Sunday Series Review: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Today Kim is reviewing The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. This was yet another series she enjoyed! 

Books in the Series:
Shadow and Bone
Siege and Storm
Ruin and Rising

Shadow and Bone
Published: June 5, 2012
358 Pages

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.

Siege and Storm
Published: June 4, 2013
432 Pages

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her—or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Ruin and Rising
Published: June 17, 2014
422 Pages

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

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 she 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—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

Kim’s Rating of the Series: 4 Stars

Kim’s Review:

I am such a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo; she is a flippin genius! I first read the Six of Crows duology and fell in love. (My review is here). I found the Shadow and Bone trilogy at Books a Million for cheap so I got all 3 books. They sat on my shelf for quite a while, mostly because I didn’t want to somehow tarnish my love for the Grishaverse. But, I read Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Bardugo and she didn’t disappoint . . . So I dove in.(My review of Wonder Woman: Warbringer is here).

I’ll start with my limited bit of criticism. At first, I felt like I was missing something. Had I not read Six of Crows, I would have been completely lost. That was a bit disappointing to me. I also felt like the stretches between the action got a little slow. Unfortunately, a little teenage drama was thrown in to try to fill some empty spaces and that got annoying. However, neither of those things ruined the series. All the crazy action was unpredictable and scattered throughout.

I liked the characters pretty well. Alina was not the most likable but she grew and matured through each story. Mal was great! He was mostly supportive and very interesting and quite the badass!  I think my favorite of everybody was Sturmhond . . . But I can’t say much because I don’t want to give anything away! 🙂 The general plot was similar to many other books in YA, but Bardugo added enough unique detail to keep it from being conventional. I was happy with the resolution of the series and I ended up wanting to go straight into Six of Crows again. I like the continuity of the Grishaverse without the same story being told over and over again.

Overall, I really liked this trilogy. It’s a great introduction to the world of Grisha and I’m very excited to see the new things Bardugo is writing!

Purchase Links for the Series:
Amazon US
Amazon UK