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Ratings and Book Reviews (14 324 star ratings
14 reviews

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4.3 out of 5
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  • Blown away

    In love from the start.. couldn't put it down . I found it lived up to its standards and will be reading the rest...I read her recent book six of crows and was in love. Still liked that book best but this was also great. A must read in my eyes.

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    6 person found this review helpful

    6 people found this review helpful

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • This is such a unique world.

    This book will cut into you like the sharpest blade and then pour a little bit of its magic into you. This is my second time reading this book. I realize that I never wrote a review for this book the first time that I read it. This strikes me as strange since this has been one of my all-time favorite book series. Like, ever. If rereading this book has told me anything, it is that my love for this book has definitely not diminished since reading it three years ago. I have been so overcome with nostalgia while reading this. All the feels are coming back to me in waves. The first thing that a person may notice when beginning this book is the rich world building. Bardugo has drawn inspiration for her fantasy world from Russian elements and it leaves this world so utterly breathtaking. It is easy to trip over some of the Russian inspired words in this in the beginning, but it gets easier as the story progresses. It is hard to describe the complexity and originality of this world. It leaves the reader so immersed in the story, so full of wonderment. Bardugo paints a clear picture of the extravagance in this world, the things that are less than extravagant, and everything in between. It is easy to live through the main character's eyes. These characters evoke such emotion in me that there are hardly words to describe them, but let me try. First of all, I have to put it out there that The Darkling is my all-time favorite villain. The complexity of his character is staggering. There is so much gray area surrounding him that the reader doesn't truly know how to feel about him. I am a sucker for morally gray villains. Alina is the main protagonist in the story. She is a wonderful character. It is truly easy to slip into her shoes and feel as she does. She is easy to like and easier to root for. At first, she comes off as weak, but there is a strength inside of her that shines through. The side characters in this book are also written extremely well. We get to know the side characters as the story progresses, and it is not hard to see how much depth they add to the story. The romance in this book is a mix of a friends-to-lovers trope combined with a love triangle. As far as love triangles go, this one does not disappoint. The build-up of the relationships, between Mal and Alina and Alina and The Darkling, are powerful. They mean something, so the love triangle aspect really works well. It's believable. And the friend to lovers trope is beautiful since Mal and Alina have been best friends since childhood. Alina has been pining after Mal, but he never noticed her in that way before. Then she is whisked away to become a Grisha and he is left to come to terms with her absence. It is hard for him since she has always been at his side. The entire romantic aspects of the book are written beautifully. And the amazing this is that they are written so extremely well that the reader doesn't know whether to root for Mal or The Darkling. I personally root for both! The plot of this story is utterly clever and so full of originality. The crafting of this story is nothing short of genius, and when you get to the last book it is apparent even more so. The foreshadowing is intricately placed and then things show up later to blow your mind. I am so impressed with Bardugo's storytelling. She is a master of telling stories that will grip you and become a part of you. I recommend this series to everyone! Especially if you are a fantasy fan. This is such a unique world with a powerful plot and complex characters. The story will become all that you think about for weeks. But the good news is that there is an entire Grishaverse to explore. Leigh Bardugo will not leave you hanging.

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    5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • cultural approriation meets cliche

    Sadly, "Shadow and Bone" did not live up to the good reviews that had me interested in reading it. I am tired of "girl wants boy but doesn't feel confident in herself until someone shows her how to put on make-up" tales, which this story boils down to. While I think stories of girls and women (of anyone!) finding ways to be true to themselves is a good idea and can make for a good story, this book was full of cliches that brought nothing new to the table. Wanting a boy as the sole motivation for a female character is boring and it's lazy writing. To make matters worse, the cultural appropriation used to create an "exotic" backdrop was poorly done and, regardless of how well or poorly it was executed, cultural appropriation is simply insulting, poor writing, and not something one should add to. The one redeeming quality of "Shadow and Bone" was a theme thrown in toward the end that mercy and compassion are powerful, not weaknesses. This is the only reason I'd consider giving "Shadow and Bone" two stars instead of one.

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    8 person found this review helpful

    8 people found this review helpful

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Fantastic

    Love this author and her books. If this is your first you will be instantly hooked and read them all. Bravo great book.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Amazing!

    This book was simply amazing. Great story idea, interesting plot, varied and developed characters, and brilliant writing.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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