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Shadow and Bone

(The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  541,922 ratings  ·  55,941 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
Kindle Edition, 369 pages
Published June 6th 2013 by Orion Children's (first published June 5th 2012)
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  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
    Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1)

    Release date: Apr 20, 2021
    We're giving away 15 finished copies of the SHADOW AND BONE Media Tie-In Edition by Leigh Bardugo, the book that started the Grishaverse. Enter now! ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 15 copies available, 13822 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jul 26 - Aug 02, 2021

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Popular Answered Questions
    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 perspect…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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    Average rating 3.97  · 
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     ·  541,922 ratings  ·  55,941 reviews

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    Start your review of Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone, #1)
    Why Mal the Malfunction is the Worst Love Interest Ever: An Essay

    This will be long.
    Very long.
    Also: MILD SPOILERS for Siege and Storm and Shadow and Bone.

    EDIT: The reason I'm writing this review and not Why the Darkling is the Worst Love Interest Ever is because
    A. He's the villain. He's supposed to be the worst. That's kind of the point.
    B. Mal is supposed to be the hero, but he's so toxic and awful and I don't like how he's portrayed as some ideal man.
    C. The Darkling was never really a love inte
    Miranda Reads
    Jan 24, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

    Latest BookTube Video is up - a totally serious take on writing Young Adult Lit!
    The Actual Review

    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.
    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
    Seeing a lot of traffic here, even though this review is almost 10 years old. Like everyone, I've watched the show, and I think it's twice better than this sad, mediocre book. Mixing up Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows was a stroke of genius to be sure. The cast was all marvelous (especially Jesper), Mal was surprisingly attractive, as was Darkling. Color me surprised.

    I was hoping for some non-sensical Russian-like grammatical mistakes would be corrected, but nah, male Morozova, otkazat'sya were
    Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    Recommended to Nataliya by: the word 'Grisha'
    Shelves: 2012-reads
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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 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.
    Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: favourites
    'fine. 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
    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
    Elle (ellexamines)
    (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 worldbu
    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
    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 lo
    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
    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
    Tharindu Dissanayake
    "The usual. Life. Love. The melting point of iron ore."

    Having read Six of Crows first, I was a little worried about reading Shadow and Bone. Based on a lot of reviews, I thought this will fall way behind SoC, resulting in a dull read. Turns out all that anxiety was not necessary at all. This might not be as conniving or eventful as SoC, but things turned out way better than I had hoped. I know it's not fair to compare the two, with Shadow and Bone series coming first, so I'm going to stop myself
    The Burning Rose (Jess)
    3.5/5 stars.
    I can't believe I finally found time to write this review. I finished the book a while ago but I'm so busy, my God.

    So let's start by saying that, despite the low number of stars, this book was a good book overall. I will explain later why I took down 1.5 stars.

    Let's start with the good stuff.
    For a while now this series has winked at me from my bookshelf. I know the high around the writer Leigh Bardugo and I have long wanted to see what and why people love her books so much. now I ge
    Chelsea Humphrey
    Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Recommended to Chelsea by: Bentley ★
    Shelves: favorites, audiobooks
    Yep, I still love this book. <3 Also, for those asking, the audio version is fabulous. Highly recommended!


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

    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
    Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
    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
    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
    Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink


    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
    Nilufer Ozmekik
    Mar 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    OMG! I don’t know if you’d feel the same with me but I just finished the series and entire time ogled Darkling who played by ultra charismatic British actor Benjamin Barnes ! It was amazing to see prologue of Six of Crows ( I intended to bingeread them on weekend) being introduced to Matthias and Nina who also belong to Six of Crows universe! Am I wrong or series absolutely nailed it and is absolutely better than the trilogy!

    Why the hell I read this book now? Why did I wait too long? If not for
    Lala BooksandLala
    Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: favourites, fantasy
    I am officially Shadow & Bone trash.
    She-who-must-not-be-named  (exams)
    It took me exactly two chapters to get invested in the story, but after that I literally gobbled this book. The characters were all well portrayed and watching Alina develop through the course of the story was amazing. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Alina and the Darkling even if it lasted for a very short span of time. I did think that the Darkling was cunning and transparent but I had a glimmering hope that he would eventually come around. But I guess I was wrong.
    The terminologies wer
    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
    Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: owned

    4.5 stars

    2021 me is laughing at my 2016 review because rereading this changed everything I felt about this book. I love it so much more now and for completely different reasons. Honestly an all time favorite 💗
    (can’t believe I was a darkling stan 💀)


    3.5 Stars

    I honestly had no intention of reading this series, but after loving Six of Crows I decided that I had to give The Grisha Trilogy a chance. And I am SO happy that I did!

    While I felt that the plot and romance were somewhat tropey,
    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.
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    Does the Netflix series make you ship Malina? 10 108 Jul 28, 2021 11:25AM  
    Is Shadow and Bone worth the read? 7 42 Jul 28, 2021 11:19AM  
    Addicted to YA: Shadow and Bone - starting July 15th 14 85 Jul 27, 2021 12:58AM  
    SA Book & Challen...: Shadow and Bone (spoilers) 9 5 Jul 19, 2021 02:40AM  
    ❀The Never-ending...: Shadow and Bone Elimination Game- Round 1 97 43 Jul 17, 2021 09:38PM  
    SA Book & Challen...: Shadow and Bone (no spoilers) 5 13 Jul 17, 2021 12:37AM  

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    Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse (now a Netflix original series) which spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, the King of Scars Duology, and The Language of Thorns—with more to come. Her short stories can be found in multiple anthologies, including the Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. Her othe ...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)

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    We all want to spend more time lost in the pages of great books. That's the idea behind our annual 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge! It's...
    268 likes · 67 comments
    “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.” 1956 likes
    “The Darkling slumped back in his chair. “Fine,” he said with a weary shrug. “Make me your villain.” 1913 likes
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