Hey there, Epic Readers! Tyler here, back with another book liveblog and ready to talk about all things YA TBR. Thanks to everyone who voted, the latest novel to get crossed off my list was none other than SHADOW AND BONE, a beautifully crafted dark fantasy from Leigh Bardugo and the first installment in her legendary Grishaverse.
If you’ve never heard of it, SHADOW AND BONE is about a girl, Alina, who finds out that, contrary to what she believes, she’s actually a member of the Grisha—the elite magical class of her society. There’s also a loose companion duology set post-series, SIX OF CROWS (aka one of my favorite books everrr), and everything about this world is gorgeous. The characters, the plot twists, the gritty yet snow-covered aesthetic…
OKAY I’m getting distracted. Keep reading for my play-by-play of SHADOW AND BONE!
1. “The servants called them malenchki,” I’m so excited I’ve missed Leigh’s writing and world-building and the Grishaverse so much
2. You know I have a feeling my pop music reading playlist may be a bit too upbeat for this probably dark and mysterious gothic Russian fantasy
3. Oh well okay let’s go
5. I feel like I should remember Alina from Crooked Kingdom but tbh the name only rings a bell and all the important details are escaping me
6. File “Shadow Fold” under “Things that do not sound good”
7. “People, particularly big men carrying big rifles, don’t expect lip from a scrawny thing like me.” Is this Alina? I love her already
8. Okay so there’s Alina, Mal, Alexei the other cartographer, Mikhael and Dubrov
9. And THE DARKLING
10. Literally all I know about these books is that everyone loves the Darkling
11. I’m not a big camper but I would 100% camp with the Grisha’s setup
12. “If everything went as planned” I will tell you right now Alina that will not happen
13. Already shipping Alina with happiness
14. Oh my god these volcra are terrifying wtf
15. Oh my GOD Alexei
17. Alina… what did u do……
18. I repeat 10/10 would camp in the Grisha tent
19. Oh cool Mal’s still kicking
20. You know who I’m not loving?? This bratty Grisha girl in blue like girl chill
21. “She is Grisha now.” HEYO
22. Aw Fedyor seems nice
24. Can’t Alina have anything nice?! Stop attacking her!!
25. Ugh yes the Darkling has arrived 😍
26. He… cut the man in half…
27. Heart eye emoji may not have been the… best choice
28. Aw you know what I stand by it
29. Alina seeing how many stairs she has to climb and almost crying is… #relatable
30. “When we reached the top, I felt like celebrating by lying down and taking a nap,” You know what it’s official I love her and there is no going back
31. “I’m a Tailor.” “You’re going to make me a dress?” Oh my god
32. Of course the queen has a tiny lap dog
33. I understand and appreciate Alina wanting to wear Summoners’ blue but I also hope that once she grows into her powers more she owns it and takes the Darkling’s black
34. Like that would be so badass
35. The palaces are so pretty with all their gold and ivory and intricate carvings
36. Does Ravka have Pinterest
37. I need to add everything about them to my design inspo boards
38. Aw Genya has a crush
39. Genya: “There are rumors about… experiments.”
Me: *has war flashbacks of the vicious winged men in Crooked Kingdom*
40. Ew the Apparat is so creepy why are you in the bushes!!
41. Omg yay is Mal going to come back
42. Lmao Alina’s out here dragging herself through these torturous training regimens and I can’t even commit to jogging more than three times a week
43. I guess that’s why she’s the Sun Summoner but STILL
44. “All my life I’d been frail and weak.” I was born with glass bones and paper skin
46. Ugh Mal has not come back where is he
47. Of COURSE the Grisha bitch in blue was Zoya lmao I should’ve guessed
48. Nadia and Marie are so fake I love it
49. *Chanting* Fight fight fight
50. Omg YES Alina
51. Omg noooo Alina
52. Why is the Apparat SO FRICKIN’ CREEPY
53. Like literally just DON’T be creepy. It’s not that hard!!!
54. “I am marvelous.” Genya knows what she’s about and I respect it
55. The deer thing sounds nice but also I do not trust it one bit
56. “This place is more beautiful than I can describe, but I would trade it all to spend an afternoon skipping stones with you at Trivka’s pond.” Ugh who is keeping these two apart I’m going to fight them myself
57. Alina girl you do not need a man!! You have you!!!!
58. Omg is she actually going to… realize that…
59. YES Alina you REALIZE that self-worth
60. I’m sorry wearing mirrors on your hands cannot be comfortable
61. They are toeing a dangerous line between practicality and fashion
62. *Leslie Knope voice* You know what’s always sexy? Fingerless gloves.
63. “Where is your focus?” “At dinner” Same
64. I’m just waiting for the diabolical plot to surface everything is going too well and there are too many creepy characters living around the palace
67. HE’S KISSING HERRRRR!!!!!!!!
68. “What just happened?” SAME?!?!?!?!
69. I’m not gonna lie I kinda wish I was going to this party
70. Ok I feel like EVERYONE knows that something else is going on
71. What the heck is going on!!!
72. I like that the one recurring thread through YA is that men in power are gross
73. “The problem with wanting… is that it makes us weak.” #Swoons
74. Aw I liked Fedyor
76. Oh this is not the happy Mal we needed
77. Is he JOKING
78. “What happened to you, Mal?” WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU, MAL?!
79. Is he f#&king kidding me goodbye
80. Omg Alina LISTEN TO HER
81. SHE MIGHT BE CREEPY BUT THIS SOUNDS LEGIT
82. She’s his MOTHER?!
83. Ohhhhh my god
84. Oh my GOD
85. Queen of realizing things!!
86. “I wasn’t going to make it easy for him anymore.”
87. “What I really needed to do was steal a horse—but I had no idea how to go about that, so I decided to just keep moving.” Lol
88. Someone get Alina a friend and a non-manipulative hug
89. Where is Genya when we need her
90. Things are not as they seem and I… do not know what to expect
91. What are these people up toooo
93. Like I said it’s always gotta be a gross man that ruins everything
94. Oh my god run Alina
95. Oh my goddd
96. Alina 🙁
97. I’m surprised they haven’t sent Mal out after her
98. Oh well f#&k
99. Wait is he………
100. Mal I swear if you’re playing my girl
101. “If I told you that I’m trying to save the world, would you believe me?” Um absolutely I would
102. Ugh ok I forgive him I guess
103. I GUESS
104. I lied he’s still a jerk
105. Aw it’s almost like when they used to play in the woods as kids only now they’re on a mountain and people will probably die
106. I don’t like the sound of thisss
107. Of COURSE they’re getting robbed
108. Excuse me while I go lie on the floor for a little while
109. Nothing can be easy for these poor children!!
110. My aesthetic is Alina beating up all these gross men
111. She’s smiling!!! Alina is actually smiling!!!!!!!!
112. Alina/Happiness otp otp otp
113. I could stop reading right now and pretend this is everyone’s best ending
114. But Mal is hiding something and the Darkling is evil probably and the Apparat will probably rear his creepy head again and nothing in life is fair or good or simple
116. Awww Mal
117. “Did you miss me?” “Every day.” “I missed you every hour.” Ok you don’t have to one-up her this isn’t a competition Malyen
118. “I see you now.” Bye I am deceased
119. Aw I hope the stag gets to live yes Alina you show it mercy
121. This is so cinematic I love it
122. WHY DO PEOPLE LOVE THE DARKLING
123. Are you KIDDING ME DAVID
124. F#&k you David
125. Ughhhh I hate this
126. Would I still camp in their tents though? Yes, probably
128. Oooohhhhh Genya nooo
129. I’m gonna have a list like Arya Stark at the end of this book I know it
130. Darkling, buddy, pal, you’re making yourself the villain
131. Ew why do people like this creep!!!
132. I have been misled!!!!!
133. “We found our way back to each other.” Yes you did 😭 😭 😭
134. Omg that’s the story behind the scar stoppp
135. Ugh I’m so emo about these two someone save them
136. LIKE. CALLS. TO. LIKE.
137. Oh my god
138. Oh my god someone DO SOMETHING
139. Yessss Alina!!!!
140. “It was nothing. He was nothing.” 🙌
141. “Had he been torn apart by volcra?” We could only hope
142. Aw that was a surprisingly sweet ending
AND ALL IN ALL I am very glad that I can go binge the rest of this series now because I need to know what happens to Alina (and I GUESS Mal w/e).
Thanks for sticking with me through another epic YA live-read! If you missed the last one (for RUINED by Amy Tintera), you can check it out right here!
Have you read SHADOW AND BONE yet? What other books do you want Tyler to record commentary for? Tell us in the comments below!