I love Colleen Gleason's work! I have been a fan for a long time - in fact I first read this in 2011 and today I saw that it is FREE! (I am assuming for a limited time - so personally wouldn't wait!) Scroll down to read my thoughts on this book - and the series in general!
Enter the Grishaverse with Book One of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy by the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom.
Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold―a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.
Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite―and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.
As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.
Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.
Book 1 in a trilogy - there are also spin off series available.
How did I get this book?
Em and I watched the show and then she wanted to read it, so we ordered the first three books during the Amazon Prime Day event as they were on sale.
Why did I choose to read this book: Having watched the show I have to say my curiosity was peaked. Goodreads shows me that I read it in 2011 - And gave it 5 stars but didn't write a review. As I remembered NOTHING - I am going to assumed that I wrong clicked something for that. As Em read the book and told me it was worth it - I read it.
And Now To The Review!
Coming to a book series after seeing the TV show or Movie is always going to lead to a little bias. Many times I prefer the format I am introduced to first - but not always. In this case I immediately noticed that this was all from Alina's perspective. This is very different from the show, where you get to see several stories unfolding. It is a similar change that was adapted when The Southern Vampire Mysteries became True Blood. Let's be honest - in a magical universe a single perspective on screen would be very tough to pull off and it not be boring.
It's a well written YA (Young Adult) book. Having seen the show obviously some of the plot points were already known, but that being said, the show has a LOT more things going on. Em actually did some digging about this and it turns out that the show actually encompasses things from the spin off series, which obviously means that none of that part of the story is in these pages. Personally, as some of those characters were my favorites, I was a little disappointed BUT it wouldn't be fair to mark the book down for that. I will say that the book does a MUCH better job of explaining the Grisha colors, and abilities. By the time the TV series had ended I had about figured most of it out - but that is something that the TV series I feel lacked. For example, as it was all new to me, I didn't feel I could watch it with Greg before having watched the entire thing because it was a steep learning curve. Maybe that's because I like to know all the details - maybe they assume that the fans would be book readers. Either way that is a point to the book!
Overall this is a solid read. As I have the other two in the house, once Em has read them I will give them a read. For the most part I enjoyed it. It does as a pretty true YA book, unlike some other authors that definitely skew more toward and adult audience too, but it is a lot better than many options out there and the world building in the book is excellent!
A fairly solid 4 stars. If you like magical fantasy - or if you watched the TV show and fancy checking it out, I don't think you would be disappointed.
Check out the trailer for the Netflix series below! Season 2 has been confirmed so you can watch without fear of it being cancelled
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