Sunday 9 February 2014

Mini Review: The Grisha, Books One And Two, By Leigh Bardugo

Considering I am SO over paranormal books, love triangles and Speshul Snowflake Chosen One characters, I enjoyed these books A LOT. I didn't think I would, but Jaz at Fiction in Fiction in Fiction insisted they were awesome so I gave them a shot. And she was right!

The fantasy world of The Grisha is based on Russian culture, which I kind of loved. It was different to the usual Western European influences, and the world building and plot premise was quite unique and engaging. What I liked less were the Chosen One and love triangle tropes I already mentioned, but the book was good enough otherwise that these things didn't bother me so much.

I quite liked Alina as a main character but I have to say this is one of those books where the villains/anti-heroes are much more compelling than the heroes. The Darkling was the highlight of The Gathering Dark, and I loved how you couldn't tell whether he was really good or really bad. The chemistry between him and Alina was hot. The same cannot be said for poor Mal. I feel like he is probably endgame but he's really a bit of a drip. He's not only eclipsed by The Darkling but also Sturmhond in the second book, Siege and Storm. It was kind of annoying that another apparent love interest was being introduced, but he was kinda worth it. Sturmhond quickly became my favourite character in the series - I love his charm, wit and yes, his chemistry with Alina. Basically everyone has better chemistry with her than Mal. I feel like Mal is more of a brother figure but she doesn't realise it yet.

The second book was probably my favourite out of the two. I really enjoyed the action scenes and the surprising twists.

I really enjoyed these two books and am excited about the next one in the series. They're well written and entertaining enough to overcome the standard formula of YA trilogies that can get so tedious.

Rating: 4/5

Head Cast
Not exactly how the characters are described but once they pop into my head they won't go away:

Taissa Farmiga as Alina

Evan Peters as Mal 
Jon Snow Kit Harington as The Darkling

Hook Colin O'Donoghue as Sturmhond


  1. Is The Gathering Dark the Aus title for Shadow and Bone?

    I haven't gotten around to the rest of the series since reading the first book but I did really enjoy it so I should probably get onto that. I kove your dream casting - although I imagined Mal as being kind of big and dumb looking, maybe Kellan Lutz (but a better actor)

    1. Yep! I could totally see Mal as a big dumb Kellan Lutz type ;)

  2. oh my gosh I love your casting. I'm not familiar with the first two but Kit Harrington as The Darkling and Colin O'Donoghue ad Strumhond is so perfect!

    I also love these books. I agree that she doesn't have a lot of chemistry with Mal but there's something about their relationship that fits - like even if it isn't romantic they still need each other and understand something in each other even when they don't understand one another at all. Did that make any sort of sense?

    Anyway, I'm thrilled for the third book...

    1. Kit Harington is Jon Snow on Game of Thrones and I'm a bit obsessed with him.