Release Date: June 5, 2012
“The Darkling slumped back in his chair. ‘Fine,’ he said with a weary shrug. ‘Make me your villain.’”Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone
So Shadow and Bone is becoming a TV show on April 23, 2021, and I wanted to prepare for this by reading and re-reading the Grisha Trilogy, Six of Crows duology, King of Scars, and Rule of Wolves. I began by re-reading Shadow and Bone. While I didn’t enjoy it the first time, I found my thoughts changed quite a bit the second time around.
First let me start by saying that originally, I picked up the Six of Crows duology before reading the Grisha trilogy, and it definitely made it far more confusing to read. The trilogy has a lot of world-building and explanations, which are helpful to read before the duology, which is meant to take place two years later. Also, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom mentioned a lot of the characters and storylines from this trilogy, so it’s nice to be able to catch those things. Here’s what I suggest: Read Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising, followed by Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. Then go on to King of Scars and Rule of Wolves.
The Grisha world is so well-developed it blows my mind. Leigh Bardugo’s work is absolutely amazing, and I love what she’s created. In this book in particular, it’s a little hard to follow at times, with all the explanations of the different kinds of Grisha, but it gets easier as it continues. This is one of my favourite fantasy worlds of all time.
As someone who read Six of Crows first, I definitely wasn’t expecting this plot to focus so much on one character. Six of Crows follows six vastly different people very closely, but this focuses mainly on sole protagonist Alina. This is a fairly quick read, and quite fast-paced as well, with the plot being easy to follow and interesting as well. I’d definitely suggest people to continue on with this story, because it only gets better, with Bardugo adding more twists and turns in the plot. This also focused far more on romance, which I wasn’t so used to. It was definitely a good addition, just really differently written than her other books.
Characters was one point which I struggled with in this book. I didn’t love Alina, which is difficult because she’s the main character, and I definitely didn’t love Mal either. Alina was lacking he confidence I love in characters, and Mal was pretty annoying at times. Side characters such as Genya were okay, but there was no one I was crazy about. My favourite was probably The Darkling, but of course he has his problems as well. However, again, as the series continued, more characters were introduced or given more prominent roles, and they really began to grow on me.
Read this book! If you love Leigh Bardugo or the Grishaverse or you just want to prepare for the show, I would definitely recommend picking up this book!