Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy Series #1)

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy Series #1)

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Shadow and Bone 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 268 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantasy fans will love this young adult novel. It is well written and thoroughly enjoyable. More of an epic fantasy than a light fantasy. It draws from Russian folklore and features a strong female lead. There is some romance, but the main focus is on the lead learning she has power and then learning how to wield it. My only complaint is that I wish it had been longer. I was really into the setting and the characters. I chose this book because of my fondness for the Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin. I wasn't disappointed and can't wait to read the sequel to Shadow and Bone.
Cupcakegirly More than 1 year ago
Excuse me while I FANGIRL all over this book! The last couple of books I've read, have been such downers for me that I've either been unable to finish them or tempted to throw in the reading towel altogether. That is until this book... I'd seen the reviews, heard the hype and had it recommended to me by numerous people but honestly, when I got it and realized there was a map in the front, I was in no hurry to bump it up in my TBR pile. What's the big deal about a map? They just scare me. Always have. Old ones, new ones, doesn't matter. I see a map and a part of my brain panics. (Irrational, stupid, silly...I know.) Maps don't deter me from reading books but they do delay me sometimes which is what happened with Shadow and Bone and I am kicking myself for it. This is a fantastic debut! Bardugo has created a colorful world filled with fantasy, adventure, and a heart-clutching love story. Her world building is detailed, her characters complex and engaging and the story itself sucked me in immediately. I couldn't and didn't WANT to put this book down! Alina is a strong willed MC, whose courageous, with a good heart and a witty sense of humor. Mal, is a mix of comfort, strength and swoon (OhMyMal!) and the Darkling, a character that's equal parts beauty and danger, is one you can't help but feel drawn to. There is SO MUCH I want to say about this book *flails* and I don't want to spoil anything, but the plot twists and turns kept me guessing right up to the very end and left me craving the next book.
TiareSho More than 1 year ago
After much consideration I've decided that I will give the book 5 stars after all, though there was some time in the middle there where I was worried about it. I, momentarily, feared that it included the one thing that can bring an otherwise good book down; insta-love. Luckily that matter was resolved, and I was able to go on enjoying the book. What I liked: - World building. To me, world building is one of the most important parts of a book. If I don't understand the setting, or if the author makes me effort to create a good fantasy world, then the book loses an entire layer of enjoyment, but this book had great world building. I think that including the map in the front of the book, as well as the explanation of the order of the Grisha, was a really good thing to do. I ended up flipping back to there a few times as I was reading, and it made the world building make a lot more sense. - She made me feel for both sides of the love triangle. As far as love triangles go, this one was good. The author got me on board with one side, and then managed to make me switch. Usually I get stuck on one side, and then no matter what the author does I just can't seem to see the light on the other side, but she made me feel for the Darkling, and the made me feel for Mal. - The Darkling. At first I really really liked him, and I wanted him to be with Alina. And then I really hated him, but in that way that good villains have, where you hate him so much that you like him. Kind of like Loki in The Avengers. He's the villain, but I can't really hate him. What I didn't like: - I could have done without the insta-love scare. Alina and the Darkling was my ship, but when he kissed her I really couldn't get on board with it. It was so sudden, and weird. However, this issue was resolved so this isn't really much of a negative. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series! When does it come out? June? That's too far away!
NzYme More than 1 year ago
I read the post by the anonymous user who killed the book but he/she has a point about the protagonist. There is a huge gap in time from where Alina is in an orphanage to the time where she becomes a map maker in the army. That time SHOULD have been spent defining exactly who Alina is rather than being just a rebellious youth spouting off one or two lines responses. This book is going to be compared to the HP series since it has young protagonist with no parents, who holds a mysterious untapped power, and eventually finds her way to a school of magic. With that said it's not nearly as complex in terms of plot and character. It's still a fun read and the series has good potential. I need to see more from Alina though. I need to find out who she is and what drives her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book with high expectations, as it is being hailed as an epic fantasy. This book had potential, if the story and the characters had properly been fleshed out and if the writing/editing team had done a little fact-checking and research. I kept having trouble picturing Alina. She is described as mousy, nicknamed "sticks" and has plain brown hair..... This gives me nothing. Does she have gypsy heritage? Does she have dark, beady eyes or thick lashes or freckles? I didn't know she had dark circles under her eyes until about halfway through the book. What drives her? Does she long for her mother? Was she an only child or does she have long lost siblings? Does she remember her Mother's soft voice or her Father sharing hot cocoa? Other than being an orphan with a childhood we gloss over, this character has no back story. Her life as an orphan is reduced to running off to the woods with Mal, avoiding the other children, and one adult.... Yet,, despite all of this, Alina fails to acquire a single trait that makes her relatable. Not only can we not understand what drives her, we really don't care. I have no idea how old she is or why she joined the military. I have no idea if she likes sunny warm days or cold days by a fire. I have no idea if she likes music or reading or drawing or how she spends her spare time or where her mind wanders when she's not pouting for herself. I have no idea who this girl is. The assorted other characters-the friends they make along the way- are so flat and boring that even the main characters have no attachment to them. Alina avoids most of her new friends and she avoids actual dialogue that would help establish any kind of real relationships in the book. The world they live in is supposed to be loosely based on Russia? I can only guess this because of the misused vocabulary. On every other page someone is drinking kvas, which the author seems to think is hard liquor but is a barely alchoholic soda served even to children. Not only that, aside from travelling for days, we have no real idea of what kind of climate we are seeing, aside from generic trees, mountains, meadows. We could be in Seattle or Upstate New York or Alaska for all I know. Finally, the characters learn nothing by the end of the book. Everything she should have discovered for herself is just blurted out by other characters, she shows more mercy to an animal than she does to the people who have tried to help her for the last several months. She only finally learns to use her power and then regain her power based on how she feels about Mal or breaking away from the darkling. You would think this would give her some perspective. It doesn't. When we meet her and when we leave her, the only thing about her that has grown is that she discovers her super power. Speaking of learning what exactly is the Little Palace. School? Training grounds? Why is it that, despite her mandatory reading, she learns nothing to prompt her to question her origins, her power, the motives of the darkling..... The author asks us to give up a willing suspension of disbelief without giving us something else to believe in. I could never completely understand the Shadow fold or the beasts inside or half their clothes. As a result, the epic fantasy is nothing but a muddled mess.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Alina’s journey from childhood to adult is quick and to the point. It’s enough of a background to allow the reader to understand her actions in the upcoming adventure. The storytelling is beautiful, the imagery compelling, with just enough vagueness to allow the read to fill in the blanks. I especially loved the points in the story when Alina learns that changes happen, accepts them, and moves on. The decisions she makes are not always the “right” decision, but she owns the outcome and is able to think for herself and grow as a person. I look forward to the next book in the series. *Originally posted on goodreads
Kylie-MyBookishThoughts More than 1 year ago
Shadow and Bone was a marvelous fantasy tale. Bardugo created relatable characters and paired them with an exceptional fictional world. The hype of this book has been large. As with many popular books, they have the tendency to have all the same qualities. Not this one. Shadow and Bone is like nothing I have ever read. I can't wait to finish the trilogy. Pick up this fantastic series today! It's fresh, unique, and filled with action. Alina Starkov is an orphan. She was an abused child living in a house with a wretched duke, and cared for by an even more horrible lady, named Ana Kuya. Alina's life was drained of love. But when Mal , another orphan, shows up they immediately have a deep connection. Mal and Alina's relationship lays the foundation for this novel. They are the center that holds the world together. Mal is the only person that Alina can rely on. He is her rock. Alina has been in love with him since the beginning. The fictional world of Shadow and Bone is incredible. It's kind of hard to explain, though. Basically you have the country of Ravka, which is separated by the Unsea, or the Shadow Fold. The Shadow Fold was created hundreds of years ago and contains killer creatures called Volcra. Volcra are flying creatures that used to be the people living in the area before the Fold was created. Mal and Alina are both stationed near the fold in the First Army. Mal is a tracker and Alina is a mapmaker. This isn't a normal military base though. In Bardugo's world, there are Grisha. The Grisha are people with powers. They live in the Little Palace and are treated like royalty. However, the less important or powerful Grisha serve in the army, as well. There is a very distinct line between normal humans and Grisha. They do not associate with each other. During Alina and Mal's service, they travel with an army into the Shadow Fold. This is a daunting task that will have many casualties. Not even the Grisha can protect the army from the dangerous Volcra. Mal and Alina are both at the brink of death. Their skin torn from the Volcra's sharp claws. As Alina's life slips, a bright light as large as the sun shines out of Alina herself. When Alina comes too, she finds herself in the Grisha tent. Confused, she tries to play off what happened on the ship. There was no way she could be Grisha. She had been tested as a child and wasn't. There was simply no way. But the Darkling has other views on the situation. The Darkling is the leader of the Grisha. He is the ruler of the Little Palace and corresponds with the King himself. He has dark gray eyes and a handsome smile that everyone seems to fancy. The Darkling is also an amplifier. Meaning he can increase the power in a Grisha significantly. Items can also be amplifiers, and this comes into play a little bit later. The Darkling takes Alina into his grasp, and again, she lights up like the sun. The word choice and imagery that Bardugo uses in this part of the story is incredible. Having a girl light up brightly may seem a little odd, but the way that the author beautifully explains it makes is magical. The Darkling pronounces Alina as the Sun Summoner. She is destined to team up with the Darkling and eradicate the Shadow Fold entirely. She is taken away from camp, away from Mal, and to the Little Palace, to live her life as a Grisha Alina is revered at the Little Palace. She is prayed to and touched carefully. The Darkling goes to great lengths to protect Alina from harm. She is too importa
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was hesitant to start this series! The synopsis does nothing to what the book is really about! I love the character of Alina! She was a refreshing personality! I liked how well the book was written and how much it pulled me in to continue with the series! I will definitely be recommending it to everyone I know!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfectly crafted world. Original plot. Authentic, intriguing characters. A VILLAIN TO KILL FOR. Beautiful. Just. Beautiful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EK1 More than 1 year ago
The story of the book is engaging and interesting. However, as someone who was born and raised in Russia, I thought the author demonstrated a glaring lack of knowledge of the Russian linguistics and ignorance about the culture and traditions. It would have been better for the story to be set in a completely imagined country and using an invented language. But if you are going to try and derive terms, names, and locales, from a language spoken by over 150 million people in the world today, you should at least strive for authenticiy.
Anonymous 15 days ago
TheKnightsWhoSayBook 29 days ago
I really like this book! It's a bit slow, but I don't mind slow fantasy books when the world is being set up. I really liked Alina and her grumpiness and sense of humor, even when she was being sort of naive. And I liked the range of characters at the Little Palace, from Genya to the more minor characters. There's so much potential for friendship development! But there's one big character I felt pretty ambivalent about: Mal. While I sort of got the feeling of their deep friendship by the end of the book, I wish it was easier to feel his and Alina's dynamic earlier on. And the romantic tension was just sort of bland. I'm not annoyed by it exactly, it just didn't make me feel much for them. It's super cool to read about Grisha magic, though, and Bardugo's descriptions are always so wonderful. Just reading about Alina and Genya getting ready for the ball makes me feel excited too. I felt like the end could have been more exciting if some things were done differently, but because i don't want to spoil anything I won't get into it. While this book fell flat in places, overall I really enjoyed it!
Anonymous 8 months ago
I didn't fall in love with the first book immediately because I'm more selective now with the books I consider to be worth real love. I actually grew to love the first book, I grew into it and learned it and became enveloped in it. The trilogy was unlike anything I've ever read, and it deserves respect that I don't know how to give. Usually, when I read a book that I fall in love with, I look up art on it and read what other people write about it and I just look for things related to it. I can't do that with these books because they are just. too. good. They're destroying me because they're worth so much and I can't figure out how to love them properly. I can't even rant about it like I rant about other books because it's worth more, I feel guilty even mentioning characters because they're too important to be referenced as "some book character". I can't express how deeply this pains me. I want to talk about The Darkling and Alina and Nikolai and Mal but I CAN'T. They're worth too much, the books were too good.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I didn't fall in love with the first book immediately because I'm more selective now with the books I consider to be worth real love. I actually grew to love the first book, I grew into it and learned it and became enveloped in it. The trilogy was unlike anything I've ever read, and it deserves respect that I don't know how to give. Usually, when I read a book that I fall in love with, I look up art on it and read what other people write about it and I just look for things related to it. I can't do that with these books because they are just. too. good. They're destroying me because they're worth so much and I can't figure out how to love them properly. I can't even rant about it like I rant about other books because it's worth more, I feel guilty even mentioning characters because they're too important to be referenced as "some book character". I can't express how deeply this pains me. I want to talk about The Darkling and Alina and Nikolai and Mal but I CAN'T. They're worth too much, the books were too good.
Sensitivemuse More than 1 year ago
I was so immersed in the book I didn’t even realize what time it was when I was halfway (about 2 AM in the morning.) Yes it was that good. I loved everything about it. The plot was fast moving and good - although it had some different elements, it is with the same template of: “Girl finds out she’s got extraordinary powers to make a difference in the world and is sent to a boarding school to enhance those skills”. Although it’s not any different from those types of books out there, the characters and the setting make up for it and provides an exciting read. It seems like the language is based on Russian words (correct me if I’m wrong here.) With the terminology and setting loosely based on the language. I found this pretty interesting and fun to read, it certainly does provide a particular theme and flavor to the novel which adds to the joy of reading the book. Character wise, I loved just about everyone in the book. Alina isn’t your typical character. She’s got a wry humor and has a tendency to be hard on herself. I really like her though. She’s not a damsel in distress, she’s a tomboy, but when push comes to shove she can look like a girly girl and enjoy it if she wants to. Her character develops throughout the book and she goes through some real tough times. She’s not whiny about it but she takes it all in almost to the point of admitting self defeat. I actually liked reading this about her. It’s makes her more human. *****spoilers below you’ve been warned***** Now who to choose? Mal or the Darkling? I fell for the Darkling. I really did. I loved his mystery and his charm and I wanted to kick myself in the butt for falling for him as hard as Alina did. He just HAD to be the bad one. Well, sometimes we just fall for the bad ones don’t we? ;) I liked Mal too though. He was everything you wanted in a guy friend about to be boyfriend. He was just as charming but he had the good boy persona on him. I’d have to say, Alina had some good prospects (if only the Darkling didn’t have such a horrible agenda.) Overall I loved this book and I’m definitely going to grab the second one. Can’t wait to see what happens!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Real twister. Good plot. Very unpredictable. Next book is even better
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not as in depth, detailed, exotic, or well written as Throne of Glass... but still very good, and gives a fresh story and new concepts in a market that currently seems to be drowning in repetitive garbage. A definite B+ and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book, along with the second and third books that follow. Great characters, great stories and the author built a great world. If you like these books, I would high recommend A Gathering of Shadows by V.E Schwab (the trilogy).
terferj More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars The world of the Grisha is such an interesting thing. So many different and cool powers/gifts. Of course in each group there’s ones that are more powerful but then there’s the Darkling that is in his own very lonely group. So which does Alina fall in? I would say both except better (since gooder isn’t a word lol). Speaking of the Darkling....I liked the Darkling when he was first introduced. He was mysterious and I thought he was the ‘misunderstood’ villain then nope! He did the jerkiest thing ever. So much for crushing on him. lol. Alina I really liked. She nice, awesome, and funny. I love her relationship with Mal. I really enjoyed the story. I found it had a nice flow to it. The story has betrayal, amazing powers, truth to the fold and the creepy creatures that inhabit it, kissing, narrowing escape, and all around awesomeness. Looking forward to continuing it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really cool, unique fantasy drawing from Russian culture, which is something I haven't seen before. Plus a great reluctant heroine--I loved seeing her grow into her power and herself
BookPrincessBlog More than 1 year ago
I don't know what went wrong with me for this book. Maybe I was comparing it to much to Six of Crows, which is now the standard I compare all fantasy books with? I know they're by the same author, so I guess I was expecting something of the same story. However, this book is so far from Six of Crows, it's best if you don't think of that book at all. This story takes us into the the Grishaverse yet again but from a new angle. We're in Ravka, a place that reminds you what a fantasyland Russia would be like complete with magical people - Grisha - who rule over the common people in their fancy robes and kickbutt powers. There is an enigmatic place called the Shadow Fold that is a dark part of Ravka where creepy vulture-like things (I kept imagining these weird one eye massive turkey like things so not very scary for me) kill you as you try to cross this near-black land. Our heroine, Alina, is forced to cross it for her job, and as the vulcra are killing her friends and trying to kill her, a great light comes and saves them all. Did she do that? Is she a Grisha? One of the most powerful Grisha to live and save them all from the Shadow Fold? Perhaps, it would have been far more helpful if I actually read the summary or anything about it before I started to read it. I went into this book, not knowing anything, in order to satisfy my Leigh Bardugo feels. It still had her beautiful writing style and wonderfully crafted world - how on earth does she create this stuff?? - but it was lacking quite a bit in other regards. The main reason, possibly, that I had so many issues with it was the main character. Unlike her other books, I didn't feel much for Alina. I liked her well enough, but I never truly cared what happened to her or what she was feeling. I didn't care if she was having struggles with her powers or if she was sad because her instructors made her work much. Towards the last 40% of the book, I did care about her a bit more, but I still didn't have that dedication I should have had for a main character. She felt a bit too cookie cutter for me, and that was a problem. I did really like Genya, though, so hopefully she makes more appearances as the storyline goes on. I also felt the plot became a bit disjointed. I wasn't sure for a while what the storyline was. Was it about the Shadow Fold? Was it about her presence as a Sun Summoner? Was it the romance? Near the end, the stag? I didn't have a solid line, and it made me hesitant to continue with it. I wasn't as enthralled with it as I was by her previous book. I guess all my main reasons I found this book is lacking is because I couldn't stop myself from comparing it to Six. That book is one of my favorites of all times, and since it is set in the same universe, I expected the same things from the book. It's a whole different storyline, group of people - not as morally questionable although the Darkling sure is up there - and even a different setting. I think it would have been better if I had read this before I read that series, since I couldn't have compared it. This really isn't a bad book. Leigh Bardugo just don't have that ability to do it, it seems. I think a lot of people will like this. It has romance, it has action, it has an amazingly lush setting, it has some good funny bits, and it has a well-executed and beautifully unique concept. It has a lot of merits. It just didn't fit with what I wanted out of this book.
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is the start of the Grisha Trilogy about two orphans, Alina and Mal. Alina and Mal are being interviewed by Grisha as children, then the story jumps ahead to their young adulthood. Mal is a tracker in the army and Alina is an assistant to a cartographer. The army is crossing The Fold, a place where monsters called Volcra live. Volcra attack and Mal and Alina protect each other. As the Volcra claw at her back, Alina lights up. She's suspected of being a Sun Summoner and people will want her to light up The Fold so traveling can be safer and ports can be used once again. The Darkling takes Alina to Os Alta for her safety, her training and to serve the kingdom. Alina feels like she doesn't fit into this life any better than her last dwelling and job as a mapmaker. She hasn't seen Mal since she was taken to the palace. Alina has a revelation as a forgotten memory resurfaces. Alina's power comes forth and as her power grows, it becomes easier for her to call upon and she learns who she can and cannot trust and who she truly loves. I like how the author has woven Russia into the story. Leigh Bardugo is an impressive author and her debut novel, Shadow and Bone, brought anxiety to my mind and tears to my eyes - 5 stars!
pooled_ink More than 1 year ago
pooled ink Reviews: ...I NEED book 2. My brain can't even handle writing a review right now. Awesome. This book is awesome. There are many reasons why but I'm afraid you'll just have to wait because right now all I can think about it reading what happens next. Read my FULL review here:
Michelle_Palmer More than 1 year ago
Great read! Heading to the library to pick up the other two now. Great characters, great plot, lots of twists and turns. Surprises aplenty. An excellent example of a YA Fantasy novel. It takes the tropes and runs with them until it doesn't. Bardugo throws surprises at the reader when you least expect it. Alina and Mal are childhood friends. They grow up in an orphanage run by the local Duke where they are tested to see if they can do magic at the age of 8 (neither tests positive.) They join the army (or are drafted, I am unsure) and are sent across The Fold, a dark and dead part of the country which is inhabited by murderous creatures. While in The Fold, one of them shows an unknown power. the person is taken away by The Grisha (people who can do what seems like magic to us) for training. After that any description would get spoilery.