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The Gathering Dark (The Grisha #1)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  108,807 Ratings  ·  13,428 Reviews
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting R
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published June 7th 2012 by Indigo (first published June 5th 2012)
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Nico @Gabby how's not liking the book makes me a bad person?

The book is your run of the mill YA cheesy love story. Albeit written in first person…more
@Gabby how's not liking the book makes me a bad person?

The book is your run of the mill YA cheesy love story. Albeit written in first person perspective, which a lot of writers seems to consider this as the easiest PoV to write, it fails to deliver an engaging character.

How the main character reacts, what she did, most of the time, aren't something that's easy to relate to.

The pacing in the book is terrible, and instead of doing it by narrative, the writer took the easy route by doing frequent "X days/weeks/months later" type of thing.

The characters are straight up black and white, good vs evil. Which is fine considering this is a YA book. But like seriously, unless you're like 14 years old who can't understand why Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones are good, this book is not for you.

I also dislike the fact that many readers think that having a weak female lead who cries every 5 minutes when something is not all unicorns and rainbows and drools over guys only because they're good looking and having their brains shut off every time a hot guy passes by is a good thing. I get it, you people like romance. But come on, at least have some respect that females can be smart too, that they can make good strong independent lead characters who can make smart judgement without being easily distracted by some guy's face or tall and muscular body. I'm sick of all these terrible female lead portrayals by YA books nowadays.(less)
Anna The 1st book in the series isn't really dark, but books 2 and 3 are. At the begining of Shadow and Bone Alina (main heroine) is very insecure and she…moreThe 1st book in the series isn't really dark, but books 2 and 3 are. At the begining of Shadow and Bone Alina (main heroine) is very insecure and she has some "does-he-have-any-feelings-for-me" moments, but she goes through an AMAZING character development later, especially in book 2 & beginning of book 3. Also in later books there are more dark themes, like hunger for power & losing yourself in that hunger, and more brutality than in Shadow and Bone. So, it depends whether you are a patient reader and are willing to wait for darker themes - then I would recomend you to read the series - or you expect something that is dark from the very beginning - then Shadow and Bone might not be the right book for you... All I can add is that I enjoyed the series very much, especially book 2, Siege and Storm.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 04, 2013 Nataliya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nataliya by: the word 'Grisha'
The biggest issue with this book is actually NOT the utter fail at correctly incorporating the Russian elements into the story.

It's that I'd never be able to pick this book out of a generic YA book lineup.

It's like a ninja, perfectly blending into its surroundings, into that painfully generic landscape that plagues YA literature recently, the lackluster background against which few gems truly stand out. And gem this one is not.

I think at this point there is a formula that many YA writers view as
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
I really enjoyed this and I'm definitely going to be continuing on with this trilogy, but I did have a few issues with it. While I was fascinated by the world, but at the same time, I didn't feel like the world was fleshed out enough. We don't really get much world building, you're just kind of thrown into the world, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but for me there were things that I needed to be explained more for me to be able to fully visualize the setting. I also just wasn't a hug
Steph Sinclair

Check out the interview with Leigh Bardugo where she saves Kat Kennedy and I from Ninjas. True story. Also, there's a giveaway of a finished copy of Shadow and Bone!

If I could wrap up my emotions about how I felt after reading Shadow and Bone and send them to you through my computer screen, I totally would. Instead, I'm afraid you'll have to settle for my words: THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING! I wish I could unread it just so I can go back and re-read it again for the first time.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Yes, I loved it that much
Kat Kennedy
Damn you, Leigh Barduga. Damn you for tricking me.

Leigh Barduga is like some kind of literary crouching tiger, hidden dragon or something.

You would be forgiven, upon commencing this novel, for thinking Shadow and Bone is redundant, cliched piece of tripe book with poor story-telling, average writing and a predictable plot. People who haven't read countless Young Adult novels probably wouldn't notice the trends, but I did. This is what I thought and Leigh led me down the primrose path until... BO
Sarah Maas
Apr 13, 2011 Sarah Maas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE.
I don't think words can properly describe how much I adored SHADOW & BONE. The characters, the completely blew me away. There were moments when I was so stunned by the beauty and the brilliance that I had to stop reading. I never wanted this book to end.

This is the best YA fantasy novel I've read since SABRIEL or THE GOLDEN COMPASS.
Apr 09, 2012 Tatiana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Divergent and Grave Mercy
Recommended to Tatiana by: 5 star reviews
Shelves: ya, fantasy, ala-ya-2013, 2012
As seen on The Readventurer

2.5 stars

It is alright, if you are into fantasy lite. I, on the other hand, am a little weary of this lightish, breezy and superficial entertainment. Give me something juicier, something more thoughtful, something more sophisticated.

Shadow and Bone is a decent book. Bardugo's writing style is easy and engaging. The plot is developed enough to masquerade the fact that the biggest chunk of it is the usual boarding school fare with makeovers, mean girl drama, petty rivalr
Veronica Roth
Loved it. More later!
Rick Riordan
So many YA fantasy romances out there these days. You would think it would be hard to put a fresh spin on the concept, but Leigh Bardugo makes it look easy. Her debut Shadow and Bone takes Russian folklore and mythology and creates an alternate tsarist Russia (Ravka) where magic and military might coexist uneasily. Imagine a cross between Cashore's Graceling and Westerfeld's Leviathan . . . and yet Shadow and Bone is unique.

Our main characters, Alina and Mal, grow up as orphans at the estate of
Lola  Reviewer
I loved it from page one. One incredible journey.


I’m going to tell you guys something: My first ever read in English was Throne of Glass and that was last September. I thought, with my knowledge of the English language (at that time) that picking a 400 page book up as a first read in English was going to work out well for me. ‘‘Piece of cake,’’ was what I told myself.

Well, not exactly…

I struggled with that book because of how the writing was, in my opinion, complex and all those new terms that I
Kat Stark
Feb 29, 2016 Kat Stark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Buddyread with Adrianna (Click to read her review)

Liked this one, many reviews so :) Coffee review time over here...because I like to mix my loves

So I’ve always been obsessed with coffee. My mom (being the horrible mother that she is--jk, I love my mom!) gave me my first sip of coffee at like age 8 or something. I didn't start drinking regularly until late high school, but I loved it at first taste.

Naturally, I have always wanted to go to a coffee store and try out EVERY SINGLE FUCKING FLAVOR. H
Steph Su
People have been throwing 4 and 5 stars at this book left and right, and I wonder what I missed. I was prepared to give this book 2 stars, maybe even 3 if I was feeling generous on the day I wrote the review, but as I pushed myself through the first half of this book, I encountered increasingly more things that irritated me, until the one that pushed me over the edge and convinced me that I’d be okay with not ever finishing SHADOW AND BONE.

It started out strong: atmospheric and engrossing. Past
"That's All" Ash
 photo 1caffddcbcf2b4bb8b4a9d9bf5164c82.jpg

HA! Just kidding.

 photo AHAHAHA.gif

This isn't your fifth-grade English paper, darling.

You don’t get points for trying.

 photo tumblr_md5jwzeHxI1r53dllo1_400_zps37fb1c50-1.gif

See, to me, YA is like the BIG LEAGUES when it comes to book genres.

In YA… you have to be able to tell a story. And you have to do it really well. Because in this genre, you can’t rely on those really steamy sex scenes or hot business moguls with BDSM skeletons in their closet to carry your series. And you can’t use an infinite amount of those really pretty curse words to get your point acros
Emily May

Please note: this is not really a review. In fact, this may be my most useless non-review to date (there have been a few) and is actually better described as a random mish-mash of my thoughts and feelings on this book. "Aren't all your reviews like that, Emily?" I hear you cry, but alas, the random incoherentness is somewhat even more pronounced in this one.

You know, I've wondered ever since Shadow and Bone was released last year whether I would fall into the camp of gushing, never-ending love
Christine Delilah (Maramochabooks)
The Darkling: The Art of Seduction

"Fine, make me your villain"

@ the Darkling:

Plot Rundown:
Girl is a special snowflake and she never knew.
Accidentally uses her power.
Deny, deny, deny.
In comes hot stuff, The Darkling and the MC is all:
MC crying over childhood crush who wont reply to her letters.
"I'm not powerful"
*insert unneeded jealous mean girl*
More MC brooding.
"You got it wrong"
"Why bother"
*dramatic "I have no one" moment*
And then:
MC mooning over guy like:

It's n
Darth J
So, I originally passed this book over for reasons*, but after hearing such great things about Six of Crows , I decided to give this another look. And I'm kinda glad I did.

We have Alina, whose Grisha power is something about sunlight.

In order to amplify her power, Alina must find a magical stag.

And she has to face a villain who controls tendrils of darkness.

And there is some action on skiffs.

Also, there's this paragraph, which is pretty nice:

*Reasons: I'm not a fan of a lot of the words. Most o
Sarah (saz101)
Feb 26, 2013 Sarah (saz101) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah (saz101) by: Everyone, ever.
Because words won't do, THIS is my review of Shadow and Bone:

Shadow and Bone drove me to drink O__O

Hmph, and what has Ms Bardugo to say?

LOL. (Your tears only make me stronger.) RT @sazbah: My review of @lbardugo's Shadow and Bone #WhenWordsWontDo…

— Leigh Bardugo (@LBardugo) February 19, 2013

O. Mah. Gah.

Leigh Bardugo, you fucking liar. You're no human. You're a Grisha with the talent to write like a fucking goddess.

It was 4th of July when I really started reading this. I mean, I'd read like 30 pages the days before, and I'd liked it, but it wasn't until Independence Day that I was hooked. I went to this party at my cousin's house with an in-ground pool, sweets, horror movies, Sparklers, and even a fucking pinata. You know what I did at that party?

I did not swim.

I did not stuff mysel
Jessica ❁ Far Dareis Mai ❁ Rabid Reads
6/25/16 - ON SALE for $2.99:

Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

A few years ago, YA Fantasy was suddenly swamped with brand new series from brand new authors. REALLY good brand new series from brand new authors. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo was the second of that batch that I read, and I hadn’t really wanted to. The cover was weirdly creepy and looked to be inspired by Mother Russia. The only Russian anything I had ever read was Anna Karenina, and let me tell you—NOT a fan: “My li
Jun 27, 2016 Maggie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The thought filled me with grief, grief for the dreams we'd shared, for the love I'd felt, for the hopeful girl I would never be again.

Rating: 5/5

If you're a person that minds cussing in the reviews, you can stop reading this because let me tell you, I always cuss in my reviews. And this one, this one will start with one.


Oh man oh man! This book literally messed me up. As I was reading the last pages, I was shaking, not wanting the book to end, not wanting to turn the page, not wanting t
Nov 24, 2015 April rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I have mixed feelings about this one. I feel like nothing happened, but I also feel like so much happened way too quickly. That doesn't make any sense haha. It was good, but it wasn't amazing.
May 15, 2016 Mona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I can't
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
*does the Carlton dance*

So,my persistence has finally paid off and I won this freaking book after so many tweets and posts and likes.

*continues to Carlton dance*



Hey people!

What to say about this book and not sound like a raging fangirl? Well, this will be one of those gif reviews for sure.
When I got it I was all like
wow what a pretty map.
Then I did
for hours.
We meet Darkling and he is mighty fine I have to say.
I am scared to continue so I
Something happens and I am
How did I not s
Aug 09, 2014 karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: why-yes-i-ya

okay, so let me just dash out this review quick and dirty-like, before i get too far away from my memory of this book, and because the plan is to start the second part of this tonight and i don't want to get all muddled in my limited brain-space.

an unexpected three stars for this book. i mean, i had been hearing about this book here on gr since before it came out. great reviews like kat's and jo's and steph's, and giselle's, all of which put this book on my radar
Raeleen Lemay
Nov 16, 2015 Raeleen Lemay marked it as maybe  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I'm either just not in the mood for this, or maybe this book is just reallllly boring to me because I cannot get into it at the moment. I may give it another chance later!
Celine Lindeskov
Jan 21, 2016 Celine Lindeskov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who likes good books.
Recommended to Celine by: Pffft, I don't remember that... But thank God that they did!
This book... Guys. This. Book. It was truly amazing, and it was really one of the best books I have read all year, if not the very best.
The characters were spectacular! I really liked the maincharacter (and I'm normally not too fond of the maincharacter of a book). And her friend Genya. And Mal. And The Darkling.
The Darkling. My favorite character. He was probably one of the most interesting characters I have ever read about. He was fantastic in every way. I just love how he doesn't really have
Komal Mikaelson
Jul 20, 2013 Komal Mikaelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone on Earth and Venus and Mars and everywhere.
Initial Reaction after Completion

I was wavering between 4.5 and 5, but what the hell.
5 enormous, scintillating stars it is.

This book.



It was brilliant, amazing, and hype-worthy.
One of the few books I've read that live up to its hype and smashes my expectations with its inherent goodness.

I don't even know what to say. It was ASDFGHJKLPOIUYTREWQ!
Okay, calm down.
*deep breaths*

Lets get this over with.

The Story/ The Setting
You know, how we come across fantasy works with all this
Apr 02, 2016 Sofii♡ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“This was his soul made flesh, the truth of him laid bare in the blazing sun, shorn of mystery and shadow. This was the truth behind the handsome face and the miraculous powers, the truth that was the dead and empty space between the stars, a wasteland peopled by frightened monsters.”


I met a WONDERFUL WORD that really did not think that was to like me so much but it did and I love that I decided to finally take this book!!:3

To begin I have loved the world where the story
Warning: F-words here and there and a lot of ranting, don't like don't read

Rating: It's a "not the worst book I have ever read but it's not that far/not lives up to the hype/author did very poor research" 2 stars.

In order to save you some precious time, I will tell you my reaction to this book (especially the ending part) now:


My thoughts before finished reading...

I read up to page. 108 of Shadow and Bone, but already I'm feeling so pissed off that
Jun 10, 2016 Lara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
“You're shaking."
"I'm not used to people trying to kill me."
"Really? I hardly notice anymore.”


I am truly really sorry.
Maybe I should've started reading this series before six of crows, because compared to six of crows, this was plain boring...

I still really like this whole grisha and power thing however what was missing in this book was world building. There are powers and magical creatures and some dark history, but we don't get to know these in the book, we're only shown what Alina
Liz* Fashionably Late
4 Stars
Loved it!

[I abandoned the series after book #2, thought you should know it. However, I completely recommend the short stories]

Where should I start? This was such an enjoyable reading. The story is a journey, it takes place in a beautiful land that you can enjoy whit every description the writer gives you (There's also a fine map). This is a story mainly about power (and the need of it) but also about love, friendship, destiny, greed and sacrifice.
Excellent plot, great character develop
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Readalongs - Germany: Goldene Flammen (Grisha #1) von Leigh Bardugo 26 43 Jun 17, 2016 01:01PM  
The Page Turners: Shadow and Bone [Monthly Read | June 2016] 3 14 Jun 16, 2016 04:34PM  
Has Bardugo talked about the Russian inconsistencies? 57 594 Jun 12, 2016 12:43PM  
Covers 3 19 Jun 12, 2016 07:06AM  
Owls Be Reading: Join the Grisha! [Find your Order] 12 14 May 26, 2016 05:12PM  
Leserunde - Let's...: 4. Abschnitt: Kapitel 17 - Ende 3 21 May 18, 2016 04:51AM  
Leserunde - Let's...: 3. Abschnitt: Kapitel 12 - 16 4 18 May 18, 2016 01:51AM  
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Leigh Bardugo is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising).

She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she’s lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally
More about Leigh Bardugo...

Other Books in the Series

The Grisha (3 books)
  • Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)
  • Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)

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“I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I'd catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I'd seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I'd realize that you weren't there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I've risked my life for you. I've walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I'd do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don't tell me why we don't belong together," he said fiercely.” 1127 likes
“The problem with wanting," he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, "is that it makes us weak.” 785 likes
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