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User Review  - purpledog -

I am not sure what to say that has not already been said 100 times over. What I can tell is, by the time I was at the end of the second page I was hooked. I read this book in just two settings. I ... Read full review

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User Review  - Narilka -

Alina Starkov and her best friend Mal are two more orphans growing up in the once great nation of Ravka. Failing their tests for magical aptitude, Alina and Mal join the army when they come of age ... Read full review

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User Review  - iwriteinbooks - LibraryThing

I'm pretty sure that Bardugo is some sort of Grisha, herself. At least a storytelling magician. I have managed to read her books in all the wrong order, starting with her short stories and then Six of ... Read full review

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User Review  - Maydacat - LibraryThing

Not your typical coming-of-age story by a long shot, this tale takes place in an alternate world. Alina and Mal grow up as best friends in an orphanage, but life takes them in different directions ... Read full review

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User Review  - empress8411 - LibraryThing

Although a bit rough and full of angsty YA tropes, due to Bardugo's world-building, this book rises about the normal YA dribble. The world has a reality to it, with a bit of darkness, a bit of light ... Read full review

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User Review  - nbmars - LibraryThing

This is the beginning of a young adult fantasy series set in a world that includes a subset of people called Grisha, who are born with rare abilities to manipulate matter at its most fundamental ... Read full review

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User Review  - GracePasquale - LibraryThing

I love when authors are able to create a detailed and vast new world where I feel like I can walk right into it. I want to escape the boring boundaries of normal life and be apart of something magical ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This is beautifully written! Definitely will read the rest of the series.

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I was so immersed in the book I didn’t even realize what time it was when I was halfway (about 2 AM in the morning.) Yes it was that good. I loved everything about it.
The plot was fast moving and
good - although it had some different elements, it is with the same template of: “Girl finds out she’s got extraordinary powers to make a difference in the world and is sent to a boarding school to enhance those skills”. Although it’s not any different from those types of books out there, the characters and the setting make up for it and provides an exciting read.
It seems like the language is based on Russian words (correct me if I’m wrong here.) With the terminology and setting loosely based on the language. I found this pretty interesting and fun to read, it certainly does provide a particular theme and flavor to the novel which adds to the joy of reading the book.
Character wise, I loved just about everyone in the book. Alina isn’t your typical character. She’s got a wry humor and has a tendency to be hard on herself. I really like her though. She’s not a damsel in distress, she’s a tomboy, but when push comes to shove she can look like a girly girl and enjoy it if she wants to. Her character develops throughout the book and she goes through some real tough times. She’s not whiny about it but she takes it all in almost to the point of admitting self defeat. I actually liked reading this about her. It’s makes her more human.
*****spoilers below you’ve been warned*****
Now who to choose? Mal or the Darkling? I fell for the Darkling. I really did. I loved his mystery and his charm and I wanted to kick myself in the butt for falling for him as hard as Alina did. He just HAD to be the bad one. Well, sometimes we just fall for the bad ones don’t we? ;)
I liked Mal too though. He was everything you wanted in a guy friend about to be boyfriend. He was just as charming but he had the good boy persona on him. I’d have to say, Alina had some good prospects (if only the Darkling didn’t have such a horrible agenda.)
Overall I loved this book and I’m definitely going to grab the second one. Can’t wait to see what happens!

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I should have read this one sooner because oh my gosh, it is so good. I really enjoy fantasy and haven’t had a chance to read any Young Adult fantasy in a while so when I kept hearing great things about Shadow and Bone, I had high hopes. And thankfully they were met, albeit some issues.
So, we’ve got Alina, just your regular orphan girl who is secretly in love with her best friend who doesn’t seem to be interested and is off running around with other girls. But then, she’s got a secret power! The thing about Alina is that I do like her but she doesn’t seem overly special or unique to me in any way other than her power. I wanted more personality from her – more spark. But I’m willing to wait for character development to occur in the next two books.
Then there’s the Darkling – alluring, provocative, sexy, tempting. He’s creepy, but I like it. He’s powerful and dark and I can’t help but kind of sucked in by his magnetic pull. Why hello there, Mr. Darkling.
And while this story is about Alina finding her power, it’s definitely a plot-driven book. Though I won’t go into what that specific plot is, since I don’t want to ruin anything for those who haven’t read the book. But it’s fast paced and I could not put it down – I would say I was flipping through the pages but I listened to the audiobook so there weren’t actually pages. And by the way, the voice actor was great. Her voice for the Darkling was sultry and I loved it!
Fans of Graceling by Kristin Cashore should pick this one up – it’s got good, evil, romance, love, and action.

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All reviews - 174
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All reviews - 174
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All reviews - 174
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