Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review: The Grisha series

Title: Shadow and Bone/Siege and Storm/Ruin and Rising
Series: The Grisha
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: 2012, 2013, 2014

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.
-taken from Goodreads

I really enjoyed this series. It was nice to read a YA novel that didn't fall into the ranks of the countless dystopian YA novels that have flooded the market the past few years.* Although the protagonist was young, a teenager, it was easy to forget because she actually acted so much older. She never fell into that trap of portraying a whiney, overly-emotional, dramatic teen. She reacted to stressful situations the way a mature teenager might react. It was very refreshing.

If you enjoy magic and fantasy, you'll enjoy this story. The magic part of it had a simplicity to it that I can appreciate. It was easy to understand - black = shadows and evil, gold = sunshine and good. The idea that Grisha control certain elements by drawing on the particles that make them was very basic, which made it easy to understand and follow. It also made it more believable, as though you could imagine how even people in our world would be able to control the elements.

The plot kept me going throughout the entire series. There were lots of twists and turns, even with the romance of the story. I'm not going to hint at anything there, but I will say that I was kind of emotionally torn at first, just like Alina! At one point I just sat there thinking, "No no no no no no." I thought it was a great choice to make Alina really struggle with her growing power and worry about becoming evil. Her struggle felt so genuine and completely relatable - don't we all worry about that little devil voice we sometimes hear? I loved the entire emotional roller coaster that lasts through all 3 books.

I could not figure out how things would end! I love to try and figure out how things could possible work out, especially when things seem so hopeless, but I could not do it this time. Then even once certain huge moments started resolving the questions, they would just create more questions! "Well now that that's happened, how could this other thing possibly work out??" So frustrating, and yet SO GOOD.

My only complaint is that the middle book fell into that middle-of-the-trilogy trap where it just feels like a bridge between the 2 other really great books. It was a little slow with very little exciting moments, just a lot of waiting around. However, the first and third books are good enough that it's worth sludging through.

*Don't get me wrong...I love dystopian novels.

heart (1)heart (1)heart (1)heart (1)

No comments:

Post a Comment