I’m a sucker for a great new fantasy world, so I’ve no idea why I waited so long to get into the Grisha Trilogy. Seriously, you would think it would be a complete no brainer for me to pick these books up and devour them, but I’ve long had a standing “I want you but not enough to buy you” relationship with Shadow and Bone, the first of Bardugo’s highly celebrated trilogy. For some reason there has just always been some other book getting in the way of my purchasing this one, and it was only after receiving the first one for Christmas (courtesy of my amazing husband) that I dived in head-first and now already own the entire trilogy (I’m just about halfway through book 2 already).
This book certainly lives up to the hype! It’s full of everything I love about the fantasy genre – magic, high stakes, romance, and plenty of dark secrets, court intrigue, and unreliable characters. It was delightful from the very first page (I especially enjoyed the flashbacks scenes and the refreshing switch from first person to third), and I loved the Russian mythology imagery. We see so much of Medieval or Renaissance Europe in fantasy that it’s the best change of pace to get to experience a setting that’s still recognizable and historical, but isn’t just like everything else out on the market today. Russia has such a strong mythology and interesting history, and I love Bardugo’s choice to implant her story in a land that strongly resembles Tzarist Russia, complete with a super creepy Rasputin character and everything.
This was a delightfully twisty-turny narrative, and I’m expecting great things from the next two books. Definitely not one you’ll want to put down!
Rating: 5/5 stars