Welcome to Birdie Bookworm’s and Ba_BAMB’s first ever read along, in which we’ll be discussing the first Shadow and Bone book!
This discussion is actually split into two parts, and you are currently on the second half. To get the full discussion, click over to read part 1 on Angie Elle’s blog first, and remember to beware of spoilers!
But, please come back! I’d love to hear your thoughts!
The Darkling may have some legitimate feelings for Alina. Was that only his need to possess her power?
Angie Elle: Yes, I think he is only after personal gain. I think he’s been calculating for so long that he has only one vision. And it’s is conquer, conquer, conquer! Alina is his key for doing that.
Birdie: I think there’s a good chance you’re right, but then there were a few times where he said something that didn’t feel calculating. It felt honest… but, I could be looking for something that isn’t there. It’s not something I want, but it might be something I’m worried about so I’m overthinking it.
What do you think happened to Baghra?
Angie Elle: You know, I am wondering if anything even happened to her, or if she and The Darkling just ‘had words.’
Birdie: It’s hard to think that he would have killed her, but they did mention that she hasn’t been seen since. So, maybe he’s just holding her somewhere?
Angie Elle: I’m not even convinced he’s doing that. I think he’s probably so confident that he doesn’t think she’s worth corralling.
Birdie: I don’t know if I think her helping Alina would be something that went unpunished. I just hope we see her again.
Angie Elle: If it was anyone else, I might agree with you. But if he really does have any kind of a soft spot for Alina, I can’t imagine he wouldn’t have one for his mother.
Birdie: That’s fair. I guess we’ll find out if he’s capable of having soft spots.
There were hints about Mal’s tracking ability. Is it possible he also holds some type of magic?
Angie Elle: I think it is definitely possible, and I have my fingers crossed he does hold some sort of magic in that tracking brain of his!
Birdie: I think it would be interesting if he did. I like the idea of a different type of magic. It seems more earthy, and with all the different worlds I hope that he finds out he does.
Angie Elle: I do, too!
Genya was one of my favorite characters. Do you think that her and Alina will be reunited for the good?
Angie Elle: I don’t know, but I hope so. Genya, to me, felt like what Cinna was to Katniss. And like Cinna, I feel like there were times she stole the show.
Birdie: I agree, completely. She did steal the show. I also liked the gray shade she brought to the story. I loved her friendship with Alina, but I like the confliction too.
Mal and Alina remember their past often. Do you think at some point they will return there?
Angie Elle: I hope so. I love the simplicity of it all. But I also think that Alina’s magic is so specific and powerful, it may not be possible for them. And I hate that thought!
Birdie: I wondered if somehow the people from their past would become allies. Or at least shelter them somehow. Or maybe the opposite. Maybe they’ll think they’ll be allies and they won’t… I’m just speculating.
Angie Elle: Oooh, there’s a thought! Because the duke that took them in was a war hero.
Birdie: And Alina saw him at the Palace… just another thing that stood out to me as a potential development in the next books.
Predictions for the next book? And on a scale of 1 – 10, how excited are you to read it?
Angie Elle: I think that there is obviously going to be more interaction with The Darkling, but other than that, I’m just not sure. I’ll be interested to see how Zoya (was that her name, Wendy?) fits into things. I have a feeling she is going to be superhero-esque by the end of the series. And I am on a high 10 for the next book!
Birdie: Oh, interesting. You think Zoya will be an ally? I wondered about that dynamic too. I’m looking forward to continuing to read the sequel. I’m particularly excited to read more about Mal and Alina, especially now that they’re officially together.
Angie Elle: Well, it could just be that I am watching Big Brother this season, so I am conditioned to ‘expect the unexpected.’ 😉
Birdie: No, that was very insightful. I was leaning more toward Zoya being bad, and working with the Darkling. It would be far more interesting if she ended up flipping sides.
Angie Elle: Shadow and Bone was a wonderful series starter! I didn’t find the world building to be too overwhelming as can sometimes happens, and I am very invested in these characters and what happens to them going forward. The her/anti-hero concept is something I love, so I’m hoping for some drama ahead! And I can’t wait to see what happens when Alina learns to command her power. I think The Darkling may have finally met his match!
Birdie: I didn’t know what to expect, having read Six of Crows first. I felt sure that this first series would leave me feel deflated a bit, like it wouldn’t compare. I have to admit that it wasn’t quite as good, but I definitely didn’t feel deflated. It left me feeling hopeful, and I just know that the next two books are going to be even better. I can’t wait to read them. And I can’t wait to read more about Mal!