Book Reviews

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Since seeing that Ben Barnes would be starring in Shadow and Bone on Netflix, I was interested in the series. He’s just so handsome. However, I am a strong believer in reading the book before watching the show/movie, so I dived right into the series. I finished all three books of The Grisha Trilogy in one week. Rather than inundating you with a review for each book, I’m going to review the full trilogy.

The Grisha Trilogy

Shadow & Bone

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.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy.

Siege & Storm

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Ruin & Rising

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

My Thoughts

All in all, I really enjoyed The Grisha Trilogy. It was a solid four star book series. Actually, there are two additional duologies in the GrishaVerse that I’m considering getting. (Hey, I could have a worse habit. At least I’m just buying books.)

I appreciated the character development in the books. Well, for everyone except Mal. I really could have done without him in his entirety. It was interesting how Leigh Bardugo tied him into things, but I still could have done without him.

These books were so imaginative, both in how they were written and in how they made you think. You can actually imagine the Fold and feel like you’re walking on the mountains or flying in the Pelican.

I was moderately disappointed in the ending. Part of me felt like Bardugo wanted to give the people an ending they wanted. Perhaps if I had read these as they came out instead of binging them all at once, I may have felt differently. It just fell a little flat for me.

Now, I have also started the Netflix series. As far as I understand it, they’ve decided to squash together The Grisha Trilogy with the duologies. There are some characters in the show that I did not meet in any of the three books I read. I’m only a few episodes in, but it has been very good and creative so far. I’ve read some of the interviews and reviews of the show and a few more of the changes they’ve made to character development and such.

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