Series Review: The Grisha Trilogy

12:00 AM Serena 0 Comments

I've wanted to read the Grisha Trilogy for ages because it sounded amazing, and I've heard nothing but good things about it. Seriously, every one of my friends on Goodreads that has read the first book, Shadow and Bone, gave it five stars with the exception of one person (and even she gave it four!). That was both intimidating and really intriguing for me, so of course I had to buy the whole trilogy. Because why not?

I finally got around to reading Shadow and Bone a week ago, and I LOVED it. So I decided that since Spring Break is this week, I would just binge the other two books and review them collectively instead of posting three separate reviews within days of each other. So here we are! Let's get started because I have a lot of feelings about these books. 

*PSA: Each review was written immediately after I read that book. Also, the reviews might get a bit SPOILERY.*

About Book One: Shadow and Bone 
Publication Date: June 5th, 2012
Rating: 5/5 stars

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. 

My Feels Review: 
I was into this from page one. The writing style (and the beautiful typography!) drew me in, and the characters and plotting kept me entranced for the full 300+ pages. I loved Alina and Mal, and yes, even the Darkling, even though I know now that I probably shouldn't (Curse you for being so suave and charming and evil!). I loved being introduced into the world of the Grisha and the traditions of Ravka. 

I totally understand what all the buzz built around this series is about. I'm officially a fan. Shadow and Bone is a brilliant first installment of what I'm sure is going to be an incredible trilogy. I can't wait to see what's next for Alina and Mal! 

About Seige and Storm:
Publication Date: June 4th, 2013
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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. 

My Feels Review:
Holy WOW, you guys. My feels and my thoughts are like scrambled eggs right now because that ending was INSANE. Okay. You can do this, Serena. You can form coherent thoughts. *takes deep breath* Okay, here we go. 

Siege and Storm starts right where Shadow and Bone left off. Mal and Alina are together and in love and in hiding. They're a bit skittish and afraid, but it's okay because they have each other. Except that only lasted for about thirty or so pages before the Darkling comes back and ruins everything and holds them hostage on a boat with a sly, but kind of attractive, pirate captain. Oh boy. 

And then crazy things happen. The pirate, err privateer, captain and his crew overtake the Darkling and his Grisha and escape on another boat back to Ravka. On said boat, Alina kills a mystical being so she could use its scales as yet another amplifier. That's two now. We also discover that the privateer is actually Prince Nikolai of Ravka. WHAT. 

Back in Ravka, the King gives Alina control of the Second Army and Things start happening. The Grisha are preparing for a battle with the Darkling. Meanwhile, Alina is at war with herself. When the battle with the Darkling does come, it's a big one. It was CRAZY. Everything started happening at once, and I was stunned almost speechless. I say almost because there was squealing and yelling and "OMGs" thrown around. 

Siege and Storm was an amazing second novel. I loved a lot of the new characters who were introduced, especially Nikolai who is kind of perfect. This was an insanely wonderful rollercoaster ride of heartbreak and emotions and banter and awesome. I can't wait to read the conclusion. 

P.S.: Leigh, 

About Ruin and Rising:
Publication Date: June 17th, 2014
Rating: 5(00000)/5 stars 

 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. 

My Feels Review: 
"I am not ruined. I am ruination."
Genya may feel that way, but I definitely do not at this current point in time. Ruin and Rising was very appropriately named because I am ruined now that I've read it. It was everything I could have hoped for for the ending of this story. There was action, so many tears and feelings, and a brilliant resolution. The ending completely demolished all my feelings. Bonus points: my ships stayed in one piece! What an incredible ending to an incredible trilogy. It couldn't have ended any other way. 

Series Review:
I have so much love for this series and these characters. I was captivated from the beginning and stayed that way until the very end. 

Leigh Bardugo created a unique world in this series, filled with characters from all different walks of life. That's why I consider these diverse books; the Grisha Trilogy is my Dive in to Diversity pick for this month. 

Now, you're probably like "Huh? Is this really a diverse series?" Hear me out. Think about it: the Grisha are the minority all across the country. They're definitely different, and some people choose to look down on them because of it. Some even persecute them. And it kind of went both ways. Some Grisha didn't like humans and felt they were inferior to the Grisha. People turned their noses up at Mal throughout the trilogy for that reason? Sound familiar? 

On top of that, Tamar and Nadia become a couple in Ruin and Rising. It wasn't a loud relationship, but it was there and any LGBTQ relationships in YA are notable and important. So, yes. I do consider this series diverse. I also consider it a favorite now. The Grisha Trilogy is a fantasy series of epic proportions, and I'd recommend to not only just fans of fantasy, but fans of good books. It's amazing, and I think it's one everyone should read. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be over here in a corner fighting off the most wicked book hangover.