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!Download ☾ Shadow and Bone ♾ Alternative Cover Edition 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 RefugeeAlina 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 His 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 DarklingYet 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 How excited are you that this is becoming a Netflix show DI 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 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 says you don t need to but I highly disagree 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 for me to be able to fully visualize the setting I also just wasn t a huge fan of the main character Alina, and maybe I ll grow to like her in the next few books, but in this book she annoyed me I did LOVE Leigh Bardugo s writing style I found it to be very unique I ll be doing a video review discussion soon so look out for that I don t think words can properly describe how much I adored SHADOW BONE The characters, the world buildingit 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. 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 a kindly duke, until the time comes for them to serve their country Both are tested by the Grisha, an ancient and powerful order of magicians, but neither show aptitude, so Mal becomes an accomplished military tracker, while Alina studies as an army cartographer and has nothing to look forward to but a mundane existence Homely and scrawny, Alina watches as her dashing, handsome best friend Mal, whom she secretly loves, gets attention from all the girls.Their lives change when their regiment is ordered across the Shadow Fold, a deadly rift of darkness that cuts Ravka in two, separating the eastern capital from its ports in West Ravka When the caravan is attacked by gargoyle like monsters called volcra, Alina discovers powers she didn t know she had Immediately, she becomes the most important person in the kingdom, the target of enemy assassins, and is whisked away to the palace of the Darkling, the head of the Grisha and right hand of the king, to learn the ways of magic Alina might hold the secret to destroying the Shadow Fold and saving Ravka, but only if she survives her enemies some from other countries, some from within the kingdom itself.Shadow and Bone works on every level It s a believable and poignant romance It s a great mystery in which the villains and heroes are not at all who they seem It s a first rate adventure Maybe I was especially drawn to this book because I got to visit Russia last summer and can easily imagine the Grisha slipping through the corridors of the Winter Palace, but I suspect this book will appeal to many readers even if they have no knowledge of Russian history I ll be anxiously waiting for the second book in the series 2.5 starsIt 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 thoughtful, something 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 steamy ish romance with the hottest guy on the block Bardugo even succeeds at creating an exotic backdrop for her story an early 20th century Russia inspired fantasy land of Ravka Even with my issues concerning the accuracy of everything borrowed from Russian culture, I will still say that the author manages to create a very distinct atmosphere in her novel And speaking of this atmosphere, Russian flavor if you will, Shadow and Bone is a rare book whose covers both US and UK reflect the novel s mood well, even though I find UK s tagline to be a bit misleading and melodramatic This novel is not as romancey as the line A dark heart A pure soul A love that will last forever would imply.With that said, the reason I did not enjoy this book the way I had hoped I would is that it is just so uncomplicated and straight forward I have no usual complaints about Bardugo s characters and the plot But they are familiar and well used and not very rich These characters are simple, void of complex emotions and motivations Same goes for the plot and conflicts There is no complexity to them either The conflicts are of good evil variety The plot is easily predictable Twists What twists I do not think Shadow and Bone is a good fit for many adult readers, unless they are in a search for going through the motions sort of story with a standard kick ass protagonist I am thinking Tris from Divergent or Ismae from Grave Mercy , and they do not expect to be challenged intellectually or emotionally.Now, to the part of my review that will reflect exclusively my personal problems with this book, which will not bother 99.9% of its potential readers.Shadow and Bone is, as I mentioned earlier, a Russia inspired fantasy I took pains to check out Leigh Bardugo s website, to see how exactly she addressed this inspiration Here are her words Ravka and its language were heavily inspired by Russia, but with a few deliberate exceptions, the words and place names in Shadow Bone are my own invention My goal was to keep things simple and to make sure that Ravkan words still had resonance for readers In short, I took a lot of liberties and I hope the purists won t beat me about the head and shoulders Sure, I do not want to be a language nazi or anything I can skim over Russian sounding made up words, even though they linguistically do not make much sense Not every writer can be like Catherynne M Valente, who embraced Russianness so fully in her Deathless, that I had to do some research to find out if she was Russian herself she is not But is it too much to ask of an author to at least google the actual Russian words she does use in her work I swear, it would only take 10 minutes to research the glaring mistakes I found.For instance, if you want to give your characters Russian names, it is not that hard to find out that men and women in Russia have different variations of the same last name Let s take the book s main character, Alina Starkov Starkov is a masculine version of the last name Correctly, it should be Alina Starkova In the same way, there is another character, whose name is Ilya Morozova The problem with this name is that Ilya is actually a male name, while the last name has a female form In the book, Ilya Morozova is a she If you google Russian last names, this information comes up in the second or third link from the top How much time would it take to do this research Then there is a matter of kvas, a beverage everyone seems to get drunk on in Shadow and Bone In reality, you can not actually get drunk consuming it This is a non alcoholic beverage well, almost, it occasionally has alcohol content up to 1% which is given to children as well as adults, like, let s say, soda Wiki this word, I am not lying You want to write about alcohol, use pivo or braga or samogon, if researching that is too hard, use vodka And, I swear, the last example of many on my list The name of this trilogy The Grisha in the book, the Grisha are magic wielding army Grisha is actually a short form of the male name Grigori Come on now, no better ideas, no better words to call your magicians other than this random personal name Or otkazat sya, which in Bardugo s interpretation means The Abandoned In reality otkazat sya is a verb which translates into to refuse That is why I am saying that even the words made up by the author make no sense, linguistically.To be sure, all these things will not bother anyone except select few, but I do not think it is too wrong to expect the author who builds her whole magical universe using Russian culture, to respect this culture enough to do a cursory google search, to give her work some appearance of credibility and care This sloppy use of a foreign my culture affected my enjoyment of the novel Shadow and Bone is not an isolated example of a lazy handling of Russian language and culture, and very often I feel very much compelled to offer authors, who choose to base their stories on Russia, my help, to at least check the spelling of the words But then I see that they do not care to do the most basic of researches, so why should I care To wrap this up, I do not recommend against reading Shadow and Bone It is a light and engaging enough entertainment In fact, after reading a few Goodreads reviews, it looks like many people found it to be utterly enchanting I am glad they do I, however, will not be back for. 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 BOOM Game change Glorious, glorious game change Black is white, up is down, you are not secretly attracted to me EVERYTHING CHANGES.Kaching Lights on Real show begins and we hope you enjoyed that prelude Also, while you weren t looking, we falcon punched your ovaries.The themes of Shadow and Bone center around power, and the struggle for it What does it mean What is it worth What do you do with it Also, there s love and romancey stuff for those who care for such things and who have a functioning heart.More importantly, for me, was the violence, court intrigue and sexy times of which make up some part of this novel These aspects were definitely there but they were flirted with I would have liked of these and a little less of the boarding house shenanigans and bitchy mean girl drama It was outside these factors that I loved the novel.It s strengths definitely rely on its characters and powerful storyline because the actual narration and writing tended toward the telling as opposed to showing side.For example Alexei s fingers slipped on the railing I lunged forward and grabbed his arm Hold on I cried Then the flame vanished, and in the darkness I felt Alexei s fingers pulled from mine Alexei I shouted His screams faded into the sounds of battle as the volca carried him into the dark Another burst of flame lit the sky, but he was gone.Still, I m wondering if maybe the things I loved most about Shadow and Bone will be carried on in the next novel To the very last page I loved the Darkling not because he was sexy but for the dark, rawness of his character The dynamic it played with Alina in how she saw herself Identity, concepts of misplaced idealism Lust, love, ownership vs freely given love It was all there amidst a world building that was surprisingly lite for this caliber of novel yet hinted at so much.Overall, a great read and I look forward to the next book where Leigh will probably rip out my still beating heart and feed it to a raging bear while I applaud in amazement Or, you know, something synonymous. 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 goworldbuilding I pretend to care aboutI just really don t care about worldbuilding Is the worldbuilding in this book good Who fucking knows This is not my division Honestly, I think the concept of this book is a little 2010 Harry Potter ripoff You know those books with the ten camps The twelve districts The seven pies that my grandma used to make You know what I mean In all seriousness, I think this world especially having read SoC has a lot of potential for political intrigue , but I don t yet know to what degree this series will go there I hope it goes there I hope everything is morally ambiguous as hell I m here for itplot and all that crap The first 2 3 of this book is so boring and I will never forgive it for that Alina goes to school She trains The beginning of the book you know, the thing that we know happens from the blurb takes two hours into the audiobook There is very little rising action if we re going to be all literary about it It is overall a mess Until the end AND THEN THE END GETS COOL AND ACTION PACKED Okay, I have written in this review about how freaking badass the ending is, but a lot of shit goes down and a lot of reveals get dropped and I did not expect any of them.cliches and tropes Oh my god I hate saying this about Leigh fucking Bardugo, queen of subverting everything, but the beginning of this book was so tropey Our main character Not very pretty In love with her best friend Every girl in sight is attracted to him He is everyone s type And then she meets the Darkling He broods She was always beautiful underneath But she s also not like Mean Pretty Girl Something something best friend vs bad boy Something something court politics Like, come oncharacter development And noooooow I have to go back on what I just said, because yeah, the tropes are annoying, but some tropes exist for a reason namely, the whole beauty thing Because despite my annoyance at Leigh Bardugo s reliance on the beautiful bitchy girl trope Zoya I actually think she plays with Alina s insecurity pretty well Whether she knows she s doing it is anyone s guess But Alina s insecurity actually feels like a super authentic character trait AND THE BIG REASON I M UP ON ALINA IS BECAUSE SHE GETS SO COOL Because Alina fucking Starkov had the greatest antihero moment at the end of this book after being sort of boring for half the book I m so proud of her I hope she spends two books fucking shit up and murdering people and she and the Darkling become mortal enemies I am a very normal personromantic development I DON T UNDERSTAND WHY Y ALL REVIEW THIS BOOK THE WAY YOU DO Because the Darkling is not sexy He s a really interesting and compelling character but the fact that this is this a popular ship actually makes me want to cry and throw things And Mal was waaaaaayy less annoying than y all made him out to be I am actually legitimately confused as to why he s so hated because he s fine He says one paragraph of shitty things to Alina and then apologizes to her and recognizes that he was wrong Which, if that s annoying, absolutely fine and understandable, but you have to know on some level that saying he s abusive but the Darkling is sexy is ridiculous We have to know this Please tell me we know thisauthorial development This series is definitely not as good as Six of Crows They re on entirely different planes and that is okay and valid But it s actually hilarious how many SoC vibes this had Genya is literally early version Nina and the Darkling is early version Kaz, except I don t like either of them as much okay, fine, I do like Genya Mal is kind of bland Somewhat bland love interest who possibly might be working through prejudice hm I feel like that sounds familiar Alina had the greatest antihero moment at the end of this book after being sort of boring for half the book Anyway I like antiheroes I do not like 400 pages of nothing happening I don t really like tropey writing I don t know how I feel about this book someone please send help overallI m glad I m finally completing the Leigh Bardugo writing train so I can continue with all her future releases in the Grisha world I wish this book were better I am still glad I read it This review was a mess I thank you for your time Blog Goodreads Twitter Youtube IT WAS A COMPLETE DISASTER. Whelpthat was horribly disappointingI 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 rantHow to Write a Hit YA Novel 101 In 5 easy steps 1 Make your main character uglyShe s an ugly little thing No child should look like thatLike realllllllly ugly Pale and sour, like a glass of milk that s turned. And she must be skinny, but in the malnourished and kinda hot sort of way.AND REMEMBER she can never be so ugly that the Generic Love Interest s aren t attracted to her I m sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina But I see you now. Your Main Character must be ugly enough so that all the little children reading your novels can relate, but not so ugly that Hollywood casts a troll to play her in the movie adaption 2 Make her humbleWell, I don t want to be high above all othersYour Main Character has to come from the sticks, she has to have survived poverty and hardship We really want that sympathy coming She s ugly, alone in the world and she sucks at everything Make her clumsy, naive and outright stupid So humble that when she s given clean clothes that her eyes well up in tears At one point, your are legally obligated to give her an Oscar worthy gown for some made up and utterly unimportant reason.No matter how successful your Main Character is, you MUST make sure she is ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE with her success Tears are acceptable, outright bawling every two pages is preferredA thousand girls would sell their own mothers to be in your shoes, and yet here you are, miserable and sulking like a child So tell me, girl What is your sad little heart pining forIt s probably best to off one of her parents scratch that make her an orphan An unlovable orphan Perfect. Now bring in the two hot guys Let s make a love triangle 3 The Love Triangle Thanks for being my best friend and making my life bearable Oh, and sorry I fell in love with you for a while there. So Now that she s an ugly, unlovable orphan, what does she need in her life A LOVE TRIANGLEA few notes here While it is completely okay and acceptable for your Main Character to be ugly skinny, both males MUST be strapping fine specimens of their species Ripped and buff No skinny minnies allowed.Option A our homespun hero has to be tall, broad shouldered, tanned and have an easy going nature While Option A is allowed to pine for Main Character, the two of them must NEVER EVER mutually like each other at the same time If they do, there will be consequences.Option B our tall dark and handsome has to fit the description He may be pale, but in a luminous way NEVER in a spends too much time behind a computer sort of way In addition, Option B MUST display at least four of the following traits Sullen, Argumentative, Controlling, Dominating, Sexually Aggressive, Outright Abusive, and Murderous but in a hot way As you can see, we are setting sweet and stable Option A up for failure The key is to always steer your vulnerable orphan towards the spicier Option B NOTE If the supernatural love interest isn t older than your Main Character by at least 100 years, it is creepyI ve been waiting for you a long time, Alina, he said You and I are going to change the world4 Good VS Evil Now, remember, your audience is around 12 17 so it s best to make the plot fresh, engaging and exciting.I d recommend with Generic Good Vs Generic Evil And, to add just a pinch of spice, let s make everyone good White and everyone evil Black And, to make it even spicier and less racist , let s go with Light Vs Shadows Fabulous Much PC.Now, where in the world would your Main Character be without a super cool secret weapon Since she can directly control light, let s go with the obvious With a flick of the wrist, I could slide a mirror between my fingers and I practiced bouncing flashes of light off them and into my opponent s eyes. Mirrored glovesafter all, you want the element of surprise, and there s no way someone beaming you in the eyes with light stronger than the sun will surprise anyone Hence the gloves.You may have a few twists and turns scattered about, especially when it comes to love interestsWhy would you care what I think He looked genuinely baffled I don t know, he saidAnd then he kissed me. The key is to keep the audience on the tips of their toes Is Option B trying to kill her Or does he just love her so much that it hurts Only the fifth book of your ten part series will begin to unravel that little secret 5 Vaguely Inspirational Sentences An oft overlooked and essential aspect to writing a YA novel isthe inspirational factorBefore you get too intimidated don t worryNone of these actually have to mean something, they just have to sound like theycouldmean something, maybe Your young and impressionable target audience won t get it either way He had seen a woman, barefoot and unflinching in her doorway, face down a row of bayonets He knew the look of a man defending his home with nothing but a rock in his hand. Female empowerment is SUPER in right now Your humbly ugly and clumsily skinny Main Character NEEDS to be spunky, strong and a real go getter Make sure she has derisive thoughts towards being girly and waiting for a man to save her Put on your pretty clothes and wait for the next kiss, the next kind word Wait for the stag Wait for the collar Wait to be made into a murderer and a slave. She ain t no damsel in distressexpect, of course, if either Option A OR Option B are inclined to save her from a cute but clumsy moment TeeheeDon t forget to throw in the self doubt and self loathing You can never let your audience forget how naive and childlike your Main Character is She must NEVER be happy in ANY situation She must HATE herself and EVERYTHING she stands for Maybe I would wake tomorrow and find that it had all been a dream, But, most importantly, you MUST and I repeat MUST show that the Main Character is willing to kill herself over the vaguely worded Light Vs Shadow plot point.Think of the target audience Impressionable twelve to seventeen year olds love it when their heroes are willing to kill sacrifice themselves for the greater good suicide with a purpose, that s our motto It was time to let go That day on the Shadow Fold, Mal had saved my life, and I had saved his Maybe that was meant to be the end of us. If she s not willing to suicide over some slight, is your book even worth readingConcluding Remarks Thank you so much for joining us on How to Write a Hit YA Novel 101.We hope your bumbling fool ugly humble orphan but in a hot way Main Character is ready to journey out into the wilderness where she spends months at a time camping in the woods without ever peeing, farting or having her period in front of the hot guy She does not have bodily functions, she is too busy weeping unshed tears over her dead parents and or the poverty stricken horrors she has witnessed.And remember don t forget to cuddle for warmth Blog Instagram Twitter 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.Yes, I loved it that much.Now I ve come to the part where I am supposed to describe to you the awesomeness that is Shadow and Bone and I m finding that rather difficult to do Why is that Is it because while reading a book you love your get so swept away with the story that you can t be bothered to take notes Or perhaps it s the fact that you don t want to give away too much of the story You want other potential readers to go into the book blind, expecting little and gaining everything the story has to offer I suspect it is a little of both for me and with that, I offer my sincerest apologies if you do not find this review helpful It is my hope, however, that my inability to do this book justice in my review speaks volumes in and of itself.Shadow and Bone follows the story of Alina Starkov, a remarkable young girl, who holds a power not even she realizes she has All her life she s never fit in Not in the orphanage where she grew up alongside her best friend, Mal, nor in the First Army where she serves as a mapmaker In her world people of elite status with unique abilities, called Grisha, serve as nothing than fanciful servants to the kingdom of Ravka One day, while protecting Mal, it is revealed that she too is Grisha with a very rare and sought after power the ability to summon sunlight She soon finds herself in a very different world filled with adventure, betrayal, and a sinister plot that could destroy all of Ravka.Within the first 10% of Shadow and Bone I knew that I would give it at least 4 stars The book begins quickly immersing the reader into the kingdom of Ravka head on Terms are thrown at the reader at a reasonable pace for a fantasy novel and for once I didn t immediately feel overwhelmed or the need to play ketchup with the characters I can tell Bardugo employed the rule of show, don t tell and I believe she did it well I found myself hanging on the edge of my seat waiting for of the world to be revealed to me There was never a dull moment reading Shadow and Bone no downtime for me to catch my breath And I loved every minute of it I thought the plot was very well done and I got so caught up in the story that the plot twists just blew me away I was so engrossed that by the time the climax hit I felt an intake of breath and couldn t tear myself away from the book for the duration of the read Oh My God NOooooooo And the characters ahhhhh, the characters I loved them all to pieces Alina is naive, candid, and feeble in the beginning, but she grows so much throughout the novel Yes, Yes I know Character development It really does still exist in YA novels Does she make mistakes Absolutely But she realizes them and she strives to be better I can see there is a lot of conflict in her character to come in the next two novels in the series and I am VERY eager to see how that is handled I also loved the Darkling I can t really say much about him because I am NOT giving away any spoilers in this review not even in a spoiler tag because I know how some of you are but he was awesome Just the right amount of intrigue and mystery And Mal sigh Oh, Mal Let s just say he is another love interest we can add to our swoon worthy list right next to Tucker Avery 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 any, 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.I think it goes without saying I loved the writing The descriptions were vivid, easy to visualize and thankfully, not overdone I m really hoping there will be a map in the finished copy Please tell me there s a map waiting for me The book is told through Alina s PoV, so we get a first hand account of the happenings And boy are there some happenings I ll tell you one thing, Bardugo can write a kissing scene well And the romance Man, I just loved the romance It was so sweet and by the end it just tore at my heart The moment our lips met, I knew with pure and piercing certainty that I would have waited for him forever sigh This book I just love it I m really not sure what else to say about Shadow and Bone besides the obvious it was awesome and you should read it If you are a fantasy lover, rejoice If fantasy isn t your thing, still rejoice Because this is a book that is sure to take you and your heart on a wild adventure this summer.EDIT I ve been informed that there will be a map included drawn by Keith Thompson Click here to check it out ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley As always, this review expresses my honest opinion of the book No gifts or monetary funds were exchanged for a review For reviews like this one be sure to check out Cuddlebuggery Book Blog