Thursday, October 2, 2014
Series Review: The Grisha Series (by Leigh Bardugo)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA High Fantasy (Adventure, Romance)
Overall Series Rating: 5/5
Shadow and Bone (5/5)
Siege and Storm (5/5)
Ruin and Rising (5/5)
First Book Synopsis (Goodreads):
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.
My Background (with the series):
I bought the first book when it very first came out, probably the week of, and the same with the second - and then didn't read either of them. And then just decided to wait until the third one came out. So I did, I preordered it, and it came in the mail - and then I read them all in a row. Three days, three books (June 17th - 19th. Started and finished book one on the 17th, and finished book three on the 19th).
And since I read them so quick I didn't have a lot of exposure to the fans/fandom of the series, or the discussion and such. And I was so confused and surprised (and confused) about why everyone was obsessed with The Darkling. Guys, I'm sorry to break it to you, but he was kind of evil (I mean, he was entertaining, but we didn't get to know him at all). And he hurts people, using them, and I just honestly don't get it because he doesn't have any redeeming qualities that I could find. I mean sometimes I adore villains because of how evil/insane/whatever they are - but seemed to have honestly wanted him and Alina to get together. Pretty sure that would of been bad.
I also don't understand why people seem to hate Mal. Okay hate might be strong word for some, but for others I don't think it is. I mean he wasn't my favorite, but he wasn't bad (Sturmhound, and I think the logical way was him, the "follow your heart" was Mal for her).
I don't know what it was that made me enjoy this series so much. It wasn't, like, overly fantastic in any way (the plot was okay, interesting, but not wow, original and the writing was just good), but for some reason I really loved this series. Now, rethinking it, I'm considering lowering the ratings on the books - but I'm not going to because I just feel like I should, and that's an awful to reason to do anything.
I did really enjoy these three books though, this series. And the romance aspects, oddly, never felt out of place or pushed into where they shouldn't be. I feel like that's a common problem when warlike things are happening or the worlds in danger - the romance can just feel not right, out of place, and/or ridiculous. But this book wasn't like that - the romance was there and that was that.
The world might of been my favorite part - the supernatural parts and the historical fantasy world being my main favorite parts. I loved how the supernatural parts were mixed in and how the worldbuilding didn't feel too much like info-dumping. I did like the writing, overall, her style was good, not too flowery, but also not too simple.
I think I'm in the majority, as well, for liking how the trilogy wrapped up (I mean, I didn't love it, but it was cute / I was fine with it).