MINI REVIEW: Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Hey guys! I recently finished the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo and instead of reviewing each book individually, I thought it would be better to do a mini review of each book all in one post, like I did for The Young Elites trilogy by Marie Lu. Plus this series is quite old now and very popular so I think a lot of people will know what this series is about. I’m late to the Grishaverse and since the TV show was announced I thought I should finally see what the fuss is all about! Surprisingly I haven’t actually heard a lot about this trilogy other than to go into it with very slow expectations as it isn’t very good. Here’s my thoughts on each book:

Shadow and BoneShadow and Bone: 

I thought this series started off pretty strong and I really enjoyed it. The world building was alright, if a little confusing at times, and some of the characters were interesting enough. One thing that bothered me though was the main character. I didn’t think Alina was an impressive main character and I found it so bizarre how she was easily led by others. She just didn’t seem to have a mind of her own and was always looking to others to tell her what to do. She didn’t know anything about the Darkling but she immediately took what he said as the truth. She was such a weak character and so easy to manipulate.  The Darkling, on the other hand, was a very interesting character. I was immediately drawn to him and I could tell straight away that I’d love him – probably because he was the villain. I think Leigh did a great job with his character and I was definitely looking forward to seeing more of him. I thought the ending had a nice twist and ended on an interesting cliffhanger. It was good enough to make me want to start reading the second one right away! Overall I ended up giving this four stars because I did really enjoy it but I think the world building could have been better and there was a bit of a love triangle going on but it wasn’t constantly in my face so it was bearable.

Siege and StormSiege and Storm:

I definitely didn’t enjoy this book as much and I’m really surprised by that as a lot of people thought this one was better than the first. I found this one confusing and a bit boring at times. The first 100 pages were so confusing as Alina is captured by the Darkling again and ends up on ship out to sea but then she manages to escape and there’s a big battle. The way it’s described through is so confusing and I didn’t have a clue what was happening. I couldn’t even picture it in my head because it was just described so terribly. Once I pushed through it got okay as new characters were introduced and they were actually some of the best characters in the entire series. I finally met the famous Nikolai Lantsov and he definitely lived up to my expectations. I loved his personality!

I wouldn’t say Alina was massively better than she was in the first book but at least she was finally making her own decisions and not being used. She said she wanted to be a leader but I didn’t really see her doing much of that. It was interesting seeing her hunger for more power though and she definitely had some similarities to the Darkling. She was becoming unrecognisable from the girl in the first book and the development was there but I still saw her as quite a weak character. I would have preferred if she didn’t spend half the book moping about her relationship with Mal and just sent him away because he was extremely irritating. He spent the whole book fighting with Alina and it really dragged the book down. The Darkling wasn’t in this one as much and I was so disappointed by that as he is by far the most interesting character and so wonderfully evil. The parts where he does show up were some of the most exciting scenes as he storms in, wreaks havoc and threatens everyone. When he is not around, I felt the plot deflate a little. This book was very up and down for me as the last 100 pages the plot went back to being incredibly boring and it was a struggle pushing through to the end but I did it. I gave this book three stars in the end.

Ruin and RisingRuin and Rising: 

I liked this book but I felt let down by the plot again. It felt like much wasn’t happening and I was confused by a lot of stuff but I think Alina was a lot better in this one. She was a lot stronger and more powerful but again I was disappointed with how little she uses her power. I just think this series is more telling than showing. We are told Alina is powerful but she barely lashes out with her power. However, I liked how instead of letting the Darkling come to her, Alina instead sought him out and the scenes they had together were so fascinating. It was much better that she stopped running and instead went to confront him and there’s just something so fascinating about the two of them. They are so alike but also very different in what they want. Part of me wishes we could have seen them together in the end or even that the Darkling changed and became good but I knew what way it was going to end. Could you imagine if this series went in the other direction? It would have been dark as hell and so bleak!

After reading other people’s reviews, I realised this book didn’t affect me as much as it did them. There was a couple of shocking scenes but it was easy for me to get over and move on. I didn’t feel very attached to the characters to really care what happened to them in the end. However, I was disappointed with who Alina ended up with as they weren’t a good match in my opinion.

Overall the first book was definitely the best in my opinion and even though the other two fell short of my expectations I still enjoyed this trilogy. I’m glad I read it and I understand more about the Grishaverse now than I did! I’m so happy I finally know who the Darkling is and I was definitely not disappointed by him. He lived up to my expectations for sure. I’ll be re-reading Six of Crows at some point and I really hope I enjoy it more this time and that I don’t DNF Crooked Kingdom again! What did you think of this trilogy? Did you enjoy it or did you think it could have been better? Feel free to leave a comment down below! I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you so much for reading!

2 thoughts on “MINI REVIEW: Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

  1. bookloverkate says:

    I’m so glad you were a bit confused at first in Siege and Storm!! I MAY carry on, but that’s put me off so much!

    • Beth says:

      It was described so terribly I didn’t have a clue what was happening 😂😂 I even went back and read it again but I still couldn’t make sense of it 🙈 maybe just completely skip that scene 😂

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