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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

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    1,363
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Enjoyable Fantasy with an Excellent Narrator

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.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable And Oh So Entertaining!

Would you listen to Shadow and Bone again? Why?

I would listen to this book again because it was pure entertainment.

What other book might you compare Shadow and Bone to and why?

I would compare this book to Divergent.

What does Lauren Fortgang bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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Fans of Graceling by Kristin Cashore will LOVE it

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.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Great story with outstanding narration

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!

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Wonderfully Entertaining

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.

4.5 stars

27 of 33 people found this review helpful

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Shockingly Good!!!!

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.

Highly recommended.

26 of 32 people found this review helpful

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I HOPE YOU DON'T EXPECT FAIRNESS FROM ME,

IT ISN'T ONE OF MY SPECIALITIES
This is a girly book, for angst filled girls. You get a lot of this in the YA section, so it must sell. I like a lot of YA books, but not the overly dramatic ones.

WELCOME TO COURT
The main character is suppose to be some type of serf or lower class orphan, yet she questions everyone. I really did not think the personality of this girl fits the circumstance, she was suppose to have grown up in. I also did not understand her inability to understand change. Old people don't like change and don't believe it, but most young people are eager to accept change and don't need overwhelming evidence. Besides being boring the main character, is not likeable and does not fit the story.

All males and adult women want to avoid this book.

80 of 102 people found this review helpful

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Entertaining yes, but not a satisfying ending

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.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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All time favorite. Lauren Fortgang is amazing..

If I could give this series 6 stars.. or 7... or 8.... I would. This series as a whole has stuck with me. It is my absolute all time favorite series, standing beside the ACOTAR series by SJM. I have yet to connect with another series as strongly as I have with these two.

So let me try to put my love for this book into a few categories.

Overall Plot + Theme

Alright. I don't want to go over the details of the plot in this review -- because I went into this not knowing one darn thing about it so every single page was a surprise for me! What I will say is this... this book will be a wild ride in a dark fairytale-esque world with unpredictable characters. There is action, magic, romance, intrigue.. and really.. what more could you want from a series? I was absolutely 100% entranced with every page that I read... and that feeling continued with the second and third book.

But I will say this... just when I thought I knew what was going on... just when I thought I was safe... well, Leigh Bardugo, you got me.

I found myself jumping out of my bed screaming.. LITERALLY screaming... "Run Alina run!!!" or "Give in Alina, just give in!"

The World-building

If I could get stuck in any world from any book- this would be the one. It is vivid, dark, magical, and completely entrancing.

Here's the thing. I've read a lot of negative reviews basing their reasons on the fact that Leigh Bardugo didn't make a convincing Russian world... but my opinion is that his is her world- not actual Russia- she can do whatever she wants! Sure it has Russian inspiration, but it is clearly its own place. Maybe if you are really attached to the Russian language, it would bother you... but my opinion is to leave preconceived notions aside and let this be what it is.

The Characters

Alina, our heroine.

As with many first books, she needs to grow up some. She is fairly naive, but I liked growing up with her through this series. She's very relatable, in my opinion, darn right hysterical. She's very common with familiar insecurities that we all face. She gets a lot of grief for the mistakes she makes in this book... but come on ladies- I think we would all make the same mistakes she makes, if put in her situation. She will always be one of my favorite heroines because of how relatable she is. I adore her.

The Darkling

I'm not going to say too much about him other than this. He is without a doubt the most interesting character I've ever read about. Ladies, good luck. Honestly I wish I could put some of my favorite quotes from the book here, but it would spoil.

I can't even go into the rest of the characters without spoiling. Just enjoy trying to predict everyone!

The MAGIC

This is my favorite magic system out of any book. I think that stems from me being an artist. The way Leigh describes the powers that some of the characters *cough* have.. its so unique and abstract... like a painting. And classes of magic? Freaking sweet.

The Writing

This series overall is probably the most quotable one out there, in my opinion anyway. Simply gorgeous. And the pacing? I don't know how some people think this is slow... the pace was like.. holy freaking I can't keep up with my emotions...

The Narration!

The narrator who does this series is PHENOMENAL. It for sure enhanced my experience of this book 100000%. So yes, I HIGHLY recommend giving the audiobook a go!

So to summarize all of my thoughts...

Thank you Leigh Bardugo for this precious gift. Thank you.

And just a hint for the next book... it may or may not introduce my next all time favorite character...
;) ;) DON'T STOP HERE!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Middle was close to ruining review

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Annette
  • 07-08-13

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

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  • samantha
  • 12-05-15

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

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  • paula
  • 02-26-17

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*!!

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  • Alaina Carroll
  • 01-18-16

Shadow And Bone

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

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  • A
  • 03-02-16

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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  • manga_me_over
  • 06-03-17

fantastic fantasy

this is a great way to start a fantasy trilogy. Soo good, I really liked the way the story had good character development, enough to keep you engaged with both the characters and the plot.

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  • Natasha
  • 09-27-16

Fun but predictable

It was a fast paced story for the most part. Unfortunately really easynto. Guess where it was going.

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  • Anneli
  • 02-18-16

Ready for the next book!

Audio was very weak, constantly had to have it up at high volume. Overall really well written, found myself following every step eagerly. Already have downloaded the next book in the series :)