Tag Archives: leighbardugo

Review: The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“There have been too many stories in between, miracles and martyrdoms, too much blood spilt, too much ink. There was a war. There were a thousand wars. I knew a killer. I knew a hero. They might have been the same man.’’ 

The Lives of Saints, Leigh Bardugo

Hi everyone! Today I will be talking about The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo which is a companion book to her other books in the Grishaverse. Also if you are a Grishaverse fan, you might be interested to know that there’s an art fundraiser going on right now until April 23. Artists have teamed up and designed beautiful Grisha-themed works for sale on RedBubble with all proceeds going to support BLM and Stop Asian Hate. Check it out here!

How stunning is this book?

The Lives of Saints tells the stories of the various saints in the Grishaverse, and the physical copy is actually designed to look like a copy of the Istorii Sankt’ya that Alina would have in Shadow and Bone! I love this idea because it’s like you have something out of the universe for yourself. When it first was released, there was a lot of criticism on how the half dust jacket looked with the book, but the reason it’s there is so information is not printed on the physical book and it looks as close to a replica as it can be. The dust jacket can easily be taken off too!

close up of gold detailing on the red cover of "The Lives of Saints", background is the sky and branches of a tree
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I would recommend getting a physical copy of the book if you can, as it is so pretty! The book is very sturdy and the texture makes it feel like a real religious text, especially with the beautiful gold foil decorating it. This attention to detail continues on inside with beautiful illustrations for each saint’s story. I initially wasn’t sure if I would buy it for myself since it is on the pricer side, but I was lucky enough to receive a copy as a gift from my friend, Karli! I’m really grateful that she got it for me because it is the perfect addition to my collection! 

Thoughts on the Stories

I first heard the story of Sankt Nikolai, because Leigh Bardugo read it on her IGTV just before the release date and I loved it so much. (I think this would be great to read in audiobook form as well! I also just saw that Ben Barnes narrates it so, YES) The stories are just a few pages long so it is very fast to move through, but I also think you could take your time and come back to this book since they all are individual stories! The Lives of Saints displays Leigh Bardugo’s work as an incredibly enchanting storyteller with the twists and turns she packs in these short stories. Some people might prefer The Language of Thorns for the longer stories, but I personally enjoyed The Lives of Saints more!

Some stories are based only on the saint’s life, while others tell the story of someone who prays to that certain saint. I think my favourites were probably Sankt Nikolai and Sankt Egmond (which gives the story of how the Ice Court came to be, which Six of Crows fans will love). There are of course other references to the Grisha Trilogy with “Sankta Alina of the Fold” and “The Starless Saint” at the end of the book which were also very cool to read. The stories can get quite dark (a lot are martyr stories) and I think I had a nightmare from reading this before bed the other night, so I’d recommend maybe not reading before bed if you’re like me…

Let me know your thoughts, feelings, and/ or questions on The Lives of Saints! Have you read it, or are you planning to?

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Shadow and Bone Trailer: Thoughts & Theories

Hi everyone! With Rule of Wolves getting out before release day as well as the full Shadow and Bone trailer being leaked early, there’s been a lot of excitement in the Grishaverse this past week. Having seen the full trailer which has given us a lot more of an idea as to how the two series Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows will be adapted, I thought I’d share my thoughts and theories. (I will be going into detail about the plots and characters from Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows so warning for mild spoilers!) For brevity from now on, I will be referring to them as S&B and SoC. *Cover photo is from Shadow and Bone Netflix*

Theories:

So, before the release of the trailer, there was a lot of confusion on how these two series were to be adapted in one show. They are separated in time and space with S&B being set in Ravka while SoC is set in Kerch (among other locations) years after S&B. However, SoC does utilize flashbacks in order to tell each of the character’s backstories, including how Inej became a member of the Dregs and how Nina and Matthias meet. 

Being the namesake of the show, S&B has seemed to be the focus, with some kind of a prequel to the story of the Dregs in SoC. With the full trailer, it has become more evident how they plan to do this. I am crediting this to my friend Karli who sent me audio messages pointing this out after watching the trailer when I was still too excited to think coherently. 

The trailer moves from S&B clips to SoC clips with Kaz saying “she’s real” to Inej. It seems that at the Crow Club perhaps Per Haskell (?) is giving a mission to the Dregs to bring him Alina for “1 million kruge.” The clips at this time show Kaz, Inej, and Jesper who we know from SoC are already working together. In a few of the clips, it looks as if Kaz may be dressed in a Ravkan guard uniform and in another, it looks like a Ravkan flag behind Inej (heist time?). This also explains why Wylan, who has a large part in the novel SoC would not be cast yet, as he is the final edition to their crew.

Though Nina and Matthias have been cast, we have not seen too much of them except for a still of them sitting in a snowy location covered with furs. This would work with their flashback scenes from SoC where they must survive together after the shipwreck. There is a quick shot of Matthias in what looks like a cell which I initially associated with them breaking him out of Hellgate, but to work with this timeline, it could just as easily be the end of the flashback when Nina sends him there. So instead of the heist that they embark on in SoC to the Ice Court, it seems as if Kaz, Inej, and Jesper are on a heist to Ravka to find Alina.

Thoughts: 

While this is definitely a bit different than the original events of the books, I am excited for it. I like the idea of a prequel for the SoC characters as it goes along with their storylines and doesn’t interfere with what happens later on. Essentially, we are just getting more screen time with them! I also have faith in the changes they are making to the show as Leigh Bardugo has been heavily involved and I trust she knows what to do in her world to make this work. 

Although I am not as attached to S&B as I am to SoC, I am really loving the visuals, casting, and everything we have seen with the series so far. I can’t deny that it looks SO GOOD. Even though it is an interesting plot, I remember finding it a bit slow at times, so I think the visuals of the show and (addition of the crows) will leave me enjoying it a lot! With the show coming out on Netflix in just over 2 weeks, you bet I will be counting down the days until I can Netflix party it with my friends.

How are you feeling about the upcoming show? Any other thoughts or theories I should hear? Let me know! 🙂

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