As a latecomer to the Grisha trilogy, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was afraid it had been overhyped for me, so I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. However, I found myself enjoying it a lot. I pretty much love any books that feature magic as a major part of the story, as I’m always interested to see how different authors build different magical worlds. I really enjoyed the Russian bent to the setting, and I will admit that the twists and turns in the story very much surprised me, which is sometimes hard to do.
The novel follows Alina, a war orphan, now in the military (I love that women are just naturally in the military), who suddenly discovers she has magical powers and is swept away to become a grisha, a sort of magical elite class who helps serve the kingdom. Her kingdom is divided by the Shadow Fold, a mysterious swath of pure darkness where evil creatures lurk. With her new powers, the Darkling, the mysterious head of the grisha, thinks that the Shadow Fold can be closed once and for all. Alina is swept away from everything she’s ever known, including her best friend.
I enjoyed the world that the book was set in, though I did find myself wishing it was built in greater depth and detail at times. I enjoyed Alina’s character, though at times she was a bit naïve given her upbringing. Despite these points, the book was decently written and had enough different elements that it felt separate from other fantasy trilogies I have read. The story wasn’t as predictable as I thought it was going to be, which is always a bonus. Also, the ending led me to believe that further and deeper issues may be explored in the rest of the trilogy, such as power and the changes it can cause in a person. I’m intrigued by this initial book and will definitely continue the trilogy. I’m also very much looking forward to reading the next series set in this world, beginning with Six of Crows.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Have you read Shadow & Bone? Thoughts? Let me know in the comments!