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Shadow and Bone: Book 1 Collector's Edition Hardcover – 7 October 2020
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About the Author
- Publisher : Orion Children's Books; 1st edition (7 October 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 362 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1510108890
- ISBN-13 : 978-1510108899
- Reading age : 12 - 15 years
- Dimensions : 15.8 x 2.6 x 23.6 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 24,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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I enjoyed all aspects of this book and found the Russian influence in a YA fantasy novel to be original.
I’m downloading the second now as I need to know what’s next in store for Alina, Mal and The Darkling.
Netflix have also announced that they are making this trilogy (and further books) in a tv show!
Like most series' the first book has a lot of world building, describing the who, what & where which at times becomes a little boring. In saying that the characters are engaging, Mel, Alina and the Darkling are dynamic and interesting and the grisha world is fascinating and multi faceted.
There is the unrequited love, a love triangle and a cliffhanger ending. I almost hope the Darkling redeems himself and doesnt become the series villain but i think i may be disappointed.
Overall a great first book in this series.
Don't get me wrong - the story itself is decent. I do enjoy the Grisha powers. I just think the book is... empty.
The politics weren't fleshed out enough, the transition between Alina's emotions was too fast and didn't make sense half the time, and it feels as though the story's full potential is unrealised and the characters were too one-dimensional.
I'm hopeful though - many people have said that Shadow and Bone is the least enjoyable of the series. Hopefully I follow the trend and enjoy the second and third installments.
The author doesn’t take a long time to do the world building, and doesn’t drag out the storyline unnecessarily. It can be a little difficult at first trying to remember the different Grisha talents and who does what etc, but thankfully the storyline isn’t overly complex so you needn’t get bogged down in trying to memorise each of those details in the beginning.
Enjoyable read and highly recommended.
By Leigh Bardugo
This book is so great .
I loved the world the author has painted for us, from the shadows of the fold, to the morozova's Stag.
I couldn't resist but cheer Alina on as she faced the darkling, and at times herself
And that ending, I had goose bumps.
this edition has a gorgeous cover and blue borders.
At some points, I liked this novel and at others I found myself getting bored. There's a lot of 'mundane' things that were described which could have been left out to move the story along further. The second half of the book did get considerably better and fast-paced. It's a quick and easy read, I read it in 1 night, and I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the trilogy.
Ms Bardugo plays the human heart and curiosity like a virtuoso violinist. This was a gorgeous, quirky fantasy written with breathtaking skill. I can hardly wait to read it again, just to see how she's put all those layers together without seams. For the lovers of fantasy - or for those who like a little sass with their imaginary world Ms Bardugo is a rare treat. I highly recommend both the book and the series.
My biggest dislike of this book is that it almost feels her power is handed to her at one point. Like a switch is flicked.it felt...cheap.
Also, her ability seems to have no set standard. At one point it is described as strong enough to cover a large area, and later only a few meters. So...that was odd.
But otherwise it keeps you guessing, with so many questions and keeping you surprised at every turn.
Top reviews from other countries
But here we are.
Now I’ve already told a bit of a fib there because I didn’t exactly dislike Shadow and Bone – I have read far worse books – but even going into it with lowered expectations, this is not the book I thought it would be.
I fell head over heels in love with Six of Crows last year and it’s now one of my favourite books of all time. Knowing that one of the characters from that book would be making an appearance in King of Scars, I knew I’d have to read her original Grisha trilogy even though it was never a series I was particularly interested in – and at least now I know my gut instincts about this book were right.
I’m not going to sit here and compare Shadow and Bone with Six of Crows because that’s not fair on so many levels. Six of Crows is a heist story while Shadow and Bone is very much a traditional ‘chosen one’ fantasy story, they just so happen to be set in the same world, and if nothing else this book reminded me just how much I love Six of Crows. I love that we can clearly see how much Bardugo is improving with each book because Six of Crows is a masterpiece, so I’m not going to hold it against her that her earlier novel isn’t as accomplished because that’s how being an author works. Usually, authors get better at their craft with each story.
Shadow and Bone has a lot in it to be admired. It’s easy to see how this trilogy took inspiration from and went on to inspire other Russian-inspired fantasy novels, and I did like the setting and the concept of the Shadow Fold.
My main problem with this novel was the characters. I’ve seen Alina Starkov on so many ‘Favourite Heroine’ lists (and that’s nothing against the people who love her at all!) but I found her so… frustrating, and kind of boring. I wanted her to make more decisions for herself earlier in the novel, not only when her childhood friend Mal was in mortal danger. I felt like she spent the entire novel letting herself be pushed around by everyone, and while it could be argued that this was to show her develop when she finally stood up for herself I felt like I never actually knew her well enough to care when she did.
Considering the country of Ravka has been at war for years and has a big shadowy mess of literal monsters in the middle of it, I felt like I spent far too much time with Alina’s boy problems. The Darkling and Mal, and I’m sorry to say this because I know the Darkling is beloved, were kind of boring. In fact especially the Darkling, for me. I don’t think I saw enough of Mal to really have an opinion of him, but I saw plenty of the Darkling and considering he’s literally described as ‘ancient’ in this book I didn’t expect him to act like an angsty teenager.
I’m sure he has some kind of tragic past, and knowing the kind of stories I know Bardugo can write I’m sure I’ll learn more about him and start to like him more as a character (not as a person) as the series continues, but in this book he was just a bully, and I have no interest in romanticising bullies. In fact he was the worst kind of bully by lying and making himself appear to be a friend first; even all the Grisha he was nice to he was essentially using for his own gain, which I would be fine with if he was doing it honestly, but trying to seduce Alina while she thought he was someone he wasn’t? Again I know he’s beloved, but I just thought he was a bit of a creep.
And I suppose that’s the point. At least I hope so. I can’t really be annoyed with the villain for being the villain, but he’s been so romanticised by fans that I was expecting him to be more sympathetic than he is.
As for Mal, I am so bored of the childhood friend who only wants the girl when he sees her with someone else. When he and Alina had scenes together I thought they were pretty sweet – I know, Grisha fans everywhere are aghast – but, like Alina, I didn’t know enough about him or the Darkling or anyone to actually care. Alina and Mal at least had a history between them, but the ‘romance’ between Alina and the Darkling came completely out of the blue for me – or at least it started a lot faster than I was expecting.
This book was published in 2012 and, reading it now, I could really tell. This is very post-Twilight YA with the love triangle featuring a girl with no gumption, a broody bellend and a childhood friend bellend. This is a better book than Twilight and, even though it might not seem it, there was stuff in this book that I did like a lot. My problem was I wanted to know more about the politics and the war and less about how Alina was wearing her hair.
The majority of Shadow and Bone was essentially a set-up for a wider story, but I can’t help feeling it could have been a few chapters at the beginning of another book rather than a whole book by itself.
I do understand why this book is so well-loved and this is very much just my opinion! I think I was ruined for this trilogy reading Six of Crows first, but I’m glad I read the books this way around because I might not have enjoyed this trilogy enough to be inclined to pick Six of Crows up if I’d read Shadow and Bone first.
If nothing else, Shadow and Bone was fun and fast-paced and, even though I didn’t love it, I’m hoping I’ll enjoy the rest of the trilogy and I think a Netflix adaptation will be really fun to watch!
She was one of the most powerful beings in this universe and the author throws all that away so she can be with some guy. This is a YA novel and we shouldn't be telling young adults and teens that this is what love looks like, being stripped of all that makes you special so a man doesn't feel inferior. I know that author was probably going for a "he loves me just way I am" situation but a relationship where you're not able to grow as a person is not a relationship worth fighting for (certainly not one worth losing all your superpowers for). I know the main character didn't intentionally loose her powers for a guy but the author made it so when she put the protagonist in the exact position the male love interest wanted her in.
It's a shame because the world is fascinating and the plot and premise is page-turning, it was ripe with opportunities of female empowerment but the author decides to keep her main charcter in a bubble and doesn't let her act like what she is, a being with God-like powers who should eventually (after some personally growth) act like that and not bow to insecure and violent men. Go read Six Of Crows (maybe my all time favourite book) it's in the same universe but the characters are incredible and compelling especially the women. Six Of Crows is the author's later work and clearly shows a significant characterization improvement and how the authors evolved as a person and a writer.
Reviewed in Canada on 3 May 2021
Reviewed in the United States on 7 August 2020
The world-building is complex and with well-defined characters. The storyline has a perfect amount of action, peppered with relaxed moments so that the reader can breathe and contemplate everything that is happening in this book.
Based on Russian culture, Ravka is a land divided by war and split in two by a barrier of darkness called the Unsea in which terrifying creatures lurk, making it hard for anyone to cross it without being torn apart. Until Alina Starkov makes her way into the Fold. She's an apprentice mapmaker in the army who somehow saves her fellow soldiers when they enter the expanse of land where there is no light. She then discovers she's a Grisha, a person who has a magical ability. Alina has a rare power, one that can be matched only by the Darkling, the leader of the Grisha. The only problem is that she doesn't know how to wield it so she's sent to the royal palace to learn how to control her magic.
I like how Bardugo uses the contrast between light and darkness to convey the fact that sometimes things and events around us are as seen in just in black and white. The veil of naivety is torn from Alina's eyes when she discovers that everyone in the kingdom depends on her and sees her as their saviour. She is a strong heroine, full of wit and wisdom and has a kind heart. Her relationship with Mal, the boy who's always been by her side since they were orphaned as children, was heartwarming. They care deeply for one another but they just don't know how to express their feelings and that just confuses them and makes up for a lot of angsty moments. But as always my favourite character is the villain. The Darkling got my attention from the first moment and what a remarkable villain he is. He's a seductive and mysterious character, but at the same time frightening and very dangerous. His ability to control darkness turns him into the strongest and most feared Grisha of all time, making him an insightful strategist and an influential and charismatic leader.
Shadow and Bone is the kind of book that simply makes you visualize the scenes, like watching a movie. The characters gradually evolve throughout the book, but they do not forget where they started. Leigh Bardugo has created a unique and fantastic world, full of magic, adventure, power and suspense that will capture your hearts. I can't wait to read more!