Author Interview (and ARC Giveaway!): Leigh Bardugo + SHADOW & BONE – WINNER!

16 Apr

Y’all know I am all about the fantasy up in here (oh god did I really just say it like that?), especially high fantasy, so you can imagine my unbridled JOY when I got an ARC of Leigh Bardugo‘s upcoming Shadow and Bone a couple of months ago.

Let me just say right up front that it is everything I could have hoped for and more. Beautifully written and imaginative, with dark intrigues galore and a world rich and dangerous as Philip Pullman’s in His Dark Materials and Kristin Cashore’s Seven Kingdoms, Shadow and Bone is sure to become a modern fantasy classic.

Read on to find out more about Leigh, Shadow and Bone, and the world of the Grisha. And comment below to win an ARC of Shadow and Bone!*

First, a bit about Shadow and Bone (from Goodreads):

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

Also, here is the trailer:


Okay, Leigh, let’s do this. You ready?


1. One of the things I love so about this book is the Russian-flavored setting and how original that feels. Tell us a little about the inspiration for the world of Shadow and Bone. What led you to craft a fantasy world like this?

Thank you! (And thanks for having me by to chat.) When I got into world building, all I knew was that I wanted the advent of modern warfare to be a part of the story. I went scrounging around the travel and history sections of a local used bookstore and I happened to pull an old Russian Imperial Atlas from the shelf. There was a picture on the cover of three men in coats and fur hats standing by a sledge in the snow. I started flipping through it, looking at trade routes, exports, military campaigns, and something just clicked. Now I don’t feel like the story could belong to any other world.

2. What kind of research did you do to give the setting of Ravka such authenticity? Did you do a lot of reading up on Russian culture and folklore? (Note: Leigh talks a bit about her research in her acknowledgments, but I wanted to give her a chance to elaborate further here for those who don’t have ARCs!)

Hmm, I think “authentic” may be a loaded word. Ravka isn’t Russia. It’s a fantasy world with Russia as its cultural touchstone, and my world building was based on what I felt best served the story and the reader’s experience– not on what was authentically Russian.

As for the process, I spent about two months researching Russian history and culture. I put a limit on it because I knew burying myself in folklore and history could be a very comfortable way to avoid getting back to the draft. My favorite find and one that I recommend to anyone interested in reading about the real Russia was Natasha’s Dance by Orlando Figes. It’s a thoughtful, richly detailed cultural history of Russia and also just a really good read. A few others are Land of the Firebird, the Beauty of Old Russia by Suzanne Massie, Russian Folk Belief by Linda J. Ivanits, and The Bathhouse at Midnight by W. F. Ryan. I bought up old atlases and art books, and acquired an absolutely obscene book of Russian slang. (Those people know how to swear like nobody’s business.) I was also inspired by the illustrations of Ivan Bilibin. So gorgeous. I definitely recommend checking out his work.

3. One of the things I find most challenging (and fun!) about writing fantasy is coming up with a language system that sounds exotic but also accessible. What kind of system did you develop for crafting the names of various characters and locations throughout Ravka?

This was a big challenge with Ravkan. Russian is an incredibly opaque language for non-speakers. Because we don’t share an alphabet, most of the words don’t have any resonance for us.

I took a few different approaches. For instance, when I named the town where Mal and Alina took their military training, I used the root “polis” for city (which also gives a nice echo of “police”) and added a Russian suffix. The result was Poliznaya. Or for the Darkling’s title, in Russian, “yes, sir” would be something like “da, moi gospodin.” Instead, I took the root word “sovereign” and his title became “soverennyi.” I don’t know if this is something a reader will pick up on or care about, but I think details like this can make a difference.

In a very few cases, I did use real Russian words. The Darkling’s personal guard are the oprichniki. This was the same name given to Ivan the Terrible’s brutal secret police. I chose the name Grisha for the magical elite because it is the Russian diminutive of Gregory which means “watchful” and derives from the biblical Grigori (which a lot of paranormal fans will recognize from fallen angel tales). Whenever I use a Russian word or a fragment of a Russian word, there’s a story behind it for anyone who wants to go looking.

Language can be a touchy thing and I know people may not like some of the choices I made, but I did agonize over every one of them– from choosing “Starkov” over “Starkova” to “Corporalki” over “Corporalniki.” (If you’re interested in seeing how it’s really done, check out, home base of David Peterson. He built Dothraki for the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones and he’s so welcoming and generous with his time. The site is a great resource for writers and language lovers.)

4. Let’s talk about your main character, Alina. What was it like writing her? Was she a challenge? Did she come easily? What can readers expect from her that they might not find in other YA heroines?

There are so many amazing YA heroines out there these days. I will say that Alina isn’t someone who finds out that she’s the Chosen One and starts kicking ass and taking names. Don’t get me wrong, I love those heroines, but I wanted to write a story about a girl who struggles to be strong. Discovering her power is just the first step in Alina’s journey, and she needs more than a makeover to get right with herself.

Writing her was tough because, while I always liked Alina’s pragmatism and prickliness, I think I had to get comfortable with her vulnerability. She’s had a hard life and she’s hungry to find a place to belong. She makes some iffy choices because of this and sometimes it was difficult to let her.

5. Now, let’s talk the Darkling. I won’t say much about him because, believe me, y’all, you don’t want to be spoiled on anything in this book, but especially the Darkling. But let’s be honest here: He was super fun to write, yes? Why do you think those ambiguous characters are so fun, both for the writer and the reader?

Well, people who are wholly any one thing are awfully predictable. When a character has bad and good impulses, when he’s fighting against particular elements in his nature, you never know what might happen. And when you throw power like the Darkling’s into the mix, it starts to get really fun because that tension charges even the most innocent exchanges. It’s like there’s a secret conversation happening beneath the surface: “Hey, what did you have for breakfast?” You do realize I could cut you in half without raising a blade, right? “You had frittata? I love frittata.” Almost as much as I love the cries of my enemies.

6. Did you put together a soundtrack while writing Shadow and Bone? If so, can you share some of that music with us here?

When I write, if I listen to music, it’s something I can ignore like Ratatat or Four Tet, or I’ll cue up something classical. And yes, I do love a Slavic chorus.

But I had a few songs that I used as emotional prompts. Placebo’s cover of “Running Up that Hill” has this driving, cool intensity that I associated with the Darkling. “Winter Song” by Sarah Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson was Mal and Alina’s song and it rips my heart out every time. And… I hesitate to mention this last one because I think all YA writers feel like Florence + the Machine is scoring their stories, but I always felt like “Cosmic Love” belonged to Alina, Mal, and the Darkling. I only let myself listen to that one on occasion because I don’t want it to lose its impact.

7. What was the hardest thing about writing Shadow and Bone? Was it finishing that first draft? Revisions? Brainstorming at the very beginning? Did you ever experience moments of doubt?

I’m actually laughing out loud right now. Did I experience moments of doubt? Not at all. I fell into days-long, soul-wrenching chasms of self-doubt, then rolled around at the bottom of them like a piglet in a misery trough. For me, the biggest challenge is always shutting down those feelings and facing the page anyway.

8. Tell us about your writing experience. When did you first start writing? And have you always written fantasy?

I’ve been writing stories and poems and all manner of nonsense since I was a kid, but I think the dynamic changed when I went to junior high. That was when things got really rough for me at school and at home, and it was also when I discovered science fiction and fantasy. I read and wrote myself into those worlds and I think genre fiction kind of saved me. As I got older, I drifted more toward literary fiction and nonfiction. I worked as a journalist for a while and then writing scripts for movie trailers (“In a land without justice” and so on). These days, I write whatever suits my fancy and just hope that someone will read it.

9. Besides the Grisha trilogy, do you plan to continue writing more YA fantasy in the future? Can you give us any teasers regarding future planned works?

I’d love to write more YA fantasy. I have a few things in the works, but I won’t be free to tackle them until Book 3 of the Grisha Trilogy is finished. In the meantime, I’m working on a horror project set in our world and time. It’s so nice to just be able to say “peanut butter” instead of “ground nut paste from the Isle of Mermu.” (Just so you know, there is no Isle of Mermu, and if there were, they wouldn’t export their precious nut paste. We would have to acquire it through bloody conquest.)

10. What is the most important piece of advice you would give to writers who are seeking publication?

Just finish. Let that first draft be messy, stupid, obvious, ugly. If you don’t know how to deal with something, write the question into the draft and keep moving. Don’t get bogged down.

11. Besides being a writer of awesome books, you are also a makeup artist living in Hollywood. Tell us: Have you met any famous people? And what’s being a makeup artist like? Do you do freelance stuff? Do you work on movie sets? *fangirls, starry-eyed* I find this so interesting and it makes me want to kidnap you for a makeover party. Not to be creepy or anything.

What’s that? I can’t hear you because I’m drinking vegan smoothies with Victoria Beckham.

First of all, you can ALWAYS kidnap me for a makeover party. I looove to talk product and doll up my friends. That said, being a makeup artist is really hard work. It’s a lot of hours on your feet and early mornings. I’ve worked movie and TV sets, some commercial, and print. My favorite thing is runway, though I haven’t gotten to do as much as I would have liked. I would have loved to work NYFW, but I never got called up to the majors. I do have some stories about the fancy people, but you’ll have to be very nice to me and possibly buy me a few cocktails before I spill.

12. Are you reading any books right now? What upcoming books are you most looking forward to?

So many! Eager to dig into the last few books of THE LYMOND CHRONICLES, then WOOL by Hugh Howey. I just started TORN by my agent sister Erica O’Rourke and it’s so much fun. I have ARCs of STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth, ALTERED by Jennifer Rush, and SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY by Susan Dennard. I’m also going to dip my toe into contemporary with Abby McDonald’s GETTING OVER GARRETT DELANEY. For high fantasy, I cannot wait for PROPHECY by Ellen Oh and THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah Maas. In middle grade, I’m looking forward to CHAINED by Lynne Kelley and THE WIG IN THE WINDOW by Kristen Kittscher. Honestly, there are just too many great books coming out to name. I’m also ready to be fitted for my Cavendish uniform.

13. The zombie apocalypse is upon us. You have time to grab only one book from your bookshelves before heading out with your gun-totin’ posse. Which would it be?

I Before Argh: Speak Fluent Zombie Fast!

14. This is our final and perhaps most important question, Leigh. Tell me: are you Team Zombie or Team Unicorn? *narrows eyes* Consider your answer carefully . . .

Girl, surely you’ve noted my rainbow mane and unwillingness to be tamed. Team Unicorn for life.

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Leigh! Be sure to check out more about Leigh and Shadow and Bone at the links below. And don’t forget! Shadow and Bone hits shelves on June 5th!

Leigh’s blog | official website | twitter | facebook | goodreads


To win an ARC of Shadow and Bone, simply comment below! To score a SECOND entry, tweet about this interview/giveaway and copy/paste your tweet’s link in the comments below!

Contest ends Monday, April 23 at 12:00 p.m. EST and is INTERNATIONAL.

Have fun, and good luck!

*Please note: My ARC does NOT have the final cover, so it will not look like the image above. But the guts are all the same!


UPDATE (4/23): And the winner is . . .

Taryn Albright!

Congratulations, Taryn! Please email me at clairelegrandbooks [at] gmail [dot] com with your complete mailing address!

Thank you so much to everyone who read the interview and participated in the giveaway! And of course thanks to Leigh for agreeing to this interview! I hope y’all are excited about Shadow and Bone as much as I am (WHICH IS A WHOLE HECK OF A LOT).

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89 Responses to “Author Interview (and ARC Giveaway!): Leigh Bardugo + SHADOW & BONE – WINNER!”

  1. deseraemcg April 16, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    Gah. You ask the best interview questions, Claire, and I’m so glad Leigh answered them without holding back! Thank you both for the interview and giveaway. I’m excited. I have been since The Story Siren Cover Reveal and I don’t think that excitement will ebb anytime soon. Hurray for awesome!

  2. deseraemcg April 16, 2012 at 12:25 am #

    Gah. You ask the best interview questions, Claire, and I’m so glad Leigh answered them without holding back! Thank you both for the interview and giveaway. I’m excited. I have been since The Story Siren Cover Reveal and I don’t think that excitement will ebb anytime soon. Hurray for awesome!

    And sorry if this has posted a gillion times. It’s weird because the comment form requires that I’m signed into to my WordPress account, but, uh… I don’t usually use that. So yeah, sorry in advance! I’ll try to delete extra comments if I can. :)

  3. Katy Pool (@KatyPool) April 16, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    If you were hoping to get me excited about Shadow and Bone with this post, then JOB WELL DONE. Seriously, this book sounds awesome, and I love hearing all the details and research that went into writing it! Probably 65% of why I decided to be a history major was to expose myself to various troves of cultural histories that could later be absorbed into writing fantasy

  4. Annie Moore April 16, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    Whoa! This book sounds awesome!

  5. lovingrob April 16, 2012 at 1:10 am #

    Oh, I love this interview! And I adore Leigh :D Thank you for this giveaway. <3 Would love love love to win it :D
    Love, Carina

  6. Serena April 16, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    That is the most adorable interview that ever was! I love you guys, seriously, so excited for BOTH of your books! Le tweet:!/serenalawless/status/191830505187065856 mwahsies! <3

  7. Cassie F. April 16, 2012 at 6:38 am #

    What a LOVELY interview. And such fascinating insight into the research and writing process of Shadow and Bone. Words can’t even describe how excited I am to read this. Really. Which is why I also can’t thank you enough for this giveaway! Thank you, thank you. <333

    I tweeted:!/CAnneFrye/status/191834306694483968

    –Cassie F.

  8. jennifleura April 16, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    I can’t tell you how desperate I’ve been to get my grubby paws on Shadow and Bone. And just when I think I can’t adore Leigh Bardugo anymore, this interview proves me wrong. Charismatic evil with a side of frittatas and Russian etymology? YES. My excitable tweet is here:!/foxglovedgirl/status/191842453844803584

    ps. Also extremely twitchy in anticipation for Winterspell (the Nutcracker! with swords and romance and Claire Legrand!). Thank you for the giveaway!


  9. Natasa (@natasa_wmyb) April 16, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    Awesome! Thank you for sharing this interview and giveaway :D Shadow & Bone is one of my most anticipated releases for 2012!!

  10. Taryn April 16, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    Ohhh such an interesting interview! Shadow and Bone sounds amazing–so unique. I also love that Leigh’s a makeup artist. Tweeted:!/tarynalbright/status/191864730124697600

  11. Alwyn April 16, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    I have been CRAZY EXCITED for Shadow and Bone ever since I first started hearing about it. I became accidentally addicted to Russian culture for a while when I had to write a handbook on russian history for work when I was a teenager. And after reading this interview I am DYING to read it even more!

  12. Kai A. April 16, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    I always love reading about the effort authors put in researching for their books. It’s wonderful to have that sneak peek into world building all the those nitty gritty stuff necessary to build a believable world. Reading this interview just made me anticipate Shadow and Bone even more!

    I tweeted:!/amaterasureads/status/191871285024919554

  13. abookandashortlatte1 April 16, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    This one has been on my TBR list since I heard about it. Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Tasnim S April 16, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    Great interview! I’m dying to read this book so fingers crossed i win this contest! Thanks for the giveaway :)


  15. Lisseth Torres April 16, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    Hey awesome interview! I would LOVE a copy. I’ve been hearing such AMAZING things bout this book.Thanks for the giveaway!



  16. richardlevangie April 16, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    Leigh is THAT much fun, and I think she’s just wonderful. I can’t wait for Shadow and Bone.

    This was a most enjoyable interview. Thanks to both of you!

  17. Jazz April 16, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    This is a fascinating interview! I hadn’t even thought about the work that went into language building. I was extremely interested for the book before, and I think I just got slightly more excited. :D

  18. Danielle G April 16, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    Can’t wait to read this book!

  19. Becky April 16, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    Fabulous, fabulous interview! I can’t wait to read Shadow & Bone! (oh, and I tweeted)

  20. jstayrook April 16, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    I have heard nothing but great things about this book and after reading this interview, I’m even more excited. Thanks so much for the interview and the great giveaway!

    Here’s the Twitter link:!/JentheAmazing/status/191906086197018626

  21. deadtossedwaves April 16, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    I’ve just been dying slowly trying to get my hands on this book. I’m such a Map addict and the fact that Keith Thompson is doing it is just phenomenal. Absolutely cannot wait!!!


    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  22. Dani Nguyen April 16, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Oh man, I want this book so bad. It’s my most anticipated 2012 debut, without a doubt. Thanks for the fun interview & the chance to win!


  23. Jana @The Book Goddess April 16, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    I love this interview! Very interesting to read about Leigh’s research for Shadow and Bone! I’m a bit inlove with the cover and trailer! :)

  24. Amy Gideon April 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Sounds fabulous! Adding it to my to-reads list. Thanks!

  25. Calla S April 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    I would LOVE this book. I am a big fan of fantasy/romance and I’m really interested in a Russian themed world. Great interview xxx

  26. Krispy April 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Great interview! I was especially intrigued by the researchy and language bits. Love that stuff. I’m so looking forward to reading this book! It sounds amazing, and I’ve been hearing so many good things! Thanks for the chance at your ARC!


  27. ephrielle April 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    The Shadow and Bone trailer is my all time favorite. When I am watching it I am desperate to read the book watch it in movie format and play it on a gaming console. It is an obsessive feeling of never wanting to leave that awesome moment. I can’t wait to read this book!

  28. ephrielle April 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    The Shadow and Bone trailer is my all time favorite. It inspires deep longing and excitement for me. I feel like I need to read the book, watch it in movie format, and play it on a gaming console all right this very moment. So awesome! If only that were possible. Basically, I am way excited to read this book.

  29. Who Loves Television? April 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    I can’t wait to read this book!

  30. circustoybox April 16, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Shadow on Bone is definitely on my wishlist, since Ive been hearing so many great things about it. AND..the cover is just gorgeous (both the ARC and the real one…but more the real one)…I am gald to hear despite the long, grueling “moments” of doubt, you stuck it out, Leigh!

    and a makeup artist *o*
    while I still haven’t figured out not to stab myself in the eye with mascara.


    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

  31. Amy K April 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    Wonderful interview! Thank you for the giveaway :)


  32. Karine Tran April 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    OMG!! The story seems amazing!! I’m looking foward to read it :D The plot is very interesting and doesn’t seem to cliché, unlike so many YA that exist right now… And the questions were great and allowed me to see what kind of writer she is, therefore, what kind of book it will be!
    Omg can’t wait! :D

  33. Stephanie Burgis (@stephanieburgis) April 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    I can’t wait to read this book! Please enter me in the giveaway. (Also, I tweeted about it!)

  34. Karine Tran April 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    OMG!! The story seems amazing!! I’m looking foward to read it The plot is very interesting and doesn’t seem to cliché, unlike so many YA that exist right now… And the questions were great and allowed me to see what kind of writer she is, therefore, what kind of book it will be!
    Omg can’t wait!

    And sorry, I forgot the tweet, but there it is :

    • Karine Tran April 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm #


  35. May Richard April 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    I had been waiting for this since forever! I cannot wait! The book trailer is so kick butt! Thank you so much!

  36. Karine April 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Great interview! I’m so excited for Shadow and Bones! :D

  37. rogier (@rocapri) April 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    i loved the interview
    the language sounds fun
    this book has been on my wishlist for a while
    good luck all

  38. Katie @ Blook Girl April 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Ha, what a GREAT interview :-) Leigh is just as witty and charming as I supposed her to be. I can’t WAIT to get my grubbies on a copy of Shadow and Bone – hopefully through this amazing giveaway! Thanks for the opportunity <333


  39. elanakarnold April 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    I can’t wait to read this book! And, I tweeted…

  40. Petra April 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Great interview! I can’t wait to discover the world of Ravka. The Darkling sounds really interesting. I always enjoy gray characters and how on edge they keep you because you can never really figure them out.

    Love “Cosmic Love” by Florence + The Machine.


  41. jmartinlibrary April 16, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    Hiya, I already have an ARC of Leigh’s SPECTACULAR book, but I hafta cheer about her shoutout over Placebo’s Running Up that Hill. I love that version even more than the original!

    Awesome interview. Thanks for doing this.

  42. sarabara081 April 16, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    This book sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

    Tweet link:

  43. Giselle April 16, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    Great Interview! I can’t wait to read Shadow & Bone

  44. Wren B. April 16, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    I really enjoyed the author giving us books that she used to get an idea of the world that the author created. I also believe that not getting to into the history but just a little is sometimes the right way to go. I also tweeted about this too:!/1Wren/status/192079866655539200

  45. Ashley Ferguson April 16, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    This interview was very fun to read! I’m looking forward to the book release!

  46. Marthapao April 17, 2012 at 1:51 am #

    I can’t wait to read it!! The wait seems too long!!

  47. Jessica Capelle April 17, 2012 at 2:21 am #

    Cannot wait to read this book!! Great interview :-)

  48. Gilly April 17, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    If the book didn’t look fabulous (and it does), you’d have had me at the book you’d grab before the zombie apocalypse!

    Here’s my tweet.!/anonymeet

  49. tal rejwan (@kyo0chan) April 17, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    Thank you so much for this GREAT giveaway! hope to win!
    My tweet-

  50. Ashley Chen April 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm #


  51. Lisa Marie April 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    I so want to read this!


  52. Valeri April 17, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    It’s great to see all the research that goes into this type of book as well as have it so well done. I’m really looking forward to reading the beginning to a great new series.

  53. Gwen Tolios April 17, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Awesome interviews you guys, on both parts. I’m rather jealous I couldn’t join the fun, but a nice new book would help with that ^_~

  54. meaganspooner April 17, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    I would totally go to that makeover party, just sayin.

    Great interview! And I can’t wait to read Shadow & Bone. So psyched. :D


  55. elena April 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    I love how insightful this interview is! Leigh put so much research in it and I love the idea of darklings, especially since it reminds me of John Keats. I’m even MORE excited to read Shadow and Bone, which is already at a crazy high level. fastdreams(at)gmail(dot)com

  56. Roxy April 18, 2012 at 12:52 am #

    I AM DYING TO READ SHADOW AND BONE!! Thanks so much for the giveaway! :D

    I tweeted:

  57. Natil Kringles April 18, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    I loooovee this post! The book just is speechless! I adore the book trailer!

  58. Pavan April 18, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    Hi! This interview is amazing!!!! And I’ve wanted to read this book for ages, thanks for the awesome opportunity :D

    Thanks again!!!

  59. artsymusingsofabibliophile April 18, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    I love reading about the research that goes into writing a book because it makes the reading experience much more fun. Plus, the question about Darkling has me intrigued. =D


  60. Bonnie (@missbonnie13) April 18, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    What an awesome interview! I totally went to go see if ‘I Before Argh: Speak Fluent Zombie Fast!’ was a real book because it sounded like something I totally needed to own. Lol Unfortunately it does not exist (but definitely needs to be written). Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  61. Alexis Gunderson (@AlexisKG) April 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    Orlando Figes! Cut to a Russophile’s gut-bones, why don’t you. For such a tight prep/research time, you, Ms. Bardugo, seem to have KILLED IT. Grisha? Soverennyi? Note-perfect. My heart literally beats faster in anticipation of this book, and I am the most jaded of jaded book-anticipators. Even if I don’t get the ARC, it’ll take the most unanticipated of misconnects for me to not buy an entire case of these to send out to my Russophile colleagues and friends.

  62. forestofthedead April 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    Love the giveaway!
    I tweeted:!/forestofthedead/status/193441355144507394

  63. Gabriella April 21, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    There’s really a book on learning Zombie? Awesome! I’m really looking forward to Shadow and Bone :) Thank you for the stimulating interview!!

    I tweeted:!/Gabelle_M/status/193557850302324736

  64. Linda: Book Ninja April 21, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    Whoa. Shadow and Bone took a lot of research! I love that there’s a Russian background to the setting and that the names have special meanings. Haha, talking to the Darklong about frittatas. Sounds like fun.
    Unicorn for the WIIIIIIN!!!

    Thank you for the giveaway and the awesome interview!

  65. Domo-Domo April 21, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Quite frankly, I’ve been excited about S&B ever since I first heard of it. The very sound of it reminds me strongly of The Golden Compass–I really do hope it manages to revive quality epic fantasy fiction!

  66. Alison Cherry (@alison_cherry) April 22, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    *flaily Muppet arms* I’m so excited for this book I don’t even know what to DO with myself.

  67. airlia2012 April 23, 2012 at 3:32 am #

    I’ve been super-excited about this book ever since I read about it on a blog awhile ago.
    Thanks for the giveaway, and what a great, funny interview!

  68. Cherry Mischievous April 23, 2012 at 4:54 am #

    This is a new-to-me book and author… would love love to try it out! :)

    Twitted about your giveaway at:!/cherrymischivus/status/194347593789218816

  69. Lauren W April 23, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    I’m so excited for this book!!! This was such a great/insightful interview!

  70. Lauren Garafalo (@laurengarafalo) April 23, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    I had been TRYING to just wait until June, but I keep hearing about how wonderful this book is. I just read the sample chapters on Amazon and am already IN LOVE!! Leigh, it’s beautiful and Claire, we <3 you for doing the best giveaways ever!

  71. sarahbotbonkers April 23, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    This book is on my wishlist! I am such a high fantasy junkie and I really think Shadow and Bone would really satisfy my cravings. I’m so excited for this book!

    I tweeted:!/Sarahbotbonkers/status/194429276894937088


  1. Giveaways! Swag! General Awesome! | - April 16, 2012

    [...] learn more about the research that went into the world building of Shadow and Bone? Check out this interview by author Claire Legrand in which we dish language, culture, and the dangers of an evil frittata. [...]

  2. Leigh Bardugo - Author of Shadow and Bone, Book 1 of The Grisha Trilogy - May 6, 2012

    [...] read more about the choices made in building Ravka and its language, check out my interview with Claire [...]

  3. Leigh Bardugo - Author of Shadow and Bone, Book 1 of The Grisha Trilogy - May 6, 2012

    [...] Click here to learn more about the research that went into building Ravka. [...]

  4. Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo » - June 14, 2012

    [...] emphatically that Ravka is not Russia and shares some other interesting thoughts as well – Author Interview This entry was posted in Inspiration, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. ← Disney Princess [...]

  5. Novel Sounds - April 6, 2013

    [...] world of Grisha is based on Russia. As Leigh Bardugo states, “Ravka isn’t Russia. It’s a fantasy world with Russia as its cultural touchstone, and my [...]

  6. Leigh Bardugo’s SIEGE AND STORM Blog Tour Stop #7 | Shadow And Bone Fandom - May 27, 2013

    […] And yet, Alina also feels like a real girl. She can be prickly and sarcastic — and funny!  In an interview last year with author Claire Legrand, you described Alina as someone who “struggles to be strong.” Would you still describe her that […]

  7. Craft: World building, part 1 | The Great Noveling Adventure - September 9, 2013

    […] Word Origins, so you can see the etymology of the word, and twist it to suit yourself. In this interview with Claire Legrand, Leigh talks about the choices she made with Russian words, sometimes remaining […]

  8. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo book review - October 21, 2013

    […] that she did, with a video of Russian images and something called Tsarpunk that inspired her, and here she says that she chose particular words for a reason and so on. You could feel that if she’s going to highlight this it should be done to a high standard. […]

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