Publishing Info: 2017 by Orion Children’s Books (first published 2016)
Star Rating: 4.5/5
Back Cover Summary:
When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.
Crooked Kingdom is the second book in the Six of Crows series. I feel there was a lot of pressure on this book since Six of Crows was so good, but Crooked Kingdom is even better. While Six of Crows was slow to get going and it took me a little while to warm to the characters, Crooked Kingdom hits the ground running. I didn’t realise quite how much I loved this crew of characters until I was reunited with them. As I was already invested in them and their stories, Crooked Kingdom had a grip on my heart right from the start.
In Six of Crows, we see our gang travel to Fjerda for their heist, but in Crooked Kingdom the action is focused on Ketterdam. Leigh Bardugo does an amazing job of making the city come alive. The detail in the world building is phenomenal. There was a grittiness to this sequel which came from the setting and the closeness of that setting added to the intensity and suspense.
Publishing Info: June 2016 by Orion Children’s Books (first published 2015)
Star Rating: 4/5
Back Cover Summary:
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for
the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker.
Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his
wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that
might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other
started reading this book, I wasn’t into it at all. It took me quite a few
chapters to start enjoying it. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood at the start,
and perhaps I had ridiculously high expectations because of the insane amount
of hype around Six of Crows. Also I
loved Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone
from the first chapter, which kind of added to the pressure on this book to be
brilliant. Despite my reservations at the start, it is a brilliant book.
the central characters are well developed with back stories that are slowly
revealed over the course of the book. I got more into it as I gained more
understanding of each character’s backgrounds and motivations. The characters
are also neither ‘good’ nor ‘evil’ and I liked that they have different views
on the world (for example attitudes towards the Grisha) depending on their
backgrounds. The interactions and relationships between the characters is one
of the strongest parts of the book. They drive the narrative and make it the
great book it is.
Publishing Info: Kindle edition, 2014 by Orion Children’s Books (first published 2014)
Star Rating: 3/5
Back Cover Summary:
The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. 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 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.
The final book in the Grishaverse trilogy was, unfortunately, a little disappointing. While I liked the book, it didn’t pull me in, not in the same way the first two books did.
There were too many inner monologues for Alina that just felt repetitive. Her thoughts and emotions could have been written better in places. Elsewhere, the writing was good though, and I continued to enjoy the world building. I thought it was interesting how Alina was viewed as a Saint. It’s not something I’ve really seen in fantasy before, but totally makes sense for someone with ‘magic’ to be viewed that way by some people.
Bardugo is pretty mean to her characters in this book, things rarely go the ‘heroes’ way, which I liked. It showed how the characters had to keep getting back up and fight mentally to keep persevering. Though Bardugo seemed to be taking this book in a dark direction, it somehow ended up being too soft in the end, which I don’t mind, except the lead up led me to think it was going a different way. Like the author wanted to take it in a darker direction at the end, but dipped their toes in and decided to back out. Perhaps I’m wrong, maybe she wanted a touch of darkness, but was always going to end it in a less dark way. The fairy tale framing does suggest there would be a happy ending of sorts.
Publishing Info: Kindle Edition, 6th June 2013, Orion Children’s (first published June 2012)
Star Rating: 4/5
Back Cover Summary:
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.
Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy.
When I read this a few weeks ago I was unable to write a review. Since it is no longer fresh in my mind I don’t feel I can write a full review. However, I wanted to do a mini review to express just how much I loved this book. It had been on my TBR list for a long time, but I hadn’t got round to getting my hands on a copy. I wasn’t disappointed when I finally read it.
I found the plot fairly original and the setting was different, with some inspiration from Russia. The world building was good and I loved all the magic and mystery. The ending was also pretty good, which is often where books fall down for me.
It wasn’t perfect, and there were some elements which were pretty typically young adult, but I couldn’t help but love this book. I liked the characters and found that I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I took every opportunity to pick it up and read another few pages in down moments of my busy day.
I have the next two books in the series on my Kindle, and can’t wait to read them. I just hope they don’t flop and disappoint, since I enjoyed the first book so much.