Author: Leigh Bardugo
Book1: Shadow and Bone
Book2: Siege and Storm
Book3: Ruin and Rising
Shadow and Bone
Alina and Mal are two orphans who grew up in Duke Keramsov’s household, looked after by Ana Kuya. The pair share an incredably strong bond, and have both subscribed into the army; Alina as a cartographer and Mal as a tracker.
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka
The Shadow Fold separates land-locked Ravka from West Ravka, and the army are about to attempt a crossing for trade. Ravka’s magical elite – The Grisha – led by the Darkling, have arrived to help. They are attacked during their crossing and in a bid to save Mal’s life, Alina discovers something she had managed to keep hidden since childhood. She is Grisha.
The Darkling is an enticing character, and there is an obvious attraction for Alina, despite being ever unable to forget Mal.
Alina needs to learn to unlock and use her power so that she can finally destroy the Shadow Fold. The Darkling, at first, guides her to using and harnessing her power, hoping to use her for his own ends, until something opens her eyes to his corruption. She needs to enhance her power in order to stand up to him and to fight for what is right.
Siege and Storm
The second installment of The Grisha series takes a darker turn. Alina becomes much more determined and a bit ruthless. The characters have a difficult decision to make; Alina or The Darkling, and no one is sure which is right.
Alina is a fantastic strong character. All character’s have grown and developed from stereotypes into their own personalities. Alina morphs into the strong heroine taking up the mantel of leader for the country’s remaining Grisha after the abandonment of the Darkling.
During this time, Mal gets pushed away by Alina and struggles to find a place to really fit. Everyone seems to have a purpose, however Mal just really wanted to save Alina and now she’s pushing him away, and seems perfectly capable of saving herself.
Despite the tentative romantic relationship developing between Mal and herself, Alina finds plenty of attention coming her way from the Princes, Nikolai and Vasily, and of course The Darkling.
Ruin and Rising
After her last encounter with The Darkling, Alina is improving, however the Apparat seems to be keeping her prisoner, under the guise of keeping her safe. She can’t access her powers due to having no access to light in the underground tunnels, she’s been cut off from Mal and the rest of her little team, and time is running out to find the final amplifier. She needs to get out soon to defeat The Darkling, but will she be able to since she still feels a connection to him.
The final book brings the ultimate fight between The Light and The Dark.
I thoroughly enjoyed this series, going straight from one book to the next, and was thoroughly disppointed to suddenly find the end.
Alina never seemed to determine why or who exactly it was she wanted, making the romantic triangle/quadrangle a bit annoying.
The world development was fantastic and I felt completely transported. I could really connected with many of the characters, who all had their own individual personalities.
The ending was built up spectacularly but was over in a flash. The end choice of man for Alina was a bit disappointing for me, but understandable. It is a series I will and have recommended.