Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Shadow and Bone Read-Along: Week 2 Discussion Questions

Welcome to the second week of the  
Shadow and Bone Read-Along,
hosted by
Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books!
Come join the fun!!

Shadow and Bone
(The Grisha #1)
Hardcover, 368 pages
Henry Holt & Co.
June 5, 2012
Fantasy, Paranormal Romance,
Young Adult Fiction

Purchase Links
Amazon US (Print)
Amazon US (Kindle)
(includes a link for the Nook edition)

Second Week Discussion Questions
Chapters 6 - 12
A Night's Dream of Books

1.)   At the beginning of Chapter 6, Alina wakes up from a nightmare in which she saw a volcra with "gray quartz eyes".  What character in the book does this creature represent?  Why do you think the author used this image?

It's pretty obvious to me that the creature represents the Darkling.  Its eyes are the exact same color as his.  This image vividly conveys the Darkling's true nature -- he's ruthless, merciless, and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.  I also think this image is intended as a foreshadowing; the Darkling's true nature hasn't been revealed yet, but it will be, later on.

2.)   Who is Genya, and what type of Grisha is she?

She is the Queen's personal maid, and is rumored to be involved in a forced liaison with the King.  As a Grisha, she's a Tailor.  However, she doesn't make or mend clothes.  Instead, she 'repairs' a person's appearance, through magical methods.  She's a sort of plastic surgeon, in a way, although the changes she makes need not be drastic.

3.)   Why does Alina prefer to wear a blue kefia, instead of a black one, as the Darkling had ordered?  Do you agree with her reasons?  Explain.

She doesn't think of herself as anything special.  At this point in the story, she can't control her power, and is ashamed of it.  Of course, she doesn't want anyone to find out about this.  The Darkling wants her to wear a black kefia because that is his color.   If she were to wear one, too, it would become apparent to everyone that she was being especially favored by the Darkling.  Thus, she would stand out as very different from the rest of the Grisha.  She doesn't want to stand out, but to blend in and not be noticed.  Also, since Alina is not the ambitious type, this sort of favoritism on the part of the Darkling has no appeal for her.  Instead, it embarrasses her.

Do I agree with her reasons?  Absolutely, even though I do feel that she needs to bolster her self-esteem.  However, it's very logical that, having grown up as a peasant, she should feel intimidated and nervous about being thrust into the Grisha world.  If I were Alina, I, too, would much prefer to blend in.  Had she not done this, she would very likely have made a lot of people very jealous and resentful of her -- not just Zoya.  That was the last thing she wanted.  It would be the last thing I would want, too. 

4.)  How would Alina's life have been different if the Grisha Examiners had discovered her talent when she was a child?

She would have been taken from the orphanage immediately, and transferred to Os Alta, to attend the special Grisha school there.  She would also have received very special treatment, and would probably have fallen entirely under the Darkling's influence.  This would have been terrible!   Also, it would have meant her permanent separation from Mal.  Since she would have been easier to control and manipulate, being much younger, it would have been much easier for her to get over Mal, and throw herself entirely into Grisha life.  Thus, she would have fit in right away.   And she would have become a shadow of herself, too, an instrument of the Darkling.   

5.)  What impression do you get of the Darkling's character from his conversation with Alina in Chapter 9?

He seems to want to reassure Alina that he is not as intimidating as people say he is.  However, although his conversation with her appears harmless at first sight, I think he's very subtly gathering information about Alina.  He seems to care about her, but is this sincere?  There's an undercurrent in this conversation that tells me he's not.  Being a very shrewd person, I think he's taking the trouble to seem harmless to Alina.  I don't trust him, though! 

6.)   What do you think of the Apparat?  Does he remind you of any particular figure in history?  If so, who?

The Apparat is a very strange character.  He's also very sinister and creepy!  He too, is going to some trouble to appear to have Alina's best interests at heart, but it's apparent that this is simply a façade he puts on.  He's very slick, and his manner seems pleasant at first.  However, as with the Darkling, there's an undercurrent of evil in his personality. 

Having read about the last Tsar of Russia some years ago, I'm familiar with Rasputin, the strange man who was an advisor to Tsar Nicholas II, the last Russian monarch.  He was supposedly a holy man, but instead, had an overwhelming, malevolent influence on the Tsar, as well as on his wife, the Tsarina.  The Bolshevik Revolution broke out partially because of him.  Since the royal couple listened to his advice and followed his instructions to the letter, he was, in effect, the real head of the government.  And his leadership was disastrous to the country.

7.)   Why is Zoya jealous of Alina?

Because she thinks that Alina is 'the Darkling's pet', and that's precisely what she would love to be, the fool!  She's also jealous of Alina's power as a Sun Summoner.

8.)   What is an amplifier?  Are amplifiers exclusively inanimate objects?  Give examples.

An amplifier is either a person or thing that can expand and strengthen a Grisha's power.  Baghra and the Darkling are both human amplifiers -- they amplify Alina's power.  There are also objects that are natural amplifiers.  They're worn by the Grisha in order to expand their powers.

9.)   What is Morozova's herd?

It's a herd of magical deer that roam the part of Ravka known as Tsibeya (this is a clear reference to Siberia, I think.)

10.) Why is it so important for the white stag of Morozova's herd to be found?

The stag's antlers are amplifiers.  They can be taken from the stag and made into a collar, which Alina will wear around her neck, and which will serve to enhance her power, making her gift much stronger.  In order for her to get the antlers, however, she has to kill  the stag herself.  Whoever kills this animal will be able to use the antlers as an amplifier.

Be sure to visit Vonnie to see
how she answered! 
Next week, it'll be her turn
to ask the questions!
If you'd like to participate,
you can link up


  1. The parallels with Imperial Russia sound fascinating. Rasputin was such a strange and dark character. Since he was involved at the End of Russia's monarchy, are there any hints of revolutionaries waiting to bring the system down?

    1. Hey, Briam! Yes, they certainly are! But I haven't seen sny sign of revolution so far. Thanks for commenting!! : )

  2. I confess I'm only skimming here because I haven't read this one; but I love that you're doing a read-along, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts once you finish the book. This one has been on my TBR list for a while, and I may need to bump it up!
    On a side note: Your header is SO cute!! Happy Halloween :D

    1. Hi, Belle! Oh, this book is absolutely fantastic!! I'm so glad bumpimg it up, too. You'll really enjoy it!

      Thanks for commenting!! : )

  3. I found it very interesting how negative your opinion is of the Darkling. I somewhat like him, even if he turns out to be a villain. He's got this charisma going on that simply attracts me to his character. I guess I like my bad boys ;)

    Another character that has me all saddened for is Genya. She's the true example on how beauty could be a curse. The poor thing is bossed around by the Queen, is taken advantage of by the King, and doesn't have any friends. I can't imagine how alone she must of felt before Alina came along. What I like about her character the most is that even though she's had a hard life and has special privileges, she's not spoiled. She is actually kind-hearted. I just want to give her a hug!

    Btw, I love your explanation as to why Alina rejecting the black kafia. Not only does she not want to be the center of attention but she does not want to be a pawn in the Darkling's little game.

  4. Hey, Vonnie!

    Well, to be quite honest, I initially had mixed feelings about him, especially when he saved Alina from the Kjerdan assassin. He DOES have charisma. I guess I'm giving away too much in this post, because, in the later parts of the book, his true nature becomes very evident. But you know, I can attest, from personal experience, that bad boys do indeed exude charm, and lots of it! They're great at reeling in an unsuspecting female (such as moi, at the time). They dazzle you, and you start to be swept's only later that they suddenly....change. Then their true nature is revealed -- and it's utterly sinister.

    I totally agree with you about Genya. I feel very sorry for her, too. Although she's beautiful, she has none of the shallowness and pettiness that beautiful women frequently have. She's beautiful on the inside, as well. I want to give her a hug right along with you!!

    Thanks for complimenting my explanation of Alina's rejection of the black kefia! I greatly appreciate it! The thing is, I'm speaking from personal experience in this case, too. Just like Alina, I prefer to blend in, so I can really relate to her feelings.

    Thank you SO much for such a WONDERFUL, highly detailed comment!! : )

    1. Uh oh...I figured you were hinting at the Darkling's true nature. I guess I was hoping that this bad boy actually had a loving heart. I do have to agree with you about the whole bad boy "syndrome". These kind of men in real life are not good for a person.

      I have to admit though that I'm not in love with Mal. I like him but I'm not swooning over him. I guess he reminds me too much of my ex-boyfriend/best friend. We were together for about 10 years before he did something incredibly stupid, which caused him to marry the girl he's now with. *sigh* Lo que pasamos nosotras mujeres.

    2. Yeah, bad boys are bad news! I was married to one myself.....very charming when he was courting me, but his claws came out once we were married. However, I remember we argued a lot while we were dating. That was a definite red flag! I finally got a divorce, though.

      I agree with you about Mal. I'm not too impressed with him myself. But....if you keep reading, he'll surprise you! Just wait and see! : )

      I'm sorry about your ex. Yeah, men are like that......they'll be with women for a LONG time, making them think they care about them. Then one day.....BOOM! They suddenly meet someone new, and the poor girlfriends they've been with forever are just as suddenly history. Yeah, we women have to go through a lot.....

      Thanks for the GREAT comment!! : )


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