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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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Story

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Dark Fantasy! It's amazing!

Any additional comments?

Shadow and Bone is one of the best Fantasy books I’ve read in a really long time! The dark, twisted, magical world that Leigh Bardugo created sucked me in from the very beginning, and I couldn’t get enough! At Leigh Bardugo’s signing, she spoke about the cover of Shadow and Bone…about how much she loves it and about how there are elements in the cover that are really significant to the story. I’ll have to admit that I was impatiently waiting for the moment that I would understand what these element meant while I was listening (yeah I read it by Audible) to Shadow and Bone, and now I’m super excited that I’m in the know! I’m pretty sure I squealed the moment I figured it out. Isn’t that just silly? I think I probably appreciated it even more because I already knew there was something significant about the cover before I even read the book.<br/><br/>The fantasy world that Leigh created is truly unique. It’s been a while since I’ve read a high fantasy book, and I forgot how much I truly enjoy them. And Leigh made it especially enjoyable because every moment while reading I had no idea what to expect, and that is what made reading Shadow and Bone so fun.<br/><br/>As for the characters, Alina was the perfect female protagonist. I loved watching her grow and I understood and respected her actions throughout the story. As for the dudes, I was a fan of The Darkling throughout most of the story, but I’m now actually a huge fan of Mal!<br/><br/>Overall, the story was amazing, the world was awesome, and the characters were very well developed…AND I’m now dying to get my hands on Siege and Storm.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Run of The Mill Debut

Disclaimer: I read the Six of Crows Duology before the Grisha Trilogy. Also, I do not tend to read young adult fantasy very often.

After completing the Six of Crows duology I was very intrigued by both the world and character development that Bardugo showed me in those two novels. I had heard rumors that this duology was better than her Grisha Trilogy and as far as Shadow and Bone is concerned I have to agree.

Lets start off with the good. I enjoyed Bardugo's world building for the most part. She does a good job of creating an interesting landscape and showing us a very convoluted magic system. The word convoluted is important though, because I feel as though the boundaries of the magic system are very loose and many items are not explained in enough detail for my taste. I was often confused as to how powerful the magic that is used actually is, at one point you have a single Grisha (magic user) killing multiple people effortlessly, but then at other times common soldiers are able to overcome a Grisha and simply dodge their magical abilities. Therefore, there is definitely a magic system consistency problem, but this isn't uncommon among high fantasy novels.

The other element that Bardugo succeeds in some degree at is her character development. She really does do a good job at showing real emotions from her characters and making their personalities individualized and believable, although they lack the same flare and interestingness as her Six of Crows characters. However, the main problem with the characters for me was Alina herself, who I generally found a little obnoxious, naive, and very resistant to change. She really did annoy me especially for the first half of the book, although she did improve as the book went on.

The main problem I had with this novel is the plot is a little generic, and really lacks any flare or twist that really jumps out at you. In comparison with her duology the plot seems incredibly simplistic, and the rest of the book suffers for it.

Just a quick note on the narrator, I thought she gave a decent performance, but I did feel she lacked range of voices to some degree, and she worked a little hard on her accents, which came off as a bit ridiculous at times.

In conclusion, I put this novel down to first novel inexperience, and it was just good enough for me to buy Siege and Storm. One final thought: Ms. Bardugo is far better at writing in several points of view as opposed to singular first person.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Interesting fantasy story with a different setting

What about Lauren Fortgang’s performance did you like?

I felt like her voice really fit the narrator/main character! Even if I choose to finish the series in print, I still feel like I'll hear her voice.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! I feel like good YA books go by very quickly, and this book was excellent!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing and Gripping World

If you could sum up Shadow and Bone in three words, what would they be?

Magical, Fantastic and Dark.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Darkling! He is the darkest and interesting character in this book! It draws you in and I can't wait to know more about him! He was for sure the character that made me want to read more.

Which character – as performed by Lauren Fortgang – was your favorite?

Probably Alina, I just thought that the voice suited this book incredibly well! And it was very easy to notice what character was talking. Amazing narration!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

With this narrator, I could have easily done that so, yes, definitely!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

Good narrator, good balance of action and humour. But I was hugely frustrated at Alina sometimes, because she was really a wuss when she should have taken action. I mean, why didn't she kill the stag when she had the chance?! Jeez.

Anyway....I'm on to the second book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Could not put it down

Loved the book!!! The twists and turns, a must read for any fantasy lover!

And kudos to the Narrator as well, bringing the book to life...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Couldn't stop!

I use Audible for my commute to and from work and I limit myself to only listening then (because it's expensive), but I would get home and not be able to stop listening to this book. I read Six of Crows and the sequel and thought this would pale in comparison. I was wrong. I was very confused about who to cheer for for a while and I was disappointed that things didn't turn out the way I wanted, but what really happened was still satisfying in a way. This story made me laugh and had me (figuratively) on the edge of my seat sometimes. The narrator did a great job with the accents and the male voices. About to start the next one!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good, not great but worth going on to no. 2

I have listened to many of these YA epic fantasy novels and this one was good but not great. The first half was extremely slow and though world building and character development is necessary i think it can be done in a much more suspenseful way. It is very linear and a simple story line and there is no back story going on which I think a really good writer can make happen. I find myself thinking of the great series by Sarah J. Maas (The Glass Throne and Court of Throne and Roses) as comparison where there is so much going on that is only alluded to and comes to unwind as great discoveries throughout the books. There was none of that in-depth back story.

That said, the second half of the book really picked up and I had a hard time putting it down as the ending drew near. I will definitely go on to Book no. 2 and hoping it will be a more in depth second novel with some interesting twists and turns.

The performance by Lauren Fortgang was excellent. Easy to telll her characters apart though her darkling voice was very quiet and I often had to turn up the volume.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic Narrator, Great Story to Listen to!

What made the experience of listening to Shadow and Bone the most enjoyable?

The narrator put energy and life into each character. The pacing was perfect!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Shadow and Bone?

There were many, but the laugh-out-loud moments made this great book even better.

Which character – as performed by Lauren Fortgang – was your favorite?

Baghra, the cantankerous old lady

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I don't think any book has done that for me, but I can say many times it was difficult to put down

Any additional comments?

Fun, quick listen under 9 hours, very enjoyable fantasy story!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book

I thought this was a very enjoyable book! Narration was superb and I can't wait to listen to the next book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful