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Shadow and Bone

Narrated by: Lauren Fortgang
Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (229 ratings)
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Summary

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, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves her life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha… and the secrets of her heart.

©2012 Leigh Bardugo (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Interesting YA Fantasy Debut

I picked up this book for its fantasy elements – Shadow and Bone introduces us to a divided country called Ravka, besieged by the myth and magic. Leigh Bardugo’s vision for Ravka felt wonderfully cohesive – with Russian sounding place names and slang, and good explanations were offered for the Shadow Fold and other anomalies.

Alina’s ‘narration’ was full of personality and wit, and terms like “miserable oaf” leap off the page. I liked Alina although at times she lacked confidence. Mal’s character was initially presented as a womaniser and it wasn’t until the last third of the novel that I started to warm up to him.

The storyline throws you a few curveballs, which was a great surprise. These stopped the story from coming across as too sedate (despite it’s slow, plodding pace) and leant depth to the novel. I enjoyed the hints of romance and the scattering of action sequences, but it was the lack of certainty which really kept me on my toes.

I am interested to see where the sequel will take us. My ‘stab-in-the-dark’ prediction: Siege and Storm will somehow feature the King’s second son who was off training in the army during the events of Shadow and Bone…

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

great start to the series

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this via Netgalley but I actually read (listened) to this on audible. I sign up to a lot of blog tours and I end up pausing some books half way through so I can meet blog tour deadlines (totally going to be more organised next year) but I have found I can listen to books while I do other things like getting ready for work, driving, washing up etc so I actually listened to this one instead of reading the netgalley copy.

I was actually going to listen to Six of Crows as it had a full cast but I found out that the two series were related and this book was chronologically first. A lot of people said it was fine to listen to Six of Crows first but I'm a bit of stickler for that sort of thing so I went for this book (and the rest of the trilogy first) I am actually glad I did it that way round because there's a lot of world building that is in Shadow and Bone which I think you are expected to know when you read Six of Crows.

I found Alina a realistic character for one in such a made-up world. She is your average girl. There's nothing special about her. She is in love with her best friend who doesn't realise it and carries out her day to day chores and roles. I know a lot of people don't like Alina but I found her character intriguing because she was such an average girl before she discovers that she's actually grisha.

Once Alina's true identity is discovered she meets The Darkling. Essentially the leader of the grisha. I had a love-hate relationship with The Darkling. There is something so appealing about him that you want to like him but you just know you shouldn't. He's also a great character to quote.

Leigh did an amazing job with the world building in this book. I believe it is inspired by Russian history. I am not big on history but Leigh did such a good job of pulling me into the world that it really didn't matter. Everything you need to know Leigh will tell you. Piece by piece.

This was a great start to the series that will have you gasping in shock, sitting on the edge of your seat in suspense and screaming in anger. As soon as I finished this one I had to start Siege and Storm because I knew I had to be back with these characters again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great narrative and voice.

Really enjoy the story. Was hoping that each character to portray in a suitable voice or sound.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good story but performance was missing something.

I enjoyed the story...I think. I felt that the reading was lacking. I think a story that has such action needed a more dramatic reading.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty good but narration was weird

Very interesting world and captivating plot but at times was predictable. The Narration was weird sometimes couldn't tell when the protagonist was speaking or thinking as the narrator used the same voice. Sometimes had strange moments where they sounded like a different recording partway through narration like it's been edited. Also found it strange that a lot of the characters from the same country spoke with American accents (often the main characters) but some of the people then spoke with Eastern European accents and a lot of the words sounded Eastern European. The narrator should have gone all the way with the accents or not at all.

Don't get me wrong I would read this again but I wouldn't listen to it again. I would still recommend it.

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5 stars, so many twists,did not see coming!!

MUST READ. Took me a while to get into it and get used to the language etc as many of the words sound Russian etc but after maybe 3/4 chapters I was throughly caught in the story hook line and sinker. one of the BEST YA books I've come across in a while I bet this little universe will become a favourite 5*!!

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Shadow And Bone

I absolutely loved this story. Narrator was fantastic. Can't wait to listen to book 2

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  • samantha
  • Rotherham, United Kingdom
  • 05-12-15

Easy going.

So I did finish this book but I wasn't overly impressed. It's seem to have the potential to be an epic story but didn't follow-through. It didn't go into enough detail about the back story of the characters and I didn't feel like I cared about them either. There are other books in the series but after finishing the first one I don't think I'll be downloading them. If you want to easy-going book to listen to them it's perfect but other than that I wouldn't recommend it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • A
  • 02-03-16

shadow and bone

awful. I couldn't wait for it to finish, I love reading and listening to books but this one was dreadful, story was bad and the reading was soul destroying I hope I don't go through that again!!!!!!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Whovian
  • 31-08-18

disappointed

I LOVED Six of Crows and it's sequel. both were amazing. This one just pissed me off. Stupid Girl doing everything they tell her not to. I just wanted to slap her.I got bored at the half way point and almost gave up. Not sure if I will listen to the others. Six of Crows was leagues above this.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Katherine R.
  • 19-07-18

ugh

I don't think I've ever been so disappointed in a book. I was so excited when I started reading it, and the story just got worst and more predictable. There's a lot of books that I've predicted but the outcome still make it fun, but not like this one. Plain characters and I think the villain was the only one I kind of like, but at some point they were a disaster too. Idk what made me finish this book but it wasn't cause it was good. so disappointed. Dont know if I'll read the rest.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Deborah Andersen
  • 07-05-18

Fell flat...

Just wanted more from the story, world, characters, everything, it just could have been MORE

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • HKJ
  • 18-01-16

😥

I thought that this book would be better. It did have a good ending but her new book, six of crows, was much better. A waste of time and money.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • elspeth13
  • 07-03-15

Ugh, another sassy mousy-haired heroine trilogy.

What would have made Shadow and Bone better?

Being less predictable

Would you ever listen to anything by Leigh Bardugo again?

No.

Would you be willing to try another one of Lauren Fortgang’s performances?

No. She made the "sassy heroine" more "sassy".

Any additional comments?

Don't waste your money. This book was boring, predictable and poorly written. Try Holly Black, Gail Carriger, Kristin Cashore, or Garth Nix if you want interesting young adult fantasy trilogies with great writing.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-07-18

So much potential wasted..

Oh my god I hate the progression in this book. The main character is a girl with the power of light which is unique to only her but she is so painfully stupid she totally ruins this book for me.

She is a train operative but her automatic instinct is to use her power which reveals her identity when she is supposedly trying to keep a low profile.

So many parts of this book are molded to fit the storyline but the writer doesn't seem to have a seamless way to bring it together without making all the characters look naive, ignorant idiots.

I pray the second book is better than this first one because the world building and intrigue that is developed in this world is really interesting

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-04-18

too predictable - but worth the listen...

nice story but a little bit to predictable...

Excellent reading and many twists make it ok

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Shannon Thurgood
  • 02-04-18

eh

boring. slow. narrator did alright. i couldnt stay focused on the book while listening to it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Greg
  • 22-11-17

Unrealized promise

It started out intriguing, but ending towards the end...I was just skipping to get by the over indulgent prose.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Najima Rainey
  • 09-06-15

Mediocre

While I liked the world of the story, I think it would have been better told from an omniscient narrator's perspective because the main protagonist isn't particularly like able.

She makes a lot of mistakes but never seems to learn from them. She's suspicious of everyone EXCEPT the bad guys. It's like being inside the head of an acerbic, self obsessed kid, who spends the whole time complaining. An experience not worth repeating for the 2nd or 3rd book.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful