Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm & Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo.
I had high hopes but ultimately, I was let down. I am glad I read this trilogy, though. And I will give SIX OF CROWS a try. I liked the world just didn't feel the story was strong enough. Below are short reviews for each book individually.
(The Grisha, #1)
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; 368 pages
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.
It took me a really long time to get in to this book. I'm talking 50-60% for me to be hooked. I truly think it was the lack of Mal that made it so-so for me. Trust me, with how long these books have been out and how many fans there are, I knew of these characters and I truly thought I'd find myself leaning toward The Darkling. Mal was just okay for me in the beginning, when he was around but then we were along with The Darkling and I just felt something missing. I realized when Mal reappeared that it was him. Things picked up once he was back in the picture.
The stag scene had me feeling sick to my stomach. Literally. I'm not even sure if I've ever felt like that while reading a book before. I'm so glad I hadn't eaten because I'm not sure if I literally would've gotten sick or not. But at that point, I had to put the book down and just let me mind accept what happened and then I could move on. It was tough and I'm not even kidding in the slightest. I'm just blown away by the feelings that scene errupted in me.
The Grisha world is fascinating and scary all at the same time. They definitely feel they're above oridinary people like you and me. When people have that mind set, it becomes a very dangerous thing. We start to see just how dangerous in this book.
I've already dived in to the second book, telling myself I'd only read one chapter last night and 60 pages later, I finally put it down. I am so Team Mal. To me, there is nothing appealing about the Darkling.
And I'm highly disappointed about what I thought could've been a great friendship between Genya and Alina.
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.;435 pages
Darkness never dies.
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.
I'm still debating if this should get a 3 star or a 2.5
I really wasn't feeling this book. the beginning was exciting but after that, things just didn't happen. I'm usually a big fan of second books whereas most dread them bit this time around, I feel this book suffered.
Alina got on my nerves. Many times I wanted to smack her upside her head. Or shake her...I wasn't sure which would be more effective.
Mal got on my nerves too but I sympathized with him a lot more. His life was being turned upside down.
I liked The Darkling even less than I had in the first book.
The best part of this book, hands down, was Nikolai. If it weren't for him I'm honestly not sure I would've finished the book. Either at all or at least not yet.
It took me a week (roughly) to read this book. I started Ruin and Rising last night at midnight and was halfway through it before I put it down for sleep. That's a real big difference in quality of these books to me.
After. typing this all out, I think I'm going with a 2.5 star rating.
(The Grisha, #3)
Release Date: June 14, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; 422 pages
The capital has fallen.
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.
This book, it had five star rating written all over it; it really did. But then that changed. I feel let down. I was expecting so much more toward the end, whether it be that battle between Team Alina and Team Darkling or regarding Mal. Both situations, I was disappointed. I was expecting more. I was craving more. I thought, with where the book was going, I'd be getting more. But. I didn't.
***highlight to view spoiler*** Regarding Mal. I expected to feel more when he 'died'. I expected it to hurt. I expected to shed some tears. I wasn't effected by it at all. And it's because I knew he wasn't going to be truly dead. It was just so obvious that it wasn't going to happen. And then the cause of his death - I just didn't like the outcome of that. It just wasn't where the story was heading. Was it bad? Not really. But when you see a story heading in a certain direction and it just doesn't, you can't help but feel the disappointment. ***end spoiler***
I don't get the appeal of the Darkling. At all. I thought I might've. In the beginning but no. I could've cared less about him. To me, it was always about Mal, Nikolai and Alina. Genya and David were also there. Plus the siblings. Those were the characters I worried about. The ones I thought about. The ones I was worried about whether they would live or die. I couldn't wait to see the Darkling perish. I kept hoping and praying that moment would come.
I enjoyed the world, I enjoyed the characters but overall, I felt the story was just lacking. I have high hopes for Six of Crows because Andye, from Reading Teen, swears it's so much better. We shall see, Andye, we shall see.