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The Gathering Dark

(The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1)

by
4.04  ·  Rating details ·  212,751 ratings  ·  24,719 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
...more
Paperback, UK, 310 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)

Community Reviews

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4.04  · 
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 ·  212,751 ratings  ·  24,719 reviews


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Nataliya
Oct 08, 2012 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
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Miranda Reads
Jan 24, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
description

IT WAS A COMPLETE DISASTER.
Whelp...that was horribly disappointing...

I cannot begin to explain how utterly...blah this one was.

SO many people recommended it, and I honestly feel a bit awful with the low rating - but ehhh, what's the point of goodreads if I can't rant?

How to Write a Hit YA Novel 101

(In 5 easy steps!)

1. Make your main character ugly
“She’s an ugly little thing. No child should look like that.”
Like realllllllly ugly.
Pale and sour, like a glass of milk that’s turned.
An
...more
Sarah Maas
Mar 01, 2011 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 world-building...it 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)
(3.5)
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
...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
How excited are you that this is becoming a Netflix show?! :D

I went into this book with pretty low expectations. Everyone seemed to not love it and I wanted to read it just so I could get to the Six of Crows duology. Well turns out I really liked it. Even more than Six of Crows!

Not a fan of the romance/love triangle ish but the world is interesting and the magic system is awesome.

The first book is my favorite of the trilogy!

I recommend you read this before reading Six of Crows. I know everyone
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Tatiana
Feb 25, 2012 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: 2012, fantasy, ya, 1, starred-2012
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 rivalries, balls and a bit of ste
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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
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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
...more
Steph Sinclair
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Recommended to Steph by: Myself, because I'm cool like that

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
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Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”I’ve been waiting for you a long time, Alina,” he said. “You and I are going to change the world.”

Leigh’s cooking receipt for “Shadow and Bone”:

1 naïve and rather plain looking heroine
1 handsome childhood friend
1 dark, mysterious and irresistible villain
1 close friend that’s kind of an outsider as well
A pinch of magic
A hint of insecurity
A handful of unexpected events
And half a teaspoon of scheming and betrayal

To get the full effect you have to mix up all the ingredients and let the dough rise f
...more
Elise (TheBookishActress)
(If you think I’m not still watching the television show you are WRONG. Eyes on Six of Crows, babes.)

2 1/2 stars, but I have literally no clue at all how to rate this, because it is all over the place. The first half was actually terrible [like, awful] but the second half was Really Cool and I don't know how to reconcile these two emotions? But also I have like. fifteen books marked review to come. So let's go.

→ worldbuilding I pretend to care about ←
[I just… really don’t care about worldbuil
...more
Maria
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4/5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I'm sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now.”


This is my first dive into Leigh Bardugo's magical and mysterious Grisha universe. I acquired all the books in the The Grisha Trilogy and the The Six of Crows Duology Boxed Set, but never bothered to start off with them. Mostly due to the great book slump I have been experiencing for the last 6 months, but also because I knew these were big and many books and the commitment to finish them all off would be grand. Bu
...more
Zoë
Feb 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a couple of weeks since I finished this, and I can't remember a single character name except for The Darkling. Whoops.
This was a run-of-the-mill YA fantasy book. It wasn't bad, just bland. The characters, romance, and (most of) the plot were quite generic and almost forgettable. I think 2014 Zoë who loved Throne of Glass would also have loved this, but my tastes have evolved since then. Also, I've realized that fantasy written in first person is not my cup of tea.
However, in the sea of
...more
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
...more
Val ⚓️ Shameless, Skanky & Bitchy  ⚓️
4 Stars

So confession:

I originally snagged this book after waiting so long to read it, because I was able to snag it on sale for $1.99 on amazon kindle.

Halfway through reading it, I realized I was really enjoying it...
And I knew I would want to read the rest of the series...
And then I saw how pretty the covers were...
AND they were cheaper than the kindle versions at the time of this review.

So, of course, I bought the last two books in the physical.
And of course, God forbid I have an unfinishe
...more
Lola
I loved it from page one. One incredible journey.

description

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
...more
Chelsea Humphrey
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net
Shelves: favorites
Am I going to be crucified if I admit I may love this more than the Six of Crows duology? I think this may be due to the fact that I should have listened to everyone and started with these first. I was so confused initially in SoC that it took a lot longer than it should have for me to get sucked in. So far the grisha trilogy feels darker and more serious than SoC as well. I'm really liking Alina more than I have liked other female leads of recent and was pleased this book didn't end with her be ...more
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
YOU GUYS WE ARE GETTING A NETFLIX TV SERIES AHHHHHHHH
https://deadline.com/2019/01/netflix-...

I CAN'T BREATHEEEEEE.

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 the audiobooks for enhanc
...more
Katerina
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
You're gonna question your moral compass, and you're gonna be happy about it.

jessica
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
UPDATE: ive just found out this got the greenlight from netflix to become a series. ahsljfldjaklfjdlajfl. i am deceased. RIP me.
___________________________________

'make me your villain.'

oh, my darling darkling. i would do soooo much more than that. you can put your collar on me any day. is… is this what love feels like?

5 stars
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
...more
~Poppy~
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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, a ...more
Samantha
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars!

On reread in 2018: Still 4.5 stars for me! I’m so glad to be re-reading this.
Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net
See this review and more on www.bookbastion.net!

Leigh Bardugo, you glorious, talented woman, you've done it again!

Six of Crows captured my heart when I read it back at the end of January, yet this book took any established expectations I had and blew them out of the water! I know it's kind of a weird opinion, but I ended up enjoying this slightly more than SoC. I do think this is entirely my fault, as I'm now convinced that I should have read this series first! If you're wondering where to start
...more
"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
...more
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
#0.1 The Demon in the Wood ★★★★★
#1 Shadow and Bone ★★★☆☆
#1.5 The Tailor ★★★★★
#2 Siege and Storm ★★★☆☆
#3 Ruin and Rising ★★★★☆

reread update: December 2017
This book was so much better the first time I read it. No, scratch that - I think my standards were so much lower the first time. It's not a bad book, but you can definitely tell it's from before Leigh found her groove, and the characters are mostly not enjoyable at all (aside from the Darkling, Genya, and Botkin). The "twist" still feels bad, a
...more
Azrah
NETFLIX SERIES? NETFLIX?? SERIES?? NETFLIX SERIES!!
 photo IMG_20190111_053509_zpslbet8er6.jpeg

_______
You’re the first glimmer of hope I’ve had in a long time.

I don't know why it has taken me this long to start this series. But I'm actually kind of grateful that I'm reading it now that the Throne of Glass series is complete. I'll now have this world to obsess over.

This book was a really good start to a series. It lays the ground work for what's to come and I'm really excited to continue on.

There were times where I found the main cha
...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf 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
...more
Dorreh
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kai
Apr 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, finished-series
“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
...more
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45,193 followers
Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over three million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, The Language of Thorns, and King of Scars—with more to come. (To hear about new releases, tour dates, and giveaways first, sign up for Leigh's newsletter here.) Her short stori ...more

Other books in the series

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy (3 books)
  • Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2)
  • Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3)
“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.” 1515 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.” 1213 likes
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