MY RATING: ★★★★★
“This was his soul made flesh, the truth of him laid bare in the blazing sun, shorn of mystery and shadow. This was the truth behind the handsome face and the miraculous powers, the truth that was the dead and empty space between the stars, a wasteland peopled by frightened monsters.”
― Leigh Bardugo,
Alina and Mal, are best friends and they live in the same orphanage since they were children. Since they do not pass the test for magical abilities, they have to serve for the First Army and go into the Fold. The journey is nerve-wrecking because people usually don’t come back from that place. The Fold is a dangerous place filled with beasts and monsters. Alina struggled in fighting those monsters when something unexpected happened.
Hands down the best trilogy I’ve read so far! Beats easily The Hunger Games and Divergent series. Here are the reasons why you should read it :
I absolutely love the setting : stunning, rich and exquisite. It’s set in a fantastic 1800 Tsarist Imperial Russia where extravagant dances and court intrigue are back, no bows nor archery (thank god!!), no elves, etc. I could picture it in my head pretty easily and dive into their world. You get to discover new folklore fantastic creatures from Russia and they are pretty bad-ass.
In this Grishaverse, we are introduced to the First Army which consists of human with no particular powers, where they live to serve and go to battle. The Second Army are a higher position where they have Grisha, soldiers with peculiar abilities. I must admit that the magic system in this book is one of my favourite after Harry Potter. The Grisha power covers a lot of things but it’s not all over the place and they are limited individually. The magic system is split in three categories :
Etheralki– the “Summoners” ( they can summon a specific element (fire,water,etc),
Corporalki – the “Body Controller” (they can either heal, increase your heart rate, etc.)
Materialki- the “Material Maker” ( capable of transforming objects)
My favourite character from the books and the most loved character of all in today’s Young Adult ! He has his own army because his power is bad-ass: HE CAN SUMMON Darkness. He’s a mysterious, dark and edgy character and a charismatic guy. As you continue the trilogy, you will ADORE HIM. He just becomes more and more important and has his own way to get to Alina. I ship them so hard ❤
The other characters are also a nice element to the story, one of the rare novels where I practically love everyone. The main character’s development was beyond my expectations, she is struggling very hard in the second and mostly in the last novel, and how she overcomes her obstacles was marvelous. The ending was very satisfying.
Such a rare breed. You know where the sequels actually got better ? Because I’ve been disappointed with the Hunger Games and Divergent where the first book is always the best and from there it went downhill. The Grisha Trilogy is the complete opposite. Leigh Bardugo succeeds in making every book a page turner.
Here’s my advice if you didn’t like Shadow and Bone as much: read Siege and Storm ! The story got wayy better, the intrigue is consistent and the plot twists !&#&!.
If you haven’t read Shadow and Bone yet, you can skip the following mini reviews of the sequels to not spoil yourself 😉
In the end of the first book, we discover that the Darkling is the one who created The Fold to his own advantage but after a failed attempt, he created a world that he can no longer control. He needs Alina’s Sun Summoning power to overthrow The Fold, take it back and regain his power to use the Fold as his weapon to invade all the empires in Ravka. Alina and Mal have to take refugees and leave Ravka.
In this sequel, we follow Alina and Mal traveling to an unfamiliar land in order to gain strenght and make a plan. The deer necklace is beginning to get hungry for more power, Alina is struggling to keep her power in place..
I was disapointed with the ending of Shadow And Bone but oh my this sequel is so good! I understand why Leigh Bardugo has left us like that in the first book because the second one takes up on more actions, new characters and new plots. I really like the addition of a ”treasure hunt” for other mythical objects after the stag. AND HELLO PRINCE NIKOLAI ❤ Such a nice character hahah I reallike his witty, eccentric character. Thought Mal was a little bit overwhelmed in this one but I guess it’s nice to see a more vulnerable side of him.
After years of losing her power, a weak Alina is rising from the ashes and ready to deliver herself from the Apparat. People still consider her as a Saint that will overthrow the Darkling’s Reign. Will Alina succeed in finding the last magical item that will give her the full power to defeat him?
I honestly love this finale !! So many twists and turns! I’m glad Leigh Bardugo went for it and played with emotions like that.. The ONLY time I allow someone to play with emotions LOL The actions, the funny replies, are three times better in this one. Following the three books, I must admit that Leigh Bardugo achieved a perfect character development for not only the protagonist but all the second characters as well.
Have you read this trilogy? 😀 What did you think?