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Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  138,590 Ratings  ·  16,724 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 358 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Company
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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)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 08, 2012 Nataliya rated it it was ok
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
Sarah Maas
Mar 01, 2011 Sarah Maas rated it it was amazing
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.
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
Feb 25, 2012 Tatiana rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fans of Divergent and Grave Mercy
Recommended to Tatiana by: 5 star reviews
Shelves: ya, fantasy, 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
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
Veronica Roth
Loved it. More later!
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
Emily May
Feb 04, 2013 Emily May rated it liked it

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
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
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
"That's All" Ash
Jun 17, 2013 "That's All" Ash rated it it was ok
 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
Oct 08, 2016 Dorreh rated it really liked it
Im IMPRESSED, is what i am!!!!!!

I've had this book sitting on my book shelf for ages now, and just hadn't had the time to pick it up. after seeing all the fuss over Leigh Bardugo's new book, (which i also have idly sitting on my shelf), i decided i should read shadow and bone, and as mentioned previously, I'm impressed! This is an instant YA attraction. It's a typical fantasy YA with just enough action, the perfect romance, dancing around a fast paced plot and smooth eloquent writing. The chara
Brittney ~ Her Bookish Things
**Update 5/14/16... I feel like my original review just needed to say more about my heart for this book... so I'm rewriting this review.

If I could give this series 6 stars.. or 7... or 8.... I would. One of my ALL time favorite series. I get so sad when I see people totally skipping this to go to Six of Crows (which I loved, don't get me wrong.) True, it isn't for everyone.. but my gosh it is a work of art. I love everything about this series. (Ps... I'll say it again, but I HIGHLY recommend th
Apr 06, 2017 Maram rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, faves
The characters. The world-building. The twists. The mess that occurred at the end. All of them gripped my attention and left me wanting more.
The story might be a little slow-burn in the beginning, but I honestly didn't have any trouble with it. It could be that I had an advantage because I read SoC before this and all the terms didn't feel like info-dump so I was able to breeze by the pages. But at the same time, I also feel like I would have enjoyed this book a
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 17, 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 ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
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 life sucks, so I think I’ll throw myself under a trai
Sana  Khalid °¤°
First of all this is somewhere between 3 1/2 and 4 stars.

Second of all this is nothing like Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom and I was actually surprised that this book was written by Leigh Bardugo bc it was so different! *I didn't read this before SoC and CK.*

Third of all The Darkling and I are getting married and you all are invited. Pls try to wear black, my husband and I would love it.

I went into this book not knowing what the heck it was about. I didn't even have any high expectations.
Apr 02, 2015 Kai rated it liked it
Shelves: finished-series, 2015
“What is infinite? The universe and the greed of men.”

Since so many of my goodreads friends have already read this book, I guess it was about time for me to pick it up.

Alina Starkov is one of those many plain main characters that you could easily replace with another female lead from a different book and it probably wouldn't make any difference. However, this does not mean that it was a bad read. I really enjoyed it.

The cover art and map are just beautiful. Apart from that, Bardugo's world is a
Cait • A Page with a View
Ok, I’m going to finally try to explain my UNDYING LOVE FOR THIS AMAZING WORLD… calmly. Yes.

So basically, this is the book that got me into book blogging. This time last year I read a couple YA books each month, but didn’t really connect with anything. Then I picked this book up and… was done with the entire trilogy in 2 days. I went into it knowing absolutely nothing, so maybe just ignore the hype and have fun. (I’m not going to summarize the plot here, though, because that would take forever A
Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
Update: Shadow and Bone is only 99p at Kindle UK!! Looks like the other two books in the series are also 99p: Book 2 / Book 3 :D

I wanted to read the Grisha trilogy before getting into Six of Crows, but this was pretty underwhelming. I don't know how the rest of the books play out, but based on the first book I feel that this series would have been better served as a duology rather than a trilogy. I'm definitely going to continue though. The world itself was intriguing enough for me to move forwa
Lala BooksandLala
Nov 25, 2016 Lala BooksandLala rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I am officially Shadow & Bone trash.
Aug 05, 2014 karen rated it liked it
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
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
There was only one part in the book I didn't care for and took a star off so there you go.

The rest of the book was pretty good. I enjoyed the characters and the different story lines. It seemed like it ended too soon or maybe I have been reading too many BIG books lately.

Alina and Mal had been orphans together for years until it was time for them to do their own thing. But, there is a secret about Alina and she goes from ordinary to extra-ordinary in the blink of an eye. < -- blink of an ey
Reading Corner
Oct 13, 2016 Reading Corner rated it really liked it
What a fantastic fantasy novel!The writing is beautiful in this book,paired with complex characters and an engaging story.I'm so glad I finally got around to reading this one as it definitely stands out in the fantasy and young adult genre.I never found myself bored reading this one and managed to finish it in 3 days.

The story was sooo good along with the characters because they were complex and weren't simply fitted into the bracket of 'villain' or 'hero' and actually displayed both good and ba
April (Aprilius Maximus)
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.

Buddy read with the girlies, Tweebs , Empress , and Cait

So I probably should have read this book before Six of Crows, but do I look like I have any chill?? (actually, blame it on my bestie, she was the one who said to chuck Shadow and Bone and jump to the good stuff)

My overall reaction to this book:

Shadow and Bone is narrated from the perspective of the Chosen One Alina Starkov, the poor orphan girl who is pretty bland and has a terrible sense of humour. After her and her squad are
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Does The Darkling love Alina or is it fake? 94 2310 Apr 19, 2017 04:48PM  
Project: Save The Darkling 13 118 Apr 18, 2017 09:53PM  
Mal or darkling 12 87 Apr 17, 2017 03:32PM  
For Love of a Book: This topic has been closed to new comments. Shadow and Bone - Buddy Read April 7 12 Apr 17, 2017 12:10PM  
Has Bardugo talked about the Russian inconsistencies? 61 771 Mar 08, 2017 12:54PM  
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Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of the Six of Crows Duology and the Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising), as well as the upcoming Wonder Woman: Warbringer (Aug 2017) and The Language of Thorns (Sept 2017).

She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. These days, she lives
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.” 1304 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.” 940 likes
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