Alina Starkov lives at an orphanage sponsored by a kind duke in the Kingdom of Ravka. Her best friend Mal Oretsev, also an orphan, lives there, too. Alina and Mal are sent into the Unsea (the Shadow Fold) for a two-week trek to train with the Poliznaya army. Mal is a tracker, Alina an army cartographer. Their lives change when their regiment is attacked by monsters called Volcra.
In the process of battling the danger, Alina discovers magical powers she didn’t know she had: she can summon sunlight. She is moved to an elite group of Grisha soldiers and taken to learn magic with The Darkling, a Grisha leader and the king’s right-hand man in Ravka. While Alina may hold the power to destroy the Shadow Fold, she has to navigate her new life first. With enemies all around, she needs to learn whether to trust the new people in her life or her old friends.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
Not everything is as it seams, and if you like a book with a twist at the end, this is the book for you. Shadow and Bone incorporates Russian themes, as evident by the surnames of the protagonists. It crosses many genres, including mystery, adventure, romance, and fantasy. Within the story, there are themes of empathy, mercy, and love. This book would make a great gift for readers who like fantasy, romance, mystery, court intrigue and/or books with "old world" feel.
Mystery, suspense, adventure, tested friendships, romance, magic ... Shadow and Bone has something for readers with specific or eclectic tastes.
Profanity and violence.
This is a fantasy adventure, told in the first person by the main character, Alina.
This is a book to be read for fun. Because of the twist at the end, it could be a great discussion to talk about what "clues" had been presented to lead to that ending.
Our reviewer also mentions that the book builds on themes of empathy and mercy. Where do those things happen in the story. Should mercy have been shown? Why or why not?
15 and Up
15 and Up
Borrow. It is fun to read, but you may not read it again.