In honor of the release of the highly anticipated Ruin and Rising (out TODAY, June 17!), I created a story diary for Shadow and Bone! I’ve included the Ravka map, photos of the palaces, a few Russian cultures, the Grishas, graphic quotes, book trailer and more.
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 fulfill 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.
Ravka is a fictional nation that the story is set in, which was inspired by Russia.
The Grand Palace
“It was larger than any building I had ever seen, its terraces crowded with statues, its three stories gleaming with row after row of shining windows, each ornamented extensively in what I suspected was real gold.”
The Grand Palace is the residence of Ravka’s King and his family. It’s an extravagant demonstration of wealth, the Darkling calling the palace the ugliest building he’s ever seen.
The Grand Palace is named Peterhof Palace in real life, and it is located in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The Little Palace
The Little Palace is the residence of Ravka’s Grisha, the Second Army. It is located in Os Alta, Ravka’s Capital, near the Grand Palace.
Although the Little Palace may not exist in real life, author Leigh Bardugo got the inspiration of it’s architecture from the Church of the Transfiguration.
The Shadow Fold, also known as “the Unsea” or simply the Fold, is a swath of darkness that suddenly appeared one day. It is a section of nearly impenetrable darkness that grows every year and contains unnamed horrors. It cuts directly across the Vy, a wide road that once stretched across the land connecting Os Alta to the port cities on Ravka’s western coast. On maps, it is shown as a long, narrow lake, a stain, and sometimes just a shapeless cloud. [Source]
“Three figures emerged in elegant fur hats and heavy wool kefta…”
And here’s another for men…
A kefta is a robe that only Grisha wear. A kefta’s color is based on what class the Grisha is part of, and some are even made with Materialki corecloth which can withstand bullets. The embroidery on the cuffs signifies class.
“This time tomorrow, we’ll be sitting in the harbor at Os Kervo, looking out at the ocean and drinking kvas.”
Kvas is a popular non-alcoholic drink in Russia and Ukraine made from black or regular rye bread (among berries), which contribute to the color of the drink. (More about Kvas here)
“In the corners, Grisha clustered around samovars and lounged on divans…”
Samovars are tea makers, famously used in Russia.
“The Grisha are the magical elite of Ravka, also known as the Soldiers of the Second Army. They practice the Small Science: they manipulate matter at its most fundamental levels. I like to think of it as a magical version of molecular chemistry. Status is everything to the Grisha. Here’s how their Orders break down.”
The Darkling is the mysterious force that leads the Grisha, and he is ancient and extremely powerful.They are described as a handsome young man, appearing not much older than Alina despite his ancient age. He’s got ink black hair, quartz gray eyes and stern, sharp features. [More about The Darkling here]
A Volcra is one of the many creatures living in the Shadow Fold that feasts on human flesh. The only thing that can harm a volcra is sunlight.
A volcra has long, dirty claws, leathery wings, and rows of razor-sharp teeth. They are blind from living in the Fold for so long, but books say they can smell human blood from miles away.
Morozova’s Herd is a herd of white deer. They are ancient, magical creatures that appear only at twilight. Kings have searched for the herd for centuries, but The Darkling’s hunters track them down in order to get antlers to make an amplifier for Alina. The amplifier would be the most powerful one ever known.
Leigh Bardugo is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she’s lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.