A few more links that I think should be shared and a few more thoughts –
A fascinating post by Rose Lemberg, “On Bardugo’s Tsarpunk, Worldbuilding, and Historical Linguistics,” which looks at the linguistic failings of the novel and how much that really effects its worldbuilding. Rose commented on my original post on livejournal and her thoughts on the book have been completely eye-opening, I am so happy that she decided to speak up. The comments on her mirrored post on livejournal are very interesting as well.
The same writer’s thoughts on Catherynne M. Valente’s Deathless, another fantasy book in my ‘to read’ pile written by an American and inspired by Russian folklore.
Valente’s take on the novel Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts, a book that I admittedly have not read and don’t feel inspired to read but which deals with an American writing (poorly) about Russia.
For balance, a “so-so” review (actually by the writer who liked the short story tie in so much and pointed me to the novel in the first place.) Shara links to my original post there, and refers to me as someone more qualified to speak about misappropriation, but that’s certainly not true. I think my particular background prompted me to ask questions more than anything else. People with more knowledge have been upset with things that I didn’t pick up on at all, which appears to simply be my not knowing where/how to look. I feel that I have learned a great deal since my first post, thanks to wonderful people like Rose.
I still think that in many ways Shadow and Bone is a good YA novel. As I said before, it’s engaging, different, a fast read where the teenagers seemed real and the standard love “triangle” was subverted in a way I really liked. Purely on these levels, it is a well done young adult book in the newly established tradition of young adult books. This said, I don’t think my opinion of it will ever be the same as when I first finished it. I have learned a lot in the interim and the appropriation issues of the book that at first seemed mildly disconcerting things to wonder about now seem far more important and upsetting. I am grateful for all the pages I have linked in this post and the last one for helping me see these issues for what they really are.