Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone by our very own Leigh Bardugo releases today! In celebration, we’re giving away a hardcover copy of the book, as well as sharing why we think you need to read it RIGHT NOW!

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 refugee.

Alina 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 Darkling.  Yet 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.

I fell in love with Shadow and Bone on the second page. No joke. By then, I’d already gotten a sense of the magnificent world Leigh had built, the rich backstory of her characters, and the hint of so many great things to come. The rest of the book did not let me down. I am a huge fan of categorial magic (i.e. when different characters have different skills/can control different elements/have varying level of power/etc/etc), and Shadow and Bone had that in spades. Each type of Grisha fascinated me—from the Corporalki, who could be Heartrenders or Healers, to the Etherealki, who could be Inferni or Squallers or Tidemakers.

Magic and ritual and custom run through Shadow and Bone, creating a world I could see and feel. The story of an orphan girl who grows up to have the power to save her world isn’t a new one, but Leigh brings new life to it. I grew utterly attached to Alina, loving both her faults and her strengths. This is an amazing book, guys. I spent my reading time scribbling “OMG” and “SO MANY FEELINGS” in the margins. I heartily recommend it to all lovers of fantasy, and even to those who aren’t.

I read Shadow and Bone long before it’d been bound up into a gorgeous book, and I fell utterly and completely in love with it. I stayed up way, way past my bedtime reading it, and I’m pretty sure I just WEPT through the last fifty or so pages of the book. I was blown away by the world Leigh created—a world so vibrant and detailed that it honestly feels like it could exist somewhere in our universe.

Incredible world-building aside, the characters in the book are unforgettable—especially the Darkling. It’s been no surprise to see people fangirling over him….He’s delicious. And Mal…*sighhh* Oh, I love these characters so much!

In all honesty, I’ve read this book a few times now, and each time, I’ve gotten a major case of writing envy. Everything from the gorgeous prose to the dark and glittering world of the Grisha to the amazing characters made me absolutely green with author envy! Leigh is a major new talent to watch, and you’d be a fool not to pick up this book. I can’t wait for Book Two!!!

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50 Responses to Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

  1. Christina K. Jun 5 2012 at 4:07 am #

    I’d love to travel to a fantasy world that combines witchcraft, the 19thC in Europe and lots of magic. Shadow and Bone has been on my wishlist forever, and I can’t wait to read all about the Grisha and Ravka and all of Leigh Bardugo’s unique Russian mythology. Thank you all so much, and happy book birthday Leigh! 🙂

  2. Sally L Jun 5 2012 at 5:07 am #

    Wow, Shadow and Bone sounds amaaazing. I must admit, I often do judge a book by its cover, and this cover is so stunning. Congratulations, Leigh 🙂

    If I could travel to a fantasy world, I’d love to go somewhere with a medieval feel to it, à la A Song of Ice and Fire or LOTR, simply because magic seems to be so entrenched in the two worlds. However, to this day, my heart still yearns to go to Hogwarts, which must surely count as a fantasy world, despite its existence alongside our non-magical universe.

  3. Amie Kaufman Jun 5 2012 at 5:55 am #

    Oh, this book. This book, this book. I raved at length about it in my review here:

    I was so excited to read this book, and it didn’t let me down. I don’t even have words for this kind of love. You guys, you have to read it.

  4. Julie Jun 5 2012 at 6:08 am #

    Happy book birthday Leigh!!! SHADOW AND BONE sounds amazing!!! I cannot wait to read it! <3

  5. Kemendraugh Jun 5 2012 at 7:16 am #

    This looks so good! I’ve been watching it CAREFULLY for a while now. Can’t wait to read it!

  6. Natalie Aguirre Jun 5 2012 at 7:24 am #

    I so can’t wait to read this. I’d love to go to a combination Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings world. Please take me there.

  7. Rebecca Jun 5 2012 at 7:39 am #

    Is this open internationally? 🙂

  8. Beth Jun 5 2012 at 7:51 am #

    Ooohh…I think I’d either visit the world of the Lord of the Rings because…PRETTY….or the world of Harry Potter because…Magic. Simple explanations I know. But I think it gets the point across. Haha.

  9. Megan Jun 5 2012 at 9:24 am #

    Oh, wow! Ever since I found this website I have been anxiously awaiting Shadow and Bone. My library has been slow on getting this on the shelves so I may have to break one of my rules and get it for myself. Congratulations Leigh! I can’t wait to read your beautiful new book 😀

    • Megan Jun 5 2012 at 9:26 am #

      Oh, and if I could enter any fantasy world it would probably be that of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I have been fangirling after Laini Taylor like crazy lately so I got Karou and Akiva on the brain. I love the chimaera and the wishes and the angels and the devils.

  10. Ellie A. Jun 5 2012 at 9:29 am #

    I would love to live in the ASoIaF world! thanks for this giveaway <3

  11. elena Jun 5 2012 at 9:45 am #

    If I could visit an fantasy world, it would be the wizarding world of Harry Potter! That counts as fantasy, right? 😀

  12. Carl Jun 5 2012 at 10:48 am #

    I think I’d just go for a nice vacation in the Shire. It seems like it would usually be kind of quiet, a nice place to relax.

  13. Tim Jun 5 2012 at 11:05 am #

    This book will be so kickass:P
    Hmmm I don’t really know what sort of Fantasy world I’d visit, since there not really that great a place to be in the book’s time:P
    I guess Robert Jordan’s world is pretty cool.

  14. Jordan Hamessley Jun 5 2012 at 11:16 am #

    SHADOW AND BONE is such a fantastic read. Ooh, that Darkling. I’m telling everyone I know to read this book. I devoured it in a day.

  15. Dani Nguyen Jun 5 2012 at 11:28 am #

    I’d want to live in Harry Potter’s world. Like so many other people, I fell in love with the world JK Rowling created. Thanks for the chance to win! Shadow and Bone sounds amazing!

  16. Liz Parker Jun 5 2012 at 11:47 am #

    I pre-ordered this and can’t wait for it to come!

  17. Zoe Jun 5 2012 at 11:50 am #

    This book sounds awesome, especially the world she’s created! Immediately adding it to my to-be-read pile 🙂
    As for a fantasy world I’d love to travel to, I have to say Harry Potter. Hands down.
    Congrats Leigh!!!

  18. Tracey Neithercott Jun 5 2012 at 11:55 am #

    This sounds great! I can’t wait to read it.

    If I could live in a fantasy world, I’d be a student at Hogwarts. And since I live in the Muggle world, I’d ask the Weasleys to take me in as a foreign exchange student over the summer. 🙂

  19. A.J. Jun 5 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    The world in the Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta! Just so that I could meet all those AWESOME characters. X’)

  20. margie c {the bumble Jun 5 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    I’d definitely have to go to Hogwarts! Although, it would be nice to travel to Forks and look for sparkly vampires… or maybe some green eyed aliens in Virginia, lol! Too hard to decide 🙂

  21. Amity Jun 5 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    If I could visit a fantasy world…Tamora Pierce’s Tortall, because I’ve loved it since a little girl, and the world in those books only grows more vibrant the more she writes. Plus I have a chance to be happy there (unlike say, GRRM’s world).

    I have been early awaiting Shadow and Bone! Bumping it to the top of my to read list

  22. Llehn Jun 5 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    Harry Potter but without the Death Eaters because who wouldn’t want to live in a world that has every flavor jelly beans?

  23. Krispy Jun 5 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    There are so many fantasy worlds I’d love to visit, but the least dangerous one with the most modern comforts has to be Hogwarts! So that’s my top pick. 😀 Besides, magic and castles and Quidditch! So fun!

    Thanks for the giveaway! I can’t wait to read SHADOW & BONE!

  24. Felicia Jun 5 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    Just one fantasy world?? It would have to be the world of Harry Potter, simply because growing up with those books already left me feeling as if I was a part of it.

  25. Elsie Chapman Jun 5 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Ooh, Middle Earth, please!

  26. Myra Jun 5 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    If I could visit a fantasy world, it would be Kristin Cashore’s Graceling Realm, just so I could meet her awesome characters. I’d love to go to the Dells, in particular; I see the Dells as such a gorgeous place visually, and aesthetics are super important to me, so I’d lie if I said I didn’t want to see the beauty of the Dells as well as meet the characters of that world. 😛

    I cannot wait to read SHADOW AND BONE! It sounds amazing. Congrats, Leigh, on your release day. 🙂

  27. Leigh Bardugo Jun 5 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Well, this made me cry all over the place. Sarah and Kat: Thank you for the kind words. They mean a lot coming from two brilliant, wonderful, amazing authors.

    And my favorite fantasy world is the one I’m living in right now 😛

  28. Marina Jun 5 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    I cannot wait to read this book! I’m so excited because it’s seems to be set in Russia, or a place very much like it. Very excited indeed.

  29. Teresa Jun 5 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    Middle-earth, hands down. Been a LOTR fan since age eight, still has major, intense ties to my heart.

    This book sounds great! Excited to read it!

  30. Peggy Jun 5 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    I think I’d love to live in a steampunk edwardian era! 🙂

  31. Kristie M Jun 5 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    I would love to go to school at Hogwarts!!

  32. Jenea Whittington Jun 5 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    I would like live in the fantasy world like the one in Under the Never Sk. A different reality everyday would be pretty great. Thank you for the giveaway.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  33. Ange/Libby Blog (@ma Jun 5 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    I adore the world that Rowling created in Harry Potter and Lewis created in Narnia so much but for some reason when I read the question I instantly thought of Fire by Kristin Cashore. I’d love to meet Fire and see her in real life for myself. Along with all of the other monsters too of course! 🙂

  34. Schneider Jun 5 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    Ah, just one fantasy world is hardly fair! Lord of the Rings comes quite close, as does Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy, but I think ultimately I’d have to go with the world of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials–so good!

  35. Lexie B. Jun 5 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    . . . Harry Potter. Uncreative answer, but I can’t even imagine anything else.

    Also: CONGRATULATIONS LEIGH! Happy book birthday! <3 I've been waiting on this book for . . . probably at least five months now, and it feels almost unreal that it's finally on shelves. So happy for you, and RIDICULOUSLY excited to get my copy. 😀

  36. Yuanting Jun 5 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    If I could visit a world, I would definitely visit Melina Marchetta’s amazing world in Finnikin of the Rock! I’m currently reading Froi of the Exiles and I love everything about the book to death!

    Also, congratulations to Leigh on her book release! 😀

  37. Gwen Cole Jun 5 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    I feel like this is an easy question.
    Harry Potter. There’s no doubt. And I don’t think there’s need for an explanation 😛

  38. Gretchen Jun 5 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    Somewhere with magic where I can be a kickbutt wizard. Almost Harry Potter but … not quite. That’s too normal. Hmm. Or maybe steampunk era? Or maybe – there are too many answers to this question. 😛

  39. Kristin Jun 5 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    I would want to visit Hogwarts because I would love to go to england and see the beautiful country. Thanks for the giveaway!

  40. Lilian Jun 5 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    HOGWARTS! Because I seriously need some magic in my life.

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

  41. Katie @ BlookGirl Jun 6 2012 at 8:33 am #

    I would love to visit the world that Veronica Rossi created in Under the Never Sky. The pods sound SO neat, and being able to visit Greece, Macau, Dubai, and the Caribbean in the blink of an eye is my cup’o tea indeed! 🙂

  42. Erica Jun 6 2012 at 8:47 am #

    I’d want to live in a Harry Potter fantasy world. Who wouldn’t??

  43. Lisa Cordes Jun 6 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Middle Earth and Hogwarts seem to be spoken for, so I’ll stake out Oz.

  44. Kathleen Jun 6 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    I’ve heard so much about this book lately (all good) I’ve added it to my TBR pile. Thanks for having the giveaway so I have a chance to read it sooner than later!

  45. Brandi Ziegler Jun 7 2012 at 11:30 am #

    Yay! I knew I had to read this book or die after reading the first five chapters on my Nook. Leigh is an amazing talent and I’d love to have a (signed?) hard copy of SHADOW AND BONE.

    As far as fantasy worlds to visit, I’ve always wanted to go to Tamora Pierce’s Tortall.

  46. Soumi Roy Jun 7 2012 at 10:54 pm #

    If I can visit a fantasy world, I will definitely visit Hogwarts. There are two reasons. First the magic is irresistible, I have always wanted to live in this world. Second, I’m truly deeply and madly in love with Draco Malfoy. 🙂 🙂

  47. Judit_K Jun 8 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    Game of thrones, but only if I’d some special ability, because otherwise I’d get killed soon….

  48. Alexa @ Alexa Loves Jun 8 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    I would definitely visit Tortall! I am a huge fan of Tamora Pierce. The world she created, the characters she wrote about and the stories are just fantastic. Tortall sounds like a fun place to be!

  49. Carrie Jun 9 2012 at 5:12 am #

    I’d live in Narnia. Or, now that you guys mentioned it, I’d live in Ravka. I definitely want to know more. Waiting patiently for the library to stock it.

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