Hi all!! I'm back. I'm sorry I was MIA for a small while, I was volunteering in South Africa for two weeks - I only came home on Saturday! There was next to no internet where I was staying so there was no way of updating my blog or Goodreads while I was away. But I had an absolutely amazing time, want to go back again, but I am now ready to go back to real life and everything it beckons. And with that comes the reviews of the Grisha trilogy which I finished while in Africa!
Book: Siege and Storm, Leigh Bardugo
Series: Shadow and Bone #2
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: June
Darkness never dies.
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.
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
I completely fell
head over heels in love with the world of the Grisha in Shadow and Bone and
couldn’t wait to get back into this world, especially with how Shadow and Bone
It’s been a few
weeks since I finished this book so I can’t go into huge detail about
everything that’s happened (sorry) but I did absolutely love it, I do know that
But I can sum up why I adored this book in one word:
I mean, need I go on?
cough privateer cough is so snarky and loveable and amazing
that I was beaming ear to ear every time he appeared on the page. He was
completely confident and at ease with who he was and never once apologised for
Alina is still
struggling with her new role and she goes through so much emotional turmoil and
challenges, yet her strength and perseverance and love of her country allowed
her to come out swinging and never let herself give up.
herself, Mal and the Darkling… sigh. The Darkling came out as the official
villain at the end of Shadow and Bone and despite the connection between Alina
and the Darkling; I can’t see anything happening romantically between them. This
makes me really sad though, because even though Mal is obviously the one who is
best suited for Alina, it is impossible not to get shivers every time Alina and
the Darkling are together.
seen what you truly are,” said the Darkling, “and I’ve never turned away. I
never will. Can he say the same?”
No matter what, I will always root
for the misunderstood villain. They can be so much more relatable than the
perfect-without-faults good guy.
I know this review
is all over the place, so I'm sorry, but basically, this world and story is definitely
one getting invested in and I'm really enjoying the journey I'm being taken on.
Book: Ruin and Rising, Leigh Bardugo
Series: Shadow and Bone #3
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: June
The capital has fallen.
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced
tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
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.
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
Wow. I can’t
believe some of the reviews on GR for this book. I mean, I get it, in a way. It
must be next to impossible to write an ending that is realistic, while not
being too perfect, which satisfies everyone. I didn’t even know how I wanted
this book to end for the most part.
At the start I was
rooting for Alina and Nikolai to rule as king and queen despite not being
romantically linked toward each other, but when those that ever happen in a YA
book? Even though it happened all the time in real life royal history, you’ll
never see it in YA fantasy.
I don’t want to
spoil exactly what happened, but my exact feelings are… meh. I don’t hate it, I
don’t love it. I'm squarely in the middle of neutral-ville. I'm not rating this
book for its ending; I'm rating it in spite of it.
So let’s move past
the controversial ending and onto the book itself and its characters. Alina has
been such a fantastic heroine. She has grown so much from that ordinary,
skinny, grumpy girl we first met into a powerful, confident and strong leader
who knows what she’s capable of and what she needs to achieve. She was far from
perfect, and made some decisions I didn’t agree with sometimes, but that
imperfection made her that much more likeable, and completely drove her away
from Mary Sue territory.
This book had me
guessing and confused until the very end, and even at the end I wasn’t sure
what to expect. It completely kept me on my toes and I absolutely loved it for
that! Mal and Alina’s relationship, while not my favourite YA couple, is still
full of love and commitment even though you weren’t always sure how they were
going to survive.
The Darkling was
amazing as usual, and despite how terribly evil he was, it was impossible not
to feel drawn to him most of the time. Did his ending suit his character? I
don’t know. I feel Leigh Bardugo tried to be as realistic as possible while
still pleasing fans, and while I love to imagine a “perfect ending” for all
these characters, I know I'm never going to read that unless I write it myself or
read about it in fanfiction.
Nikolai is still
the most snarky, arrogant, fantastic character in this world and I hope he
appears in Six or Crows, or is at least mentioned! I have no clue what that
duology is about except that some agree it’s even better than this trilogy. I
don’t know how that will be, but I’ll soon find out!
All in all, I
adored this trilogy and I'm not ready to leave this world yet. Read it if you
love fantasy, kickass characters and magic. It won’t let you down.