Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves her 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.
©2012 Leigh Bardugo (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Writer, actor, improviser, and family man working as a content writer/editor in a SaaS Marketing Department.
Had me for awhile and lost me at the end. I can't stay emotionally connected to characters who make choices that go against the intelligence the author has already set up for them just to serve a clever ending.
The starts was great. Then, for a good portion of the middle of this book I was like, ho-hum another typical YA book with a love triangle, pettiness, and eye-roll inducing inner dialogues. But then the final chapters the characters really come alive and becoming quite haunting. Had to buy the whole series before I even finished this one.
Its sequel series Six of Crows is better, but this was still a good performance, an interesting storyline, and helpful history that gives background for Six of Crows.
I am listening to this series for the second time and this is the first book of the series. The "language" of the book envelops you, and sends you on journey to a place similar to a fictional Czech Republic or Prague. It is a tad confusing in the beginning, but my biggest suggestion is to stick with it. I promise you will not be disappointed! It is a story of triumph over evil with magical twists and turns. There is love, magic, underdogs, and whimsy. It is very similar to Avatar: The last air bender, but on a more mature level. Definitely recommend this series for teens and up.
Using books to teleport.
I would recommend this book because it was fast-paced and action-packed.
The voice of the audio book really brings the characters to life. Lauren Fortgang does an incredible job of making each character its own unique voice. It is easy to grasp their qualities and moods. She really keeps it interesting and animated.
I absolutely loved this book. It made me furious at some points but it was also able to surprise me. This book really welcomes you and shows you this whole new world. I would definitely recommend this book to teens and adults.
Loved this one! The world building is so rich in detail, the characters are meticulously fleshed out and the pacing is just what I hope for.
The narrator is excellent. I enjoyed this even more than the first time I read it!
Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide)
This was quite the interesting re-read for me… I think this was the first re-read in which I had two totally different expectations going into it: When I first picked up Shadow and Bone almost two years ago (!!!), I was not a fantasy reader. I think I had read Graceling first and that was about it, so I wasn’t expecting much in the way of a new fantasy book and it turned out that I loved it! I was really scared going into the re-read this time because I had since fallen in love with this series and was afraid that the re-read just wouldn’t be the same. Honestly, I did read the book entirely differently. Well, in two ways — I bought the audiobook from Audible because I’ve started to really enjoy doing my re-reads via audiobook and also because I been obsessing over the series for two years now and all of the THINGS that I know, I’m able to pick up on so much more with a re-read.
I must say, re-reading SHADOW AND BONE really proved to me how amazing SIEGE AND STORM was. As someone who wasn’t a fantasy reader before, I very much appreciated the whole revelation of having powers, learning how to use them in that almost boarding school-type setting, and the romances involved but reading all of these things a second time and especially after reading SIEGE AND STORM came across totally differently. Honestly, TOTALLY. For one, I already knew Alina had powers and exactly what they entailed, so I wasn’t as interested in the figuring out process so much as paying attention to the other details that I may have glossed over in my first read. The whole learning process actually wasn’t as appealing to me the second time around, I think because I really already knew how it happened so I was ready to dive into more character development of secondary characters which didn’t happen as much in the first book as it does in the second. SHADOW AND BONE is very much about Alina and about Mal and about their ties to the Grisha so my impatience didn’t exactly pay off haha. But of course, it was still enjoyable to go through that experience again!
I read the romance aspect of this book entirely differently the second time around. During my first read, I did not get what was the big deal about Mal. I liked him and I loved his friendship with Alina but I didn’t fall for him (or the Darkling, really, but that’s another story) the way other readers did. During my re-read. YEAH. MAL. I’M THERE. I really got to know him better in SIEGE AND STORM so that made my connection in this re-read stronger but WHOO BOY, that best friend romance thing going on there…. *fans self* How was I not more into this during my first read!? I don’t understand. Because best friends falling for each other is a trope that I luuuurve and I was totally on board with it during my re-read. I also felt less love-triangley about the Darkling because knowing what I know now, it seemed more like a power play than a romance and I had it in my head that way more happened than it actually did in the book. Since I already knew about the world-building side of the book, I did pay more attention to the romance this time around which hadn’t really seemed to play a big part for me during my original read.
Speaking of world building, that was something I really enjoyed even more. The more I read about this world, the more I fall in love with it. It’s always a little difficult to get a grasp on a new world with unique (and foreign) names so now that I know a little more about the Grishaverse, I really got a hold on what happens where and exactly what’s involved. As far as plotting and characters go, obviously now I know their connections, but even then I was formulating new theories about the Darkling and why we don’t know his name yet and what if it’s related to or connected to characters we’ve already met and don’t know it?!
I think I enjoyed my original read a little bit more than the re-read but I am even MORE anxious to re-read SIEGE AND STORM and I’m still salivating over RUIN AND RISING and dreaming about how it’s SO CLOSE. I’m still in love with this world and this series and it will be bittersweet to end in June but I still can’t wait!
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