Sunday 19 April 2015

Book Review: The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo

Book Review: The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo

Book 1: Shadow and Bone
 Lonely orphan Alina discovers she has a power that could save her kingdom. But with power comes a choice - between the seductive, powerful Darkling and her childhood friend, Mal.

Book 2: Siege and Storm
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and he needs Alina to realise his dangerous plan. Somehow, she must choose between her country, her power, and her love - or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Book 3: Ruin and Rising 
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. But as Alina 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 - but claiming it could cost Alina the very future she is fighting for.

My Musings

Epic is the word that comes to  mind trying to describe this series. Leigh Bardugo has infused Russian culture and mysticism into a rich fantastical world then thrown in some ill fated love and a huge cast of the blessed and the outsiders. 

This monumental story centers around two unlikely heroes, their doomed love and their fight for the very survival of their world. Their enemy, The Darkling, is their Machiavellian nemesis of mythic proportions. whose quest for his own brand of redemption embroils Alina, Mal and their friends and foes in a fight which will leave many on the battle field. But who survives in the end? 

This has a definite touch of Game of Thrones as Bardugo is clearly not shy of killing  or maiming favourite characters unlike Meyer in The Twilight series which gave that particular series such a weak ending. You are drawn into an amazingly rich world where is always a new twist, new plot, new character or another side to the coin. The characters all have depth and none are perfect or infact truelly evil. They all have a story to tell and crosses to bear. 

The first book sees Alina who is skinny and sickly , find her formidable magical powers and being taught how to use them in the face of opposition from various factions. The second sees the introduction of one of my favourite characters, Nickolai, the prince/privateer.  But is he friend of foe? The Darkling is the most complex character, as at times you feel sympathy for him as does Alina and giving him a hint of humanity makes him a truelly powerful and memorable character.  In the third installment, Ruin and Rising the world is in dire turmoil as Alina, Mal and an ever shrinking band of friends are still desperate to fight the Darkling and save their world. 

I was kept guessing until the end and I wasn't disappointed although you may have a tear in your eye. Absorbing escapism at its best for true fantasy and adventure lovers.

Ps, Excited to hear the film rights have been bought so we will have to wait and see if it makes it onto the big screen. Hope so as this series has it all.

If you like this you may like
Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
Game of Thrones by Martin
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
Magician's Guild by Trudi Canavan. 
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

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