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Shadow and Bone Audiobook

Shadow and Bone

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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 Rating

4.2 (2701 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Scott Fabel Lancaster, PA, United States 01-07-13
    Scott Fabel Lancaster, PA, United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2010

    I'm a corporate training consultant and adjunct professor who loves to read! I'm always looking for the next big thing.

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    "Not Really What I Was Hoping"

    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!

    19 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Herbert 07-15-13
    M. Herbert 07-15-13 Member Since 2017

    bookluvrmindy

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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
  •  
    sam shreveport, louisiana, United States 04-14-14
    sam shreveport, louisiana, United States 04-14-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Like Twilight in 18th Century Russia"

    I like to think of myself as open-minded; even when I do particularly care for a book I give it the benefit of the doubt and reason that it's just my cup of tea. Rarely do I outright hate a book.

    With that in mind, I hated, hated, hated, hated, absolutely hated Shadow and Bone! I hated everything about it! And for the life of me I cannot figure why the author is trumpeted as the next big thing, or how this book in innovative by any stretch of the imagination!

    Let's start with the characters. First Alana Starkov (technically ought to have been Starkova, but I doubt the author so much as touched a Russian to English dictionary). Good Ford, what a whiny, self-centered little...I probably shouldn't curse. I'm sorry, but she can't think one sentence, on measly little sentence without whining about her imperfections, or gushing about her beloved Mal, or generally not giving a damn about anyone but her own selfish needs. Actually, no, she was perfectly willing to toss away her talents to be with her beloved Mal. Bottom Line: Alana Starkov = Mary Sue

    Now, Mal and the Darkling. Mal is completely one demential with not personality beyond being Alana's perfect love interest. The Darkling, on the other hand, is a not to subtle Edward Cullen knockoff; all dark, brooding and boarder line abusive to Alana (and yet she loves him so).

    The rest of the characters were waaaaay more interesting than the core three; why the hell wasn't this story about them?! So, as for world building, we have Ravka, a serial numbers filed off version of 18th century Russia; boarder end by totally isn't Scandanavia, and couldn't possibly be China (who eats their wizards and make instruments of their bones). Again, the lack of research is apparent in such instances as a character getting drunk...on children's beer, and the butchering of the Russian language.

    The authors has explain all sorts of fascinating world building facts in interviews, yet seems to have forgotten to include them within the context of the novel itself. Bottom Line: World Building = thin as rice paper.

    What really irks me isn't the cultural appropriation, the horrible messages and morals, or the cardboard characters. No, what really gets me is that the author seems to posses genuine talent and ability, but squanders it with romantic plot tumors, YA cliches, and pandering to love-sick fourteen year olds; all the the detriment of the novel.

    If that were the end of it; I would still dislike, but not hate this novel. What pushes me over is how anyone could call this bold, innovative, well written, or possibly award worthy!

    Bottom Line: don't waste your time. If you want so good fantasy in a none standard setting checkout Saladin Ahmed's The Throne of the Crescent Moon, instead. You'll be glad you did.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kamryn Bossom 08-07-17 Member Since 2017

    Just started listening to audiobook this year, and I'm loving it! My favorites are memoirs and books that I'm re-reading!

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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
  •  
    Bookneeders 07-01-17
    Bookneeders 07-01-17 Member Since 2017
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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
  •  
    Denise 06-30-17
    Denise 06-30-17 Member Since 2010
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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
  •  
    Mano 05-04-17
    Mano 05-04-17 Member Since 2015
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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
  •  
    gmichelle 04-26-17
    gmichelle 04-26-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    CindiL Wisconsin 03-29-17
    CindiL Wisconsin 03-29-17 Member Since 2017
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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
  •  
    Night'sWatch 03-07-17

    Epic, Sword & Sorcery, and (Grim)Dark Fantasy reader- always searching for that next great fantasy writer/narrator combo ^_^

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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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  • Annette
    Cumbria
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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…

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • samantha
    Rotherham, United Kingdom
    12/5/15
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    "Easy going."

    So I did finish this book but I wasn't overly impressed. It's seem to have the potential to be an epic story but didn't follow-through. It didn't go into enough detail about the back story of the characters and I didn't feel like I cared about them either. There are other books in the series but after finishing the first one I don't think I'll be downloading them. If you want to easy-going book to listen to them it's perfect but other than that I wouldn't recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • paula
    2/26/17
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    "5 stars, so many twists,did not see coming!!"

    MUST READ. Took me a while to get into it and get used to the language etc as many of the words sound Russian etc but after maybe 3/4 chapters I was throughly caught in the story hook line and sinker. one of the BEST YA books I've come across in a while I bet this little universe will become a favourite 5*!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alaina Carroll
    1/18/16
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Shadow And Bone"

    I absolutely loved this story. Narrator was fantastic. Can't wait to listen to book 2

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A
    3/2/16
    Overall
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    Story
    "shadow and bone"

    awful. I couldn't wait for it to finish, I love reading and listening to books but this one was dreadful, story was bad and the reading was soul destroying I hope I don't go through that again!!!!!!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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