So these were books number 9, 10 and 11 of the year, the Shadow and Bone series by Leigh Bardugo. I had bought these a while back but I was determined to finish them before the release of the Netflix series and I’m so glad I did! I lovedddddd the series by the way, as a fan of the universe in the ‘Grisha-verse’ books, I can definitely recommend it, what they have to change, doesn’t upset my little nerdy book soul as much as it normally would because they did such a good job with the characters.

You can find my thoughts on the other books within this universe here.

A vague attempt at summarising

These books take place before the events of the Six of Crows duology and if you have read them first, this will fill in some of the blanks around the history of the war in Ravka. It follows Alina, who is just an average mapmaker in the Ravkan army, until her unit is set upon by Volcra- monsters that live in the shadow fold, a dark expanse that cuts West Ravka off from the rest of the country. In her attempt to shield her childhood friend (and crush) Malec, we discover Alina might be more than she seems.

With this discovery, Alina is thrust into the world of Grisha (powerful people who wield powers tied to various elements), with the weight of the future of Ravka on her shoulders. As time passes and Alina doesn’t hear from Malec, she grows closer to the most powerful Grisha of all, the Darkling, whose powers are the antithesis of her own. Unsurprisingly, given his name, The Darkling is not all that he appears to be. The novels’ follow the events that unfold as Darkling’s plans take shape and Alina attempts to fight against him and save her country.

What did I think?

So, I was a little taken aback at first because of how different these books are to Six of Crows, both in writing style and narrative style but this is not a bad thing, just shows off the talent of the author, in my opinion. I do think the Six of Crows female characters are a little better written but I am thoroughly prejudiced because of how much I love Nina and Inej.

These books had all my favourite things; found family, magic, forbidden attraction, romance, battles and epic journeys. I think the world create in these books is rich and deep, as are the majority of the characters in them. I like how these books don’t shy away from having flawed main characters, who have genuine story arcs where you can feel them grow and change.

So, there you have it, this was a short and sweet one because I am very behind in updating the ‘What I’m Reading’ posts and, also, I think I can safely assume if you’re reading this blog, it’s because you have either watched or are going to watch the Netflix series!