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Themes

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 170

The themes of the book Shadow and the Bone by Leigh Bardugo include good versus evil, love and friendship, and controlling one's own destiny. The land of the Unsea and the Darkling represent the evil in the novel, as the Darkling schemes to plunge the entire world into darkness under his control. Alina and Mal, the two teenage protagonists of the novel, represent the force of good. Mal is sent to track down Alina and bring her back to the Darkling, which he is able to do because of his masterful tracking ability. When he finds Alina, however, he chooses to help her escape the Darkling instead. Similarly, Alina chooses to not use her power for evil and darkness when she decides to not kill the magical stag, which would have increased her magical ability. When Alina manages to overcome the power the Darkling has over her, she is able to save the life of her best friend and realize that she is truly in control of her own fate.

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