Friday, August 24, 2012


By: Leigh Bardugo
Published By: Indigo, Hachette
Released : Available Now
Details: Paperback , 308 Pages

Thank you to Hachette for review copy:)


Blurb: Goodreads

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

BOOK REVIEW by Michelle :

The Gathering Dark or Shadow and Bone , depending on what neck of the woods you live in, was a very exciting , colourful, deceiving, intriguing, dark, sinister, betraying world with a friendship that will be tested, and a love that is hiding beneath the surface. There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the Shadow Fold, for me personally.

I would love a prequel novella explaining the Volcra and the Fold, more. The Volcra intrigue me after you find out what they originally were, but at the same time that might spoil something. Maybe I will learn more in the Siege and Storm, which is called The Shadow Fold for us Aussies? Well, there you go, with a title like that the chances are high we will find more out about this mysterious fold that was made hundreds of years prior.

The world building was fascinating and at first I was taken a bit back with the names in this book, as they kind of in my head, had a Romanian or Russian feel to them?

The groups of The Grisha, the ‘Soldiers of the Second Army Masters of the Small Science’, I had a little thing where I shortened the names Corporalki were Corps, Etherealki were Ethers and the Materialki were the Materials. What can I say, it helped me to not stumble. Anybody who knows me knows I get a bit tongue tied sometimes and I also have a weird thing with pronouncing names wrong J

I loved the well written characters in this book. Alina Starkov and Malyen Oretsev aka Mal were orphans living in Duke Keramsov’s estate with other orphans. They have known each other near all their lives, played together and are best friends. Both were Grisha tested and found to not have what it takes to be Grisha.

Both have trained for their military service in Poliznaya. Alina goes on to become a Cartographer and Mal a Tracker.

We find out early Alina is crushing on Mal. She uses her smart retorts to hide her feelings. I love Mal he is gorgeous.

This was the hardest part of being around him - other than the way he made my heart do clumsy acrobatics. I hated hiding how much his stupid things he did hurt me, but I hated the idea of him finding out even more.

“Hey ,” he said with a grin, “I worry.”
“If you’re lucky, a volcra will have me for breakfast tomorrow and then you won’t have to fret any more.”
“You know I’d be lost without you.”
“You’ve never been lost in your life,” I scoffed. I was the mapmaker , but Mal could find true north blindfolded and standing on his head.
He bumped my shoulder against mine. “You know what I mean.”
“Sure,” I said. But I didn’t. Not really.

How stinking cute are these two......but then the Darkling enters the story.........

I loved the visual I got in my head when they started to cross the Fold, the Unsea. They travel on skiffs, as it is sand, and they are using the Grisha who are ranked Squallers, they can raise or lower pressure of the air, fill the skiff sails with wind that would carry them across the miles of the Fold.

Crossing the Fold is inviting danger and death to those travelling it. The skiff does not go unscathed but then something happens which gets the Darkling all excited.

Alina finds herself whisked away from Mal away to safety from Fjerdan spys and Shu Han assassins. No goodbyes for Mal.

Leigh gets us all a bit girlie goo goo eyed over the Darkling as they travel away to the safety of the Grand Palace, the Ravkan King’s winter home.

Alina manages to say what she thinks and not be reprimanded or worse by the Darkling. She has this feisty spirit about her. Saying what comes to mind no matter who she is talking to. It’s like the Darkling is making allowances for her throughout the book.

We learn about amplifiers. They increase a Grisha’s power, but that power must be there to begin with. Amplifiers are rare and hard to obtain. The Darkling is a living amplifier.

Alina finds herself spending a great deal of her time at the Little Palace where we meet a pile of interesting Grisha characters.

Genya is lovely. I really like her. She is this beautiful friend that I think Alina needs. She appears loyal , trustworthy and fun.

The Grisha are not immune to jealousy’s amongst themselves and causing hurt between each other. The different coloured kefta show off ranks. Now I must giggle as I thought I would see if kefka being a robe was a real thing via google and I came out with a Moroccan lamb or beef type mince kebab or meatballs, hehe!

Baghra is this tough , yet amusing character , who was also quite wise. I really liked her. She has a tough love approach , if I could call it that?

Then we have the Apparat. Is he a priest, fanatic or a fraud? He is still a mystery to me. What side of the fence is he sitting on? He is an intriguing character who at times can appear, quite creepy.

The more you get into this story , the more exciting it becomes. The Little Palace was for learning and smexi tension and the odd makeover, but then........

The reuniting of a friendship, the twists, scenery...... by the time I got to the end of this book I was like hanging for more.

“I never really belonged anywhere.”
“You belonged with me,” he said quietly.
“No, Mal. Not really. Not for a long time.”

I am left with two guys who captured my heart. One maybe more real than the other and one that has left me confused. I do see a glimpse of .........well that would be spoiling

It all just got a little more frightening, too.




    My heart survived, that's the important part. At least I think it survived.

    I was seduced by The Darkling for much of the book and then... well, YOU KNOW and oh god, Mal just showed what a beautiful boy he was <3 But I still can't get the Darkling out of my head. But I'm Team Mal. But THE DARKLING.



    Anywho, FABULOUS review!! I am so happy you loved this! Such an amazing novel and I can't wait to see what Leigh brings us next. I think last quarter or so of the book was my favourite <3 I was feeling ALL the feels :D

    1. Hey Brodie,

      I am all Darkling and Mal and Darkling and Mal ...but really Mal as he is gorgeous and true , but Darkling because..well, you know. I am Team Mal but...but..but.... see I am no help, lol!!!

      Oh didn't he seduce, the bad boy!! That smexi scene......

      You see the glimpse under Darkling surface and you go awwwwww....but then.....and then Mal...... AAGGHH!! I am Team Mal, I think...yes I am..I think?? But Darkling is well, you know...

      This is not good ! I need the second book so I can work this thing out:S

      Thanks for dropping by and the retweet:D


  2. Great review, Michelle! I always forget that this book is the same as SaB, it's so off that the covers as well as the titles have been changed, why do they do it?

    Anyway, I love the sound of the characters and the Russian culture so I will have to give this a go!

    1. Hi Mandee,

      It is a great read and I think the party is only getting started. Looking forward to in our case The Shadow Fold. So not sure why we have two titles, bit confuzzing:D


  3. I am so in love with this book! I read it awhile ago and your review just totally made me want to go reread!

    1. Hey Jesse,

      I am REALLY looking forward to the second how this one ended..eeep!


  4. gr8 review . the darkling had me under his spell

    1. Hey Roro,

      Yess!! The Darkling got me a bit goo goo eyed:D


  5. I actually really liked both guys, which is super-rare for me, until that time and I ended up being Team Mal especially after his little speech to Alina.

    1. Hey Bookworm

      I am on two teams and then one team and then Mal Team but then Darkling Team??, tis a conundrum:D


  6. Is that the Aussie cover / title? I like it so much better!

    1. Hey Tien,

      Yes!!! I like that we get to see what a kefta is...I assume that is what Alina is wearing on cover. I like our second book title it makes sense The Shadow Fold:D



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