The Grisha Trilogy
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
This review covers the entire Grisha Trilogy. It contains a minor spoiler for Shadow and Bone (in the characters section), but is spoiler free for the rest of the series.
I got all three of The Grisha Trilogy books as Kindle Daily Deals at some point or another (not all together but randomly on different days), but I never got around to reading them. This year, I decided to finally read them. After having finally read Shadow and Bone, I am upset with myself for waiting so long to read it - I absolutely loved it!
Shadow and Bone takes place in a world were some people are Grisha: people born with the ability to manipulate the elements, the human body, or other materials. The Grisha are led by a fierce leader, the Darkling, who is immensely powerful and can control darkness. Alina is just an average girl until she finds out that she is, in fact, Grisha - she can control light.
I absolutely loved the world that Leigh Bardugo built in Shadow and Bone. She carefully crafted a world with an interesting power dynamic between Grisha and ungifted people. While the king controls the first army, the Darkling controls the more powerful second army of Grisha. On some level, Grisha are resented for their powers - not as much in Ravka, the setting of this book, as in other places, but there is still resentment.
Once I started Shadow and Bone, I couldn't stop. I wanted to know more and more about the world and the characters, especially as the bigger plot of the series started to unfold. I was shocked by some of the revelations near the end, and anxious to get to Siege and Storm.
Unfortunately for me, Siege and Storm was a bit of a let down as the second book in the series. I felt like it moved a little slowly, partially because a lot of the time was spent on a plot line that I just wasn't that interested in (more on this and the characters later). The beginning and end of the book were strong, but the middle lagged. Luckily, Ruin and Rising was such a phenomenal conclusion that it made up for the sophomore slump.
Ruin and Rising was such a satisfying conclusion! Filled with action, twists, and more, I sped through this finale. AND THE EPILOGUE! That epilogue was so perfect and fitting as a conclusion to the series.
Now that I've gone through my overall opinions of the books, I'll dig into some of the nitty gritty: the characters.
Alina was a great, strong protagonist for this series. She was somewhat self sacrificing to a fault - she understood what she wanted to accomplish, and she was willing to do anything to get the job done (including causing her own near death). Her persistence was incredible.
Mal is Alina's main love interest throughout the series, and while some people really love him, I'm sadly not one of them. Mal annoyed me to no end in Siege and Storm. He was like Four in Allegiant - whiny and irritating - but he did get past it in Ruin and Rising, and I ultimately really enjoyed where his story arc went and how it impacted the greater plot.
The Darkling was really a great villain. I'm not one of those people who fell in love with the Darkling and shipped him with Alina, but I enjoyed how truly despicable he was. It was kind of amazing to see how far he would go for anything. In a lot of ways, he was very similar to Alina - the dark side of her light, but still filled with endless determination.
The supporting characters were equally great. I LOVED Nikolai!!!!! Favorite character in this series hands down. I really wish there had been more of him in this series, but I'm holding out hope that he'll make an appearance in the Six of Crows series. Genya was an interesting character because she was so driven by revenge and it shaped her decisions so much. I wasn't sure how I felt about her for a while, but I ended up liking her and her dynamic with David. Also just wanted to give a shoutout to Zoya, who is the absolute sassiest and has one of my favorite lines in the entire series about missing pretty things.
All in all, I can't believe I waited so long to read the Grisha Trilogy, but I'm glad I finally did because now I can join in on the Grishaverse love, especially with the Six of Crows series. This series is packed with action in such a wonderfully built world. I can't wait to read more in this world!
On a side note, I think an anime series about the adventures of Harshaw and Oncat during Ruin and Rising would be hilarious and the best thing ever. I'd settle for fan-made comics. Someone please make this happen please.
What series did you wait a long time to read?
Let us know in the comments!