and I it? :) ---I didn't realize that a poster map of Grisha is included in the boxset when I first purchased it and that just made me even more excited (because I really wanted it thanks to SoC), so I'm FINALLY going to start marathoning these babies!

  • Darth J
    2019-01-26 16:26

    So, I originally passed this book over for reasons*, but after hearing such great things about Six of Crows, I decided to give this another look. And I'm kinda glad I did.We have Alina, whose Grisha power is something about sunlight.In order to amplify her power, Alina must find a magical stag.And she has to face a villain who controls tendrils of darkness.And there is some action on skiffs.Also, there's this paragraph, which is pretty nice:*Reasons: I'm not a fan of a lot of the words. Most of the Russian is eye-boggling and sounds harsh in my ears so that was my initial turnoff from reading this. I guess I'm used to most books with a magical bent having latin-based words, which truthfully just have a better mouth-feel than the guttural pronunciations of a lot of the nouns here.My other reviews for The Grisha series:•Siege and Storm•Ruin and Rising•Six of Crows

  • Sarah (saz101)
    2019-01-27 19:35

    Because words won't do, THIS is my review of Shadow and Bone:Hmph, and what has Ms Bardugo to say? LOL. (Your tears only make me stronger.) RT @sazbah: My review of @lbardugo's Shadow and Bone #WhenWordsWontDo…— Leigh Bardugo (@LBardugo) February 19, 2013

  • sana°¤°
    2019-01-20 21:07

    ◇First of all this is somewhere between 3 1/2 and 4 stars. ◇Second of all this is nothing like Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom and I was actually surprised that this book was written by Leigh Bardugo bc it was so different! *I didn't read this before SoC and CK.*◇Third of all The Darkling and I are getting married and you all are invited. Pls try to wear black, my husband and I would love it. I went into this book not knowing what the heck it was about. I didn't even have any high expectations. (surprise surprise, first time i don't expect things from a book) I also saw so many negative reviews on this and many of my GR friends hating it, however, I, surprisingly enjoyed this so much that I read it in an entire sitting. I know I'm shocked too. And I'm going to admit that I fucking loved this, mostly because of The Darkling, of course. It isn't a solid 5 stars bc there were some things that I didn't like, *cough cough* MAL *cough cough* and some things in this just generally pissed me off. *cough cough* FUCKING MAL. *cough cough*This is our typical YA Fantasy where there is a bad guy and a special snowflake will emerge out of somewhere and help make everything great again. When Alina realizes she has some special all-hail-the-gods- power, The Darkling notices (duh) and takes her under his wing training her for saving the world. While all that happens, Alina also kinda sorta falls for The Darkling, I mean how can she fucking not, but soon she realizes there are some dark secrets about the Grisha that she has to confront. The Characters: Saving the best Darkling for last. Alina SarkovShe was an annoying little bitch, but at the same time I wanted her in The Darkling's bed doing things they aren't supposed to do. She's the typical special snowflake who has the special superpower everyone fears. She's also the typical "I'm ugly, but obviously the rest of the world looks at me and thinks i'm the prettiest girl ever." I would have really found her bearable, but like she's a traitorous bitch and she really pissed me off towards the end. MalUgh, oh my fucking shits don't even get me started on how much of a fucking perfect annoying little cunt faced bitch he was. I fucking hate this guy even more than people hate Trump's orange face. ※First of fucking all, he is a danger to Alina and The Darkling. Shut the fuck up, I don't care how nice or whatever the fuck he is. He is a danger to my ship, I want him dead, six feet under the mother fucking ground. ※He makes every girls ovaries explode. Typical boring shit face with the extremely handsome looks that even the sexy and pretty Grisha girls notice him. I hope you fucking die and get your dick chopped off. God, I fucking hate him. ※His words and love for Alina. Stop right there young Man. Put your dick back in your pants and get the fuck out. No one likes you, stop trying to steal the girl away from The Darkling. I REPEAT GTFO YOU DOG SHIT. The Darkling“The problem with wanting," he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, "is that it makes us weak.”This is my husband. I love him. We are getting married. Girlies back off please, his darkness belongs to me and you aren't allowed to touch it. He isn't exactly the good guy in the book, but he isn't a bad guy either. OBVIOUSLY HE'S THE GOOD ONE, EVERYONE ELSE IS BAD. He is the all powerful sexy Darkling. Like, this story should've been written from his P.O.V. He is misunderstood and he needs love and people need to see that he's fucking right. I literally loved this book only bc of him. He is sexy and literally just AJKSBDKJLDBFEQ. Fucking slay me, i love him sm it hurts my nonexistent soul. Overall, we have all learned something. Don't touch the darkling, he's mine. :) :) :) :)

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    2019-02-18 14:18

    Ok, I’m going to finally try to explain my UNDYING LOVE FOR THIS AMAZING WORLD… calmly. Yes.This time last year I read a couple books each month, but didn’t really get too into anything. Then I picked this book up and… was done with the trilogy in 2 days. This series made me love YA fantasy & start book blogging, so it will always be a favorite! I did go into this story knowing absolutely nothing, though, so maybe just ignore the hype and have fun. I really like light fantasy books with creative worlds, magic, fast-moving stories I can get invested in, characters I can connect with, and fun plot twists. This book has everything. This series even uses YA tropes well instead of throwing them in as some kind of checklist. Everything worked!I absolutely adore the characters in later books (NIKOLAI DESERVES A SERIES ok) but the best parts of the first book are the worldbuilding and The Darkling. Somehow this series made me sympathize with a mass murderer and actually want him to succeed? I’m usually not someone who obsesses over villains, either (and I am super reluctant to call him a villain). I was getting pretty tired of overly simplified “dark” characters, so I really appreciated how complex and REAL he ended up being. And I don't get the complaints because pretty sure it’s not really meant to be a healthy relationship; it’s messy, raw, manipulative, and brilliantly done.I just love how complicated everything got and how nobody is purely good or evil. No matter how creative fictional worlds get, I still want some basic realistic elements in the relationships. Even the most evil people truly believe they’re doing something positive/helpful, so it's nice to see such vivid characters.I also loved how Alina had a strong backstory and flaws. She doesn’t have the best attitude and makes some poor decisions, but it’s part of what made her relatable. (And those attributes had believable cause, rather than the her just being permanently hostile & cranky like many other “tough” MCs).Mal was actually a totally lovable character, too! He was just in the unfortunate position of being contrasted with two extremely charismatic characters, so I kind of cared about him the least. I did like all of the characters, though -- there’s such an awesome group of secondary characters as well!But can we just talk about what an amazing writer Leigh Bardugo is?! The Grishaverse is seriously unlike anything I’ve ever found and I just love it SO MUCH. It’s a fantasy Russia-type world that feels like it’s been there forever and will totally continue doing its thing long after the book ends. I think the authenticity of the whole word is what really pulled me in. The magic has clearly defined rules & limits and is actually explained without an infodump. The story also managed to establish a strong sense of history, a class system, and culture in the amount of page time it would take other fantasy novels to describe the texture of a building. And I'm not saying one is better or worse... but I was definitely waaaaay more entertained by this approach. Basically, the whole world is amazing. The characters are wonderful. The story is an emotional adventure full of plot twists and drama. AND NIKOLAI IS EVERYTHING.