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.
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!
Unexpectedly good! My daughter and I listen to books as we drive to her dance class each night. Some of the "teen books" have been painful but "shadow and bone" was excellent!!! We both enjoyed it very much! I have already downloaded the second book in the series for our drive home tonight!
The narration was phenomenal, the writing was amazing! I listened to this book while on a very very long bus ride and I always found myself on the edge of my seat. I was intrigued, and I've learned so many things from this novel, and the perfect narration, with the different voices for each character, and the perfect tension or relaxation of the narrator made it an even
more of an amazing experience! I want to listen to it again!
While I liked the world of the story, I think it would have been better told from an omniscient narrator's perspective because the main protagonist isn't particularly like able.
She makes a lot of mistakes but never seems to learn from them. She's suspicious of everyone EXCEPT the bad guys. It's like being inside the head of an acerbic, self obsessed kid, who spends the whole time complaining. An experience not worth repeating for the 2nd or 3rd book.
I loved the audio book narration so much I gave the book one more star than I did with my original read through of the book. I reread this on audio book so I could jump into the 2nd and 3rd book, but I bought the audio versions of those books as well because the narrator is just fantastic.
Shadow and Bone is an inventive fantasy closely bound with Russian mythology. The story follows orphans Alina and Mal. They've stuck together through thick and thin but a battle with dark forces will reveal Alina's long kept secret - she has a magical ability that will make her both valued and hunted by those who want to control it.
My family listened to this during a long road trip - and all of us were entranced - from my 10 year old on to the adults. The book is not action packed yet it isn't slow either. It languidly builds tension as Alina is thrown into unfamiliar situations and she is forced to navigate through political and social pitfalls.
I appreciated that we didn't get 'fight the demon of the week'. There was a good mix of mythology, world building, and characterization to create a really unique voice and setting. It was easy to follow yet complex enough to hold our interest. The focus was on Alina developing her talent rather than Alina using her talent to fight the dark forces.
Audible Obsessed wishes she had more time for so many audiobooks.
I read the reviews, and I thought I was about to listen to a great book.
Good is the word, not great. Things were a little predictable along the way and even a little boring. There were no extreme emotions from my part, and that is what I like to feel when I read a book.
I will certainly read the next one, but I will not go too eager.
I recommend it, but not highly.
I really enjoyed this book. I'm actually listening to it a second time. The reader does a wonderful job with the voices and accents. Leigh Bardugo is amazing. I cant wait for the next in the series. I love the Darkling. He is the ultimate bad boy. It makes for an interesting love triangle. All the characters are interesting. I love the description of the lavish parties at the castle. It was a book I thought about after finishing it which is always a good sign.
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