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.
I enjoyed the subtle way that the characters were developed and the unique little twists that showed up for some of the lesser characters as well.
Good ending for this part of the story and it certainly left room for the next book in the series.
Lauren Fortgang did a great job with the narration and characters.
I listened to 'Shadow and Bone' during a long drive, and I was happy with my purchase. This fantasy novel was an enjoyable listen, and I will probably also get the sequel. Lauren Fortgang did an excellent job with the narration, and this story has appeal from teenagers to adults. A very likeable protagonist, and pretty good supporting characters... The ending is somewhat of a cliff-hanger, and the plot had me guessing at times.
Although I definitely recommend this book, I felt that it borrowed a lot from an earlier (and superior) novel entitled "Daughter of Smoke and Bone". Still, this is fantasy fun so my critique is fairly minor. Shadow and Bone is well worth a listen - if you enjoy this genre.
I should have read this one sooner because oh my gosh, it is so good. I really enjoy fantasy and haven’t had a chance to read any Young Adult fantasy in a while so when I kept hearing great things about Shadow and Bone, I had high hopes. And thankfully they were met, albeit some issues.
So, we’ve got Alina, just your regular orphan girl who is secretly in love with her best friend who doesn’t seem to be interested and is off running around with other girls. But then, she’s got a secret power! The thing about Alina is that I do like her but she doesn’t seem overly special or unique to me in any way other than her power. I wanted more personality from her – more spark. But I’m willing to wait for character development to occur in the next two books.
Then there’s the Darkling – alluring, provocative, sexy, tempting. He’s creepy, but I like it. He’s powerful and dark and I can’t help but kind of sucked in by his magnetic pull.
And while this story is about Alina finding her power, it’s definitely a plot-driven book. Though I won’t go into what that specific plot is, since I don’t want to ruin anything for those who haven’t read the book. But it’s fast paced and I could not put it down – I would say I was flipping through the pages but I listened to the audiobook so there weren’t actually pages. And by the way, the voice actor was great. Her voice for the Darkling was sultry and I loved it!
Fans of Graceling by Kristin Cashore should pick this one up – it’s got good, evil, romance, love, and action.
Favorite books: Mysteries Amelia Peabody & Inspector Gamache, supernatural novels by Laurel K. Hamilton, Ilona Andrews and many more!
I would listen to this book again because it was pure entertainment.
I would compare this book to Divergent.
She has a way of bringing the characters to life with creative and interesting accents that I don't think I wouldn't have come up with in my head.
The whole book came together so well it's difficult to pick out one thing. However, I will say it was pleasing to see the development and maturity of the characters as the book progressed.
This is a very good book and I am amazed that a first time writer could deliver this kind of product. I was really captured by the story and can't wait for the next installment. I highly recommend this book.
Brilliant story (in parts similar to the film Pitch Black). The good story was elevated by the superlative narration. Ms Fortgang's voice is a beautiful combination of cream and honey!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am eager for the sequel. and more narration from this wonderful lady!
Busy mom who loves to read but doesn't always have the time. I enjoy YA, Romance and the occasional Best Seller.
I really enjoyed this YA fantasy book. It had a rich story, good narration and characters I absolutely fell in love with. Of course there is a HUGE cliff-hanger (big surprise there) and I'm anxiously awaiting the sequel. At first I found this book a little confusing and I was a bit lost at times. However, by the end it all comes together and you get a good sense of where this is all heading. Don't get me wrong, there are twists and turns and nothing is too predictable. Some things did make my eyes roll. One of the main characters is actually called "The Darkling". All that aside, it's fantasy so pretty much anything goes.
I'm looking forward to "Siege and Storm" book 2 in June 2013.
Ready to enjoy great books!
Shadow and bone is a little wobbly. I enjoyed the story and the narrator is very pleasant. My biggest grip is the ending. I would like half a credit back because I feel like i only received half to 3/4 of a book. It's lacking a GOOD ending, if this is a series the reader/listener should be given some element of completion. The problems are never solved besides maybe self revelation and I wanted more. Now I have to wait and maybe download the second book when it becomes available.
Is it a series? Is this the end? Was that really the jest of the book? who know's, maybe you will be able to figure it out.
5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(
I don't like to buy books without reading reviews, or without knowing the author.
This book is really good. some twists and so on, and good characters. Its not my number one book, but its in my very good list.
Narrater was good and didn't get lost or confused between characters.
They storyline was really really awesome. i can't wait for the next one.
I'm a corporate training consultant and adjunct professor who loves to read! I'm always looking for the next big thing.
In a land called Ravka, two orphans, Mal and Alina, are called to battle in a war; however, they are called in very different ways. Mal becomes a soldier, and Alina becomes a cartographer. Then, Alina discovers that she has powers that are unique in their world--she is a sun summoner. Because of her new powers, she leaves her post to train as a Grisha, which is a type of natural sorceress. In the book, many believe that her power will help to end the war.
I wanted to love this book, but I only barely liked it. First, let me get my biggest complaint out of the way. From the illustration on the book cover to the language used by the characters, there is an obviously heavy Russian influence in the land of Ravka. Unfortunately, that influence was terribly executed. Although the author uses some terms correctly (e.g., samovar), she invents other words or completely misuses them. There was absolutely no other Russian influence in the entire book. There was no reference to Russian culture, no reference to Russian mythology, and no reference to Russian folklore. It could be argued that, because Ravka is not Russia, these missing references should be overlooked. I cannot overlook them. If the author is going to try for a Russian feel, she should have been a bit more focused with her research. One example that made me somewhat crazy was the name of the main character, Alina Starkov. Although I can see the Russian influence in the name, would it have been so terrible to make the name Alina Starkova, which would have sounded far, far more authentic?
By the way, my complaint about the lack of a true Russian influence negatively influenced my opinion of the performance. I liked Lauren Fortgang for the most part; however, she was woefully prepared to read a book that had Russian words in it. Her pronunciation was bad. Fortunately, her accent was not. I liked the pseudo-Russian accent that she used, but she fumbled with the Russian words and the invented-Russian words.
My second complaint is with the love story aspect of the book. Why, oh why, do we need another bizarre, love-triangle story in which the heroine is (for a part of the book) torn between the boy she has loved her whole life and the bad-boy she has just met? I really feel as if this is another story that is capitalizing on the Twilight/Hunger Games trend. Don't get me wrong, I liked all of these books, but enough is enough. I have serious doubts about the future of all women if these characters represent their ideal models of relationships.
OK, now that I provided you with the complaints, I will confess that I liked the story. I didn't love it, but I liked it. If the love story could have been removed (and the pseudo-Russian corrected), it would have been great. The general concept of the Grishas was fascinating. I like the idea that these people are not really sorcerers or sorceresses; instead, they manipulate what already exists in nature. In fact, they don't refer to it is magic, but as the "small science," which seems to be a combination of magic and science. In addition, the world of Ravka is troubled, yet interesting. I would love to know more about the other people of that world.
In the end, I can say that this was an OK book. If you enjoy the love-story aspect of Twilight or the Hunger Games, you will definitely enjoy this book. If you can tolerate a bit more of it, you will enjoy the fantasy. The ending of the book was rather weak; however, I believe that there are more books to come in this series. We will see where things go in the second book!
Tell us about yourself! I am the author of "Over the Moon" and "Falling Off the Planet." They are both YA Sci-fi fantasy romance.
This is an "Ugly Duckling" coming of age book. Alina is an orphan. Her best friend and playmate doesn't see her beauty until she finds her "power" to call sunlight. (Yeah, it's a weird power, but it makes sense when you listen to the book.)
At first I was kicking myself because she was pining and whining for her orphan comrade who was looking elsewhere for love. I HATE jealousy and the angst that comes with it. Then she meets the mysterious "Darkling" and the plot thickens.
The ending is left open for a second book. If there isn't a second installment, it deserves only 4 stars because things are left unresolved.
"Interesting YA Fantasy Debut"
I picked up this book for its fantasy elements – Shadow and Bone introduces us to a divided country called Ravka, besieged by the myth and magic. Leigh Bardugo’s vision for Ravka felt wonderfully cohesive – with Russian sounding place names and slang, and good explanations were offered for the Shadow Fold and other anomalies.
Alina’s ‘narration’ was full of personality and wit, and terms like “miserable oaf” leap off the page. I liked Alina although at times she lacked confidence. Mal’s character was initially presented as a womaniser and it wasn’t until the last third of the novel that I started to warm up to him.
The storyline throws you a few curveballs, which was a great surprise. These stopped the story from coming across as too sedate (despite it’s slow, plodding pace) and leant depth to the novel. I enjoyed the hints of romance and the scattering of action sequences, but it was the lack of certainty which really kept me on my toes.
I am interested to see where the sequel will take us. My ‘stab-in-the-dark’ prediction: Siege and Storm will somehow feature the King’s second son who was off training in the army during the events of Shadow and Bone…
Report Inappropriate Content