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Misericordia

Misericordia

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Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo Obviously, the person who consulted the author on the Russian words used as word-building staples either wasn't very knowledgeable in Russian or simply pulled a prank on her:
-'Grisha' - is Russian shortened version for George or maybe Greg - 'Гриша' stands shortened for 'Григорий' ('Grigori'). What the hell is so magical about an average George or even a bunch of them, I have no idea.
-'Otkazat'sya' is a Russian verb meaning 'to refuse' in nothing other than an infinitive form - 'отказаться'. Why would anyone name a faction 'to refuse' and keep referring to them so during the course of the book? Beats me.
-Ilya Morozova? A girl? Only after a sex-change operation. On the second thought, if you take girls and teach them how to be a 'George', you might just progress nicely to sex-change things.
-'Kvas' fail is also entertaining. It's really hard to get drunk on it (only 1% alcohol in 'квас'). I think the character should follow the feat by getting drunk on bread (0.3% alcohol), sour milk (0.05-0.5% alcohol) and grape juice (0.3%). That would sum it up nicely.
-'Novyi Zem' - basically 'Новый Земь" instead of some 'Новая Земля'...
-'Korporalnik' is a hellish mix of 'Полковник' ('Polkovnik') and 'Corporal' which is 'Polkovnik' in English. Why couldn't she stick with either of those and had to make up a third word?
-'The woman frowned but hesitated only a moment before she shrugged out of her red kefta and handed it to me.' ... 'Kefta'... there is a word 'кофта' ('kofta') which is basically any blouse or jersey. Imagine casually 'shrugging out of your blouse'.
-'Ana Kuya' is a really wonky name. Sounds really like 'А на хуЯ?' which really should be censored. And it's made even more conspicuous by the fact that in Russia there is name 'Anna' not 'Ana'.
-'Privyet' - is 'Привет' transplanted. Just imagine a guy named 'Hi' or maybe 'Hello'. What illuminating discussions one could have with such a name? I imagine it would go a bit like this:
A: Hi.
H: Hi.
A: What's your name?
H: Hi.
A: Yeah, hi. And you are?
H: Hi.
A: Yeah. And who are you?
H: I'm Hi.
A: What, you're so high you can't tell your name? What do you take? Care to share? Kvas, maybe?
H: No, I'm not high, I'm Hi.
A: *facepalm* Ok, see you around when you're better.

Conclusion №1: One shouldn't just grab any words from other languages and stick them into one's novels. Research is usually beneficial.
Conclusion №2: I do realise that Russia somehow translates to a dark and exotic place in the mind of an average US citizen who knows nothing on the subject except what has been spoon-fed to her/him by the US media. But one has to always make a reality check with such things since all the hype is not reality-based and the journalists who inspire treating Russia as some 'kingdom' are usually just uneducated bums who have no idea what they are writing about. There are lots of expats from US/EU/worldwide who go to Russia to work here and who are pretty much ok with it. If everything is so bad and sinister, then what the hell do they go to Russia for?

Overall, a good read, even if somewhat unwieldy due to the above-mentioned word and world troubles.