Shadow and Bone

Book Summary

Shadow and Bone Summary

*The article contains spoilers from the book: Shadow and Bone.

Shadow and Bone is the first book of the Grisha trilogy.

The book is started with two children named Alina Starkov and Mayen Oretsev.

They both arrive at Duke Keramsov’s state after their parents have been killed to read to learn, write and learn trades.

They both become really close and one day in winter three Grisha arrive to test them on whether or not they could become useful to the king but they both still don’t want to be separated even if they would get ‘the finest clothes, the finest food’s

In the next chapter, years have passed and both of them had grown considerably older and have left to train in the army of Poliznava.

Their regiment was to arrive at Poliznava in two weeks but first, they have to cross the Shadow Fold. Alina is really worried but Mal isn’t that much since he is comforted by the Grisha pyros and heart endears sent by the king.

Mal and Alina’s conversation gets interrupted when the Darklings carriage drives by, nearly hitting Alina and later Mal gets distracted by a young Grisha before joining his friends Mikhael and Dubrov, and Alina slowly makes her way towards the small town of Kiribisk where they will be staying in the documents tent.

Alina heads inside the tent and sits with Alexei, another young cartographer who asks Alina about the carriage. The same night Mal and his two friends stop by Alina’s tent and Alina and Mal talk about their previous life then Mal and his friends leave to go to the Grisha tent and Alina heads back inside to sleep.

The next morning, they have to cross the shadow fold.

It all goes fine until Alina and Alexei hear the sounds of flapping wings and it turns out that hundreds of Volkra’s (vicious winged creatures that reside in the shadow fold and who like to prey on human flesh) have surrounded them.

A battle starts where the Grisha and the army sent by the king, Fights the Volcra.

In the battle, Alexei is taken away by one of the Volcra and another one almost got Alina but she is saved by Mal.

The both of them fight the Volcra and eventually kill it but Mal gets severely wounded, and Alina is terrified that he is going to die as she closes her eyes, a bright light starts to shine and she falls to the ground, unconscious.

When Alina gains consciousness, she is still on deck but there was a gun pointed at her head and everyone was looking at her and too wary to even help her as she almost stumbles as the skiff moves.

They get back to Kiribisk where the soldiers take Alina off and they march her to the Grisha tent to see the Darkling.

It turns out that the light had come from Alina herself and after a test from the Darkling, Alina is revealed to be the Sun Summoner and The darkling orders for her to be taken to his coach and be seen to a healer.

On her journey from Kiribisk to Os Alta, Ivan tells Alina that the Darkling is a living amplifier and that despite her having already been tested, the examiners were unable to find traces of magic. However with Alina’s newfound Sun summoning power, she would be able to create a complete path through the Shadow fold or completely be able to destroy it but that has made her a target for enemies like Fjerda or the Shu Han, and the carriage in which she was riding also gets attacked on the way by no other than Fjerda.

In the surprise attack, Alina runs into the forest but attackers follow her and as she gets cornered, The darkling arrives with enforcement and he uses his mysterious shadow powers to blind them and the others then cut them down.

A few days after the attack, they make camp for a while where Alina gets to know a bit more about the Darkling.

A while later they arrive at the palace but Alina is to meet the king the very next day.

Later Genya, who is another Grisha prepares her and “beautifies” her since the king particularly likes beautiful things.

Alina is brought forth by the king and she is told to demonstrate her powers but she still doesn’t know how to properly use them so she does it with the help of The Darkling and the king seemed satisfied.

Alina then meets the queen, then later The Darkling comes by to give her some news then tells Genya to make Alina’s Kefta (a type of clothing in the Grishaverse) in the colour black since only the Darkling is allowed to wear black so it would show that she is on equal footing with the Darkling but Alina refuses and says that she would rather wear blue which is the colour that is worn by the summoners.

As time passes the only thing she can think of is how much she misses Mal.

The next morning her new Kefta arrives which is in midnight blue but Genya makes sure to tell her that she would have looked better in black then Genya takes her on a tour around the little palace.

After a few stops, they arrive at the summoners pavilion where they meet Baghra who is another living amplifier and she tries to teach Alina to call on her powers without the help of an amplifier but after a while of failed attempts, she is told to leave and the rest of the day is filled with other classes.

The days slowly pass and one day she had gotten hurt and in the infirmary, she is visited by the Apparat who tells her that people are creating Alters in her honour since they believe that she will become their hope.

At end of it, Alina feels worse than before because if she fails it wouldn’t only be the Darkling and Baghra who’d get disappointed.

The next day when Alina enters Baghra’s hut, she sees her and the Darkling arguing and she soon learns that the reason is that the Darkling wants to find her an amplifier but Baghra is against it.

Apparently, the Darklings men reported sightings of a magical stag and its antlers would become the strongest amplifier ever known if given the chance.

Later Mal finally realises that the reason that she has not been able to use her powers was that she was unconsciously suppressing them after realising that, Alina is finally able to command her powers with her free will.

After that, she has been feeling a lot better and she also starts to do way better in her classes and eventually she gets gifted a knife made of Grisha steel.

The King and Queen’s fete was coming, and all the summoners were to put on a show and everyone was getting ready to participate and Alina and the Darkling had gotten much closer too.

In the celebration, Alina wears a black Kefta and her and the Darkling perform together.

At the end of the festival, Alina meets Mal but a fight starts and he leaves, while Alina is brought to tears.

Later in her room, Baghra suddenly arrives to tell her that she must leave and says that the Darkling is actually planning to use the shadow fold as a weapon and expand it further and those who don’t abide by his rules will be threatened.

At first, Alina didn’t believe her but Baghra also reveals that he is the actual one who created the shadow fold all those years ago and he has faked his death many times, as well as the fact that she is actually his mother.

Baghra tells that he actually needed the sun summoner since the Volcra are weak to sunlight and once they are subdued, he could become even more powerful than now.

He actually needed the stag antlers to control Alina, Alina realises that she is telling the truth and asks what she has to do, to which she replies that she will have to head to west Ravka but for that, she will need to cross the fold as well.

After changing, Alina leaves and hides inside a theatrical troupes wagon which takes her to a town directly west of Os Atla and she decides to do the rest of the journey on her own but one night she gets intercepted by a drunken man and sh has to use her powers but one of the Darklings men saw her and tries to go after her but she suddenly falls into a stream.

The one who helps her out of it turns out to be Mal who had tracked her down and rather than turning her in, he gets her to safety where he also tells her that they have not caught the stag yet and after a night’s rest, Alina tells him everything about why she ran and the Darklings true colours.

Mal decides to help her and also suggests that they should rather go to the North to Tsibeya since if they catch the stag first, Alina could use the amplifier to become more powerful and take down the Darkling.

After some travelling, the pair of them finally reach a village on the northwest side of Petrazoi and while in town during a festival, they get intercepted by some muggers who try to rob them, which starts a fight and luckily at the end of it, the only things they lost were Mal’s rifle and wool blanket but thanks to the fight, a lot of the tension between the two of them had decreased.

As they head further north, Alina gradually tells Mal about how it was there and one night she tells Mal that if the Darklings men ever caught her, he should not let him have her and kill her instead. Mal is strictly against the idea of killing her but he is forced to agree.

They set up camp since Mal was quite positive that the stag would be somewhere here and the next morning Mal tells Alina more about things on his end and he also admits that his friends Mikhael and Dubrov are dead.

Just as a few moments pass, the stag arrives but Alina tells him not to kill it but unfortunately, the Darkling had tracked them down and he didn’t waste a moment in shooting the stag down.

A fight starts but Alina isn’t nearly as powerful as the Darkling so she tells Mal to kill her but he just can’t do it and they quickly get overwhelmed.

The Darkling uses his powers to create a collar put of the antlers and he puts it on, Alina. Now whenever the Darkling gives her an order, her body cannot help but follow.

They arrive back at Kiribisk where Alina meets back with Genya who tells her that the king has fallen I’ll and the Apparat is ruling in his stead.

Despite Alina knowing that Genya is working with the Darkling she tells him that she forgives her for it.

Alina is brought to the Darklings tent where he asks her why she betrayed him and Alina begs for him to spare Mal.

The Darkling allows Alina to see Mal but also reveals that Mal would be coming with them to the fold where he will feed him to the Volcra.

Alina is allowed to see Mal and they both talk.

In the morning they were to get ready to cross the fold and the Darkling had also invited ambassadors from Fjerda, Shu Han and Kerch so they could come along and witness her power for themselves.

Hey enter the fold and as the Volcra get close to their ship, the Darkling makes Alina use her powers and she easily drives them away,

They successfully cross the fold and as soon as their boat is parked at the dock, the Darkling uses his powers to widen the fold and the Volcra are able to attack innocent villagers while Alina is forced to watch it since the collar also makes her unable to use the powers of her own command.

Before getting out, the Darkling also orders for Mal to be thrown overboard and as she hears Mal’s scream, she realises that she has earned her amplifier since even if the Darkling killed it, she had spared its life and suddenly she feels back in control and immediately saves Mal.

The Darkling gets angry and commands his men to attack her but with the power of the amplifier she is a lot stronger than before and she uses the move ‘cut’ which is a powerful technique that only the Darkling can use to split the skiffs cleanly in half.

Alina asks the people for help but they are too scared to do so, so she goes to help Mal herself then she uses the same technique again to slice the skiff itself in half.

Then the book ends with Alina and Mal going towards west Ravka to whatever that lies beyond. 


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