Over winter break, I finally got the chance to finish Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo after having read the first book in the Grisha trilogy, Shadow and Bone, several years ago. I was introduced to the series through a Grisha trilogy spinoff series, Six of Crows, which is also an amazing read! Bardugo’s writing is excellent and the concept of the series is so interesting and creative. The first book, Shadow and Bone, takes place in the fictional country of Ravka – which is based on Russia – in a world where people with extraordinary powers exist. Those people are known as Grisha. In Ravka, Grisha are sent to the Little Palace to train and hone their skills as children. In Shadow and Bone, the protagonist, Alina Starkov, is a soldier in the Ravkan army and never believed she was Grisha, but during a dangerous journey, her friend is severely injured and she reveals an important power, marking herself as Grisha and as the person who may be able to save her struggling country. The Grisha trilogy tells an interesting and engaging story and is beautifully written.
The writing in Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy is descriptive and skillfully done, while still being engaging and making for an action-packed series. Leigh Bardugo is excellent at world-building and really makes the reader feel immersed in the setting of the books. Bardugo’s writing style in the Grisha trilogy adds to the experience of reading in an excellent way.
The characters in the Grisha trilogy are genuinely interesting and the author is able to create very realistic and interesting dynamics between many of the characters. Each character is complicated and nuanced, and Bardugo writes excellent character development arcs throughout the series for many of the major players. The two spinoff series, Six of Crows and King of Scars, also add depth and detail to important side characters found in the original trilogy.
While the idea of a character suddenly discovering they have powers and becoming “the chosen one” may not sound particularly creative on its own, Leigh Bardugo crafts a fresh and interesting story based on this concept in her books. The main character, and other surrounding characters, have complicated motives and must grapple with the idea of what it means to be powerful, how far one should go to attain that power, and what great power should be used for. The series is engaging and adds depth to classic ideas.
The Grisha trilogy is a fun and interesting book series that is definitely now on my list of favorites! I’m so glad I had the chance to finally finish the series and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a relatively quick but engaging read.
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