Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy)
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 oneÂ 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 his lifeâ
Reviewed: 2018-05-07Alina Starkov and her best friend Malyen Oretsev grew up together as orphans. Alina is now a mapmaker and Mal is tracker. As they are attempting to pass over the Shadow Fold, a dark place swarming with evil creatures called Volcra, Mal gets hurt and Alina saves him with a light power she never knew she had. Now, the Darkling, who leads the Grisha, has his eyes on her and wants to have her trained so she can control her power and destroy the Shadow Fold. Alina will learn to grow strong physically and with her power but she must also beware that not everyone is telling her the truth and that some people are trying to manipulate her. I was not enjoying this book until about 70% through it. I was bored and I did not understand the hype surrounding it. But the ending was definitely good and has me wanting to read the next one immediately. The Grisha world sounds so magical and something you would read in a dark fairy tale. Alina is incredible! I absolutely love her character growth through this novel. She goes from being a nobody with no real skill, except for map making, to a strong kick-butt female! Now, the Darkling was someone that I LOVED almost immediately. I really enjoy a dark male character and he had all of the characteristics that I love reading about. Mal, wasn’t a character that I was too interested in until the last 30% of the book and I hope he has more potential in the next two books. Reading about all of the different Grisha powers was so fascinating to me. I love that there are so many different ones. Especially Genya, who is the Queen’s assistant but the Darkling assigns her to help Alina with her looks. Genya does Alina’s makeup and hair and her powers sounds so incredible, even if she is just a maid of sorts. Alina and Genya’s friendship is something that I enjoyed a lot in this story. We don’t see a lot of female friendships in stories like these and it was refreshing. I would highly recommend this book if you are a fan of dark fairy tale fantasy reads. It was pretty boring to me though more than the first half but if you can manage to get through that, the ending is a great payoff.
Reviewed: 2017-12-07|| Versions Owned: ARC, Paperback, Hardcover, UK PB (purple), The Gathering Dark (UK title) ||
Initial Thoughts 8/26/12:I really loved Shadow and Bone! The concept was interesting and uniquely put together in a way that had me racing through the book to see how it all came together. I really enjoyed the characters and I loved the twists that Leigh Bardugo involved in the plot. Overall a really enjoyable read!
Full review originally posted on The Book Addict's Guide 9/5/12: Once again I find myself singing the praises of high fantasy! I’d seen tons of praise for this book pretty much everywhere and after seeing Leigh Bardugo at Anderson’s Bookshop first on the Fierce Reads tour in June and again at Anderson’s on August 30th (although I actually finished the book before then!), just seeing her personality and hearing her talk about the book and how she came up with it really drove me to get into the story.
I absolutely loved the development of the Grisha and the story behind their history and abilities. It seemed utterly magical but as we learn more about the talents, there’s a little bit of practicality mixed in as well. It was really interesting to learn about and I found it quite unique.
Another thing I really enjoyed is that the romance aspect isn’t overdone. We first learn that Alina has developed a crush on Mal in the very beginning of the book, so that’s something we already know, but since Mal is also her best friend and pretty much only friend, that also makes him so much more to Alina. He’s incredibly important to her and it’s not just a lust factor. As for The Darkling….. well that’s just a pure lust situation!
So yes, I really loved where the story went and I loved how it all came together in the end! Leigh Bardugo’s writing was also extremely enjoyable and I loved the new elements that she brought to the story.
Re-read reactions 5/12/14: Wow, this was so much fun to re-read! I did so via audio so it was a new experience and so much fun to live through all over again. I feel like the second half was definitely the stronger half with more action, more romance, and more suspense. Obviously I enjoyed both, but things really pick up towards the end and just really get exciting! So happy I did a re-read and I honestly can't wait to start Siege and Storm all over again too! This book still proves that this series is one of my favorites and just brought up all those FEELINGS all over again.
Re-Read Review originally posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 6/18/14: 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!
Reviewed: 2017-01-15This book just didn't work for me. It wasn't bad, and it seems many people like it. I, however, felt no connection neither with the characters nor the story. It's unlikely I'll continue the series.
Reviewed: 2016-02-06I was really afraid I wouldn't like this book because of the ratings. I was pleasantly surprised and I really enjoyed it. I loved the ending and I hope the Darkling gets what is coming to him. Alina was likable enough and I liked her romance with Mal. I could have done without her kissing the Darkling, but such is life. I'm not super excited to read the next one, but I will definitely read it. I just was starting to get too much of the world this was set in and need a break before I venture back.
Reviewed: 2015-08-26I understand now why there is so much hype and why people love this series so much! This was sooo good!
I believe this was my first high fantasy book and it was definitely a good first choice!
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