the grisha trilogy review

to read a blurb about the first book, Shadow and Bone, in this series on Goodreads, click here

to read a blurb about the second book, Siege and Storm, in this series on Goodreads, click here.

to read a blurb about the third book, Ruin and Rising, in this series on Goodreads, click here

This series was such a wild ride! I also had a million different conflicting emotions at any given time and that was something I seriously wasn’t used too. I was either rooting for Alina or cursing the mistakes she made. I was for the Darkling at one point, then switched to hating him, then switched to pitying him, then switched to I don’t even know anymore. I still haven’t quite figured him out yet. Never have I felt so much emotion while reading a series. Normally they stay pretty consistent with a few ups and downs. But I’m glad that a writer can bring out so many emotions in me. I consider that a sign of good writing.

If you guys read my review of Ruin and Rising then you know just how much this series affected me. I’ll attempt to recreate that without spoiling. So I am apologizing in advance if I give anything away. I don’t know what is considered a spoiler and what it is. Because people have different definitions of spoilers.

The Plot

I’ll start off with the plot, since that was the basis of this whole thing. Grish aren’t treated quite as well as they are in Six of Crows. Although, to be honest, I don’t think they were ever really treated well. Which is sad because Grisha are incredible. The Grisha are kind of ruled by someone called the Darkling. I mean, they have a King that they follow but mainly the Darkling controls the Grisha. The long and short of it is Alina, the Sun Summoner, attempts to take down the Darkling.

I thought the plot was interesting enough. I mean just by the sounds of the Darkling’s name, you could tell he was bad news bears. But that was thing with the plot. You never really knew if what Alina was doing was good or bad. Leigh Bardugo weaved such a tale that often times I was conflicted. Was what the Darkling doing really so awful? Was Alina truly doing things to save Ravka or doing it for her own selfish reasons? Those were the two questions that swirled in my mind constantly, especially in the last the book. The last book really messed me up. I think I will be affected by it for a very long time.

The Characters


I had many issues with Alina in the beginning. I considered her an exceptionally weak character and I can’t stand weak characters. I consider myself a weak person, why would I want to read about someone who is weak? She did start to redeem herself, in my eyes, when she realized she was Grisha and more importantly, the Sun Summoner. She had all this immense power but who did she let run her over and destroy her repeatedly? MAL. More on him later because I have a lot to say about him. After some time, Alina did start to turn around for me and I really started to like her. Sometimes. More often than not, I liked her confidence she started to portray. She started to lead and I liked that.



Ugh. Why was he even a thing in this book? Why?! He did nothing and just annoyed me more often than not. He was NOT supportive of Alina and I often found their relationship incredibly toxic. He never supported Alina in using her powers and told her repeatedly that he couldn’t be with her while she was a Grisha, not caring how much that hurt Alina. Alina gave him so freakin much for him and he just took it all for granted! I didn’t support their relationship. At all. I thought he was incredibly selfish and hurt Alina because of his own shortcomings. He sort of started to redeem himself but I still couldn’t bring myself to fully support him or his relationship with Alina.


The Darkling:

I was and am still conflicted about the Darkling. Was he good? Was he bad? I still have no idea if he was good or bad. Perhaps he is considered an anti hero like Kaz. Regardless, he was certainly an interesting character to read about. I wouldn’t mind getting a novel about him. Maybe the entire Grisha trilogy from his point of view? Anyway, I was secretly hoping that him and Alina might end up together. Everything about them seemed to work. He seemed to understand her in a way that nobody else could. But it was hard to look past how he killed thousands of people just because he could. That is something that you don’t easily overlook.

Overall, I really liked this trilogy. It had it’s faults, sure, but it was really solid. I adore the Grisha world. There something about the powers and how natural they are. It just makes me want to keep coming back for more. I really hope that maybe we get a Darkling novel because that would be just so cool. He had such an interesting power.

Regardless of how I felt about the ending or the characters, I’m glad I read this series. For all the emotional trauma I endured, I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.



shadow and bone

to read a blurb about this book on Goodreads, click here

Okay, let me get this out in the open right now: I want to hit myself in the head for not picking this up sooner! This was such a cool and fascinating book! I mean, I’m just stunned at how awesome this book was. It’s clearly obvious that I missed the Grisha world by the way I am gushing. I seriously should have read it before Six of Crows , though because it explains each of the Grisha and their powers a bit better than SoC did.

On to the characters. Believe or not, I actually kind of liked Alina. At first I wasn’t so sure about her because she was just so weak. She didn’t seem to want to grow or want to change. She was constantly whining about how she didn’t belong in the Grisha world despite showing immense power repeatedly. She did a lot of things to hinder herself and I wanted to smack the crap out of her on more than one occasion. But finally, there was a turning point and she grew and grew and grew. I want to put my Kindle down and scream “Hallelujah!” Because up until that point, it was a 4 star read for me.

The Darkling was something else. I really did enjoy learning about his power as well. It’s a sign of a good author when I am still unsure if he is good or bad. Yeah, I’m still debating on it. And I probably will for the rest of the series. No matter if he is good or bad, I can’t help but deny that he is an interesting character and I am curious to see more of him and maybe get some history on him as well.

As for the romance/love triangle, it was actually really nice and it didn’t overshadow the story as much as I feared it would. I liked that Alina and Mal grew up together. That is my favorite type of romance because of all the history they have together. It gives me tingles when two friends, who grew up together, find out they are each other’s soulmates. Personally, I believe that is the strongest kind of love but that is just me.

As for Alina and the Darkling, I felt it but not really. I don’t like anti heroes all that much so I don’t pair them with the MC (unless it’s Six of Crows). But, as much as I don’t like anti heroes, I cannot deny that Alina and the Darkling had chemistry. Personally, I am still rooting for Mal and Alina.

Overall, I’m very surprised by this book. I had read a lot of conflicting reviews. Some were saying that this book is one of Leigh Bardugo’s shining moments while others say to skip this book and the rest of the series entirely. You want my opinion? I would say that reading this book first wouldn’t hurt. It talks a lot of Grisha and explains the powers, how they are trained, how they are tested, all that stuff that wasn’t talked about in SoC. I would personally recommend reading this book before SoC but you will not miss a lot if you don’t.



crooked kingdom/character review

to read the Goodreads blurb, click here.

to read my review of the first installment, click here.


Have you ever read a book that felt like you were coming home? Where it felt like the characters were just waiting for you to pick up the book so they could start their adventure with you? I have only felt that way about one book series and that was Harry Potter. And now, I have a second book series to make me feel this way. I’m going to suggest that everyone stop reading right here, go get Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom and then come back and finish reading this. Because the series that damn good.

Since this book takes place right after the first book, I will just talk about the characters and how incredibly amazing they all were. So I apologize in advance if this isn’t like a typical review and if it’s crazy super long. This duology has a plot, yes, but I personally think that it is more character driven than anything. You get to watch the characters grow and find themselves and find where they belong in the world. And I think that is what makes a good series.

Kaz. Oh Kaz. He truly has grown for me. I didn’t really care for him, believe it or not. He was so ruthless and bloodthirsty that it just really put me off from him. I know that a lot people loved that about him. Not me. I did, however, like how smart he was. He had backup plans for backup plans. It was incredible. In this book, he started to show his emotions more. That is how he won me over. Yes, you can be tough and a BA but show me emotion. Cry for me. God, that makes me sound as horrible as Kaz is.

Inej. She was my absolute favorite character. I adore everything about her. I love that she is incredibly athletic. I love her name, the Wraith. I love how throughout everything that has been thrown at her and how crap her life has been, she stayed true to who she was. She kept her religion and talked about it frequently but she never shoved it down anyone’s throat. Everything about her was just perfect.

I will go down with the Kaz/Inej ship. You can’t stop me. 

Jesper. Jesper was one of those characters that I enjoyed but didn’t really know too much about. He had amazing wit and could seriously hold his own in a conversation but I felt like I didn’t get to know him in the first installment. His past and who he was just barely scratched upon. Well, in this one, I got to learn about Jesper and I like him a whole lot more now. He really is so fragile and it just breaks my heart. Despite Kaz being a hardass, I’m glad that Jesper found a home amongst the Dregs.

Waylan. Waylan was another character that I felt we didn’t get much information about. I just felt like I didn’t really know him or know how he suddenly ended up with Kaz and his crew. What I found out was incredible. How he manages to stay so positive and make friends is really beyond me. His life sounded so difficult from an early age. He really came into his own and found his gift for blowing stuff up. He immediately became another favorite after Inej.

Three words. Jesper and Waylan!!!

Nina. Nina was my least favorite out of the crew. There was just something about her that irritated me like crazy. I think it was the fact that she had the audacity to get continually upset with Matthias in the first book because of things that were basically her fault. She grew on me in this book though. She is very strong willed and I totally love the friendship between her and Inej. They are definitely friendship goals.

Matthias. The last crew member and probably another one of my least favorite. Maybe it was the constant prejudices that I had to read about. Or his weird hero worship to his commander that clearly wasn’t a good guy. I think that there was a little of things that really annoyed. He did grow on me as well. I really adored the relationship between him and Nina. They definitely win the cutest couple award.

If you have stuck it out for this long, thank you. I know that this was a lot to read and sift through but I really just wanted to share my love with you guys. Let me know if you have read this duology and what your thoughts were. If you liked this type of post, let me know. There are a lot of character driven books that I could write about as well.