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Our rating: 5 starsBook summary:
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.Never Judge a Book by its Cover and sailed into a new world together. We didn't know what to expect as the hype surrounding this book was really high, we can confirm that the story lived up to the hype and even above it.
Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?
The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.
But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?
Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.
How did you feel about Mal and Alina's relationship?
Tanja: As the opening chapter starts with the story about their childhood it was so easy to connect with them. They seemed like two lost souls bond together and I knew that their relationship was pure. They protected each other and somehow it felt stronger than a romantic relationship. But at the same time I believe that there is more to add to their story and I really hope to discover it.
Glass: Both of them won my hart from the first page. I loved how they were there for each other without questions asked, but I was a bit frustrated with Mal's ignorance when it comes to Alina's feelings. First half of story was perfect, but I do have issues with the way things happened when they meet again. I expected more bonding time and conversation (maybe this is my inner new adult fangirl talking, but more drama wouldn't hurt).
Was the world-building well developed?
Tanja: Certainly. Even though my copy doesn't have the map (glares at the publisher), it was really easy to follow the story and all the places. I also liked that we weren't given the whole world description at the start, but as the story progressed so did the world-building. Needless to say, I have seen some reviews where people complain how the author didn't use the exact fact about Russia (the author herself said that she used Russia as an inspiration), but this is fantasy, meaning you can play with everything and shape things however you like.
Glass: World-building is probably the most important thing for fantasy - if it's not done right, whole thing collapses. Leigh Bardugo managed to pull it off without being too much "george r.r. martin" about it. You know what I am talking about - all those endless genealogies, descriptions and extra thirty pages in every chapter that everyone skips because it is simply boring. You find out things gradually along with the main character because Alina herself knows very little about hows and whys of her own world.
What elements of the novel did you enjoy the most?
Glass: That nothing and no one is labeled as just good or bad. It is all about gray and that is what makes story more believable.
Tanja: It's really hard to pick just one. But I might say magic. I really like the whole idea of The Girsha and how they are divided. At the same time it was really interesting to follow all intrigues at the court and see how different games are played. Another element I must mention is uncertainty- as you never know what to expect from anyone here.
What did you think of The Darkling?
Glass: So... I am rooting for a bad guy here. I am sorry, but he is the most interesting character in Shadow and Bone. I can't wait to find out more about him and his past. Considering that nothing is black and white, I am guessing that there is so much more to his story.
Tanja: For me he seems like one of the Shakespearean villains. They are essentially bad, but as you get more and more involved you see more layers of him and you cannot but develop some feelings for him. I certainly did. I still don't know what to expect from him, but I cannot wait to discover more at the same time.
Describe Shadow & Bone in one word
What I expect from Siege and Storm?
Glass: To be even better than Shadow and Bone.
Tanja: More awesomeness.
Until the next time,
I seriously loved this series. I do not understand the Team Darkling aspect, but so many people do love him! I hope he meets his demise in the last book!OdgovoriIzbriši
Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings
I'm yet to understand him fully, but this mystery around him is really nicely done. Thanks, Missie :)Izbriši
Yay! Loved that you both enjoyed this one. I really need to get book two and three read as well.OdgovoriIzbriši
I really hope you'll get to read them soon :)Izbriši
I definitely thought Siege & Storm was even better than Shadow & Bone, ladies, so I can't wait to see what you make of the rest of this trilogy. I'm thrilled you loved this installment and it all really does just get better from here. Wonderful joint review and answers my dears!(:OdgovoriIzbriši
I liked both, but I hope that the last one will be a real surprise. I cannot wait to see how it ends. Thank you, Keertana :)Izbriši
OhI heard great things about this one so I'm happy to see it was the same for you. I really really need to try it! Great review!OdgovoriIzbriši
I really hope you will as it's truly amazing :)Izbriši
The Darklign was pretty much my favorite part of the book :D I loved him a lot here and was hoping he'd redeem himself or something and we'd be able to see a side of him that would let his awesome personality shine. I think in the other books he becomes even more appealing.OdgovoriIzbriši
Faye at The Social Potato
I didn't see much of him in Siege and Storm, but now I think Ruin and Rising will be the one. Thanks, Faye :)Izbriši
I really liked when you both give your perspective on a book as a review. It's really nice and cool to read. So glad this is a 5 star book for you. I'm silly to not read it, I know, but it'll happen. ^^ Fav review!OdgovoriIzbriši
Lola @ Hit or Miss Books
I'm so happy you like it. Remember any time is the right time. Thanks, Lola ;)Izbriši
I forgot to add the last question *hides* lol. I agree with everything you both said. Glass, the magic is was pure brilliance. It awed me from the moment I read it! Again I love the world building and yes, although I haven't read Game of Thrones yet but know of the show and parts of it, I like how it's straight to the point without long paragraphs of description. Can't wait to start our discussion on Siege and Storm (nearly done ladies!) Lovely joint review as always! :)OdgovoriIzbriši
Yeah I have seen ;) But never mind. I cannot wait to discuss it!! Thanks, Em :)Izbriši
This sounds great, its been on my wishlist and def picking up soon.OdgovoriIzbriši
I hope you will pick it up soon :)Izbriši
I'm glad you ladies enjoyed this book so much. This is one of my favorite series and I thought the author concluded it very well with the final book. I hope you'll enjoy the rest of the series as much as this one. :DOdgovoriIzbriši
I agree with both of you on the world building. It's definitely one thing Leigh knows how to do well. I can't say I ever rooted for The Darkling, but I did love hating him and his guts. He was a despicable character, but Leigh crafted him very well.
Great review, guys! :)
I cannot wait to see the grand finale! :)Izbriši
LOL It's exactly what we all love to do. Thanks, Nick :)
*APOLOGIZES* I'm so sorry girls. I won't be reading your review. I think I've only read like 1 review for this series and I don't want to read any more until I'm done with reading this series. Hopefully soon. Will catch up with this review later on GR though :) SO HAPPY YOU ENJOYED!OdgovoriIzbriši
I cannot wait for you to read it. No need to apologize, dear ;))Izbriši
Yay! I'm happy that you both loved this book. I need to pick up book two, but I will say that I love a good anti-villain so I'm completely intrigued by The Darkling! :)OdgovoriIzbriši
I really hope you'll read the second one soon :)Izbriši
It's glad to see that you both enjoyed this book :) I have a copy on my shelf that is just waiting to be read! I now need to find the time to add it in to my ever growing list of books to read soon lol Great review you two!OdgovoriIzbriši
Janina @ Synchronized Reading
I really hope you'll get to it soon. Thanks, Janina :)Izbriši
It's always fantastic when a heavily-hyped story lives up to expectations. Thanks for the fun review, ladies!OdgovoriIzbriši
Thank you, Andrea :)Izbriši
Yay!! I'm so glad to hear that this lived up to the hype! I have it ready to listen to on my audible books but just haven't managed to get there yet. I love that people weren't black and white good or evil - people are more complex than that and I love when a book delivers that complexity! Yay! Awesome post!OdgovoriIzbriši
I really hope you'll get to this one soon. Thank you :)Izbriši
Yay!!! I'm so glad you both enjoyed Shadow and Bone. This is my absolute favorite. Can't wait to see your reviews for the rest of the series. Wonderful review and answers, ladies!! (:OdgovoriIzbriši
Thank you, Ini :)Izbriši
Gads, I have this series on my wishlist. I so need to make it happen in 2014! Loved the conversation review ladies!OdgovoriIzbriši
I really hope you'll get it. Thank you, Kim :)Izbriši
Another great review, ladies! I love the last part the most. :) I've heard some good things about this series, but wasn't sure it was worth reading. Seems that it might be!OdgovoriIzbriši
Second Run Reviews
It is worth reading, trust me :) Thanks, Terri :)Izbriši
I absolutely loved this series and am beyond excited for you to read the next two books because THERE AWESOME!!!! LOL--i also fell for Mal and Alina from the first page and agree with you guys--they're relationship felt very pure. A shakesperane villian is a great way to describe The Darkling...i found him fascinating. Lovely review!OdgovoriIzbriši
I'm so happy you agree with us. Thanks, Lily :)Izbriši
I can't wait to hear what you ladies think of the rest of this series. I LOVE it. It's been my #2 favorite YA fantasy series since I first picked up Shadow and Bone when it first came out. Great review!OdgovoriIzbriši
It is amazing. Thanks, Jessica :)Izbriši
Ah! Well ladies, first and foremost let me apologize to you two. I know I haven't been stopping by regularly and that's becasue I'm occupied with my research work at the moment. What you should know is that I've been reading all your reviews in my mail, so that makes this one time bombardment of comments easier. Anyway, now on to Shadow and Bone. The supremely gorgeous paperback of this book has been sitting on my shelf since so long. I have seen a read-along or two for it, but I never really took part. I'm glad you guys did though and I'm even glad you liked it so much. Tanja, I'm so totally counting on your guaranteed "awesomeness". I'll let you both know when I read this so we can discuss more. Beautiful review!OdgovoriIzbriši
Sarika @ The Readdicts
No worries, love! I'm sure you'll do amazing with you studies ;) I really hope you'll get to it soon. Thanks, Sarika :)Izbriši
Love these books so much!! I think Siege and Storm was my favorite. But you're lucky they're all out so you don't have to wait....OdgovoriIzbriši
Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics
Thank you, Jen :)Izbriši
This book sounds awesome! I have read a few other reviews about it and been keeping a keen eye out for it. The cover may not be the best but I've heard nothing but positive things. 5 stars is a very high rating ^.^OdgovoriIzbriši