Shadow and Bone, Chapter 2: I Don’t Think We’ve Leveled Up Enough for This Place

Last time on Shadow and Bone, Alina and Mal arrived at the Starting Village before venturing forth on the Tutorial Mission. What low-level enemies will they face? Find out after the cut.

The Next Day…

Alina, Mal, Alexei, and the rest of their troop board a sandskiff so they can cross the Fold. Their ship is manned with sorcerers who can command the wind (for locomotion) and fire (for defense), and most of the soldiers on board have weapons made of “Grisha steel” (which I guess has magic properties). Alina, unfortunately, only has crappy start-of-the-game equipment that probably won’t be effective against the creatures in the Fold.

Soon, Alina’s ship sails off into the Fold … and is eventually waylaid by a flock of volcra! Mal saves Alina from one of them, but Alexei isn’t so lucky: a volcra carries him away.

The next enemy encounter doesn’t pan out well for our Protagonists: Mal is seriously wounded, and Alina’s attacks aren’t very effective. Meanwhile, the rest of the army is fighting a losing battle against the volcra.

Suddenly, there is a bright flash of light, and Alina falls unconscious…


Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:

Compasses don’t work in the Fold.

In Memoriam:

Oh, Alexei. We hardly knew you. But one of the newly introduced characters had to be offed so we could see just how dangerous the volcra are.

Words in Russian!

  • Etherealki: эфириалки

Translation Time!

  • Etherealki (эфириалки) — fake Russian — from English ethereal or Russian efirnyy (эфирный) [an appropriate name for the sorcerers who control the elements]


Next time: Alina meets the Darkling.



  1. Well, that was fast. Both the chapter and Alexei’s role. Unless he’s not actually dead but gets corrupted into a Shadow Fold monster and becomes the real Big Bad of the novel/trilogy, getting a cool evil guy mask and Alina spends the rest of the book pining for him, then to her horror unmasks the Big Bad and it’s evil Alexei! Then she’s forced to kill him and hook up guilt-free with another hottie. Just a guess; I’m so new to this trilogy that I barely know what the plot of this book is yet.

    1. What you described is probably better than what actually happens. Sorry to spoil things, but Alexei is Very Definitely Dead.

      However, a different seemingly nice guy is eventually revealed as the series Big Bad. So you’re on the right track.

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