Book Review: The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo

Overall Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


Shadow and Bone: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

10194157Synopsis:

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.


This was the perfect start to a trilogy for me. There was drama in abundance, the world building was fabulous, and I found myself rooting for the… villain?

Wait, what?

Okay, so this never happens for me. I always side with the hero. But The Darkling really had me going in this one! I found his character extremely intriguing and misunderstood which made me just kind of want him to succeed…

So this is making me sound a bit weird, but I’m sure those of you who have read this know what I mean?!

Of course, I still like Alina, and I find the magic in this book really fascinating and how each Grisha only has one skill rather than being able to wield them all.

There wasn’t really a cliffhanger at the end of this book which compelled me to move straight on to the next, but after reading another completely different book after this, I found myself wanting to come back into this world and read Siege and Storm.


Siege and Storm: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

14061955Synopsis:

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

I was worried that I was going to hate this book… Usually second books in a series just don’t work out for me. But, I LOVED IT! It was even better than the first book. I found the world developed even further, the characters became a whole lot more rounded, and those plot twists… well, I need say no more.


Nikolai is officially my favourite character.

He’s a total douche-bag but still incredibly charming, and deep down an absolute sweetheart.

The opening chapters of this book couldn’t have been any more dramatic if they tried. Like, sure fire way to suck you in!

The middle was maybe a little slow for my liking, but I really enjoyed getting to know all of the characters a bit more, and then the ending came… WAY TO CRUSH MY SOUL.

Where the first book didn’t end on much of a cliffhanger, this one did. To the point where EVERYONE could have been dead.

Safe to say I started Ruin and Rising right away…


Ruin and Rising: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

14061957Synopsis:

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.


This book took my breath away. Everything about it was just wonderful.

Nikolai broke my heart.

Mal broke my heart.

The Darkling broke my heart.

Did I mention that it broke my heart…?

No? Well it did.

The only thing I would say is that a power hungry Alina started to annoy me a bit… I didn’t really care whether she succeeded in her quest because I found her extremely selfish by about the halfway point. But I really, truly did ship “Malina” in this one, and the ending just had me bawling.

I wish the ending hadn’t have had a change of heart, because I don’t think everything needed to end so happy-clappy. I did still love it however.


The main reason I ended up reading this trilogy, is because I read Six of Crows earlier this year, and didn’t love it as much as people had hyped. So figured that reading this trilogy would give me a bit more background info about the world and history of Ravka, and then I’d give Six of Crows another shot.

I have to say, I am excited to re-read Six of Crows now, because I really do feel like I’ll enjoy it much more the second time round after reading this.

Also… I CAN’T WAIT FOR NIKOLAI’S BOOK!

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Book Haul: November

Happy December, Bookworms!

I’ve had a very successful November in terms of all of the wonderful books I’ve managed to acquire…

So, fasten your seat belts, because this could well be a long one!


Books I Bought

(This is a list of all the books I bought, not including ones sent by publishers for review)

ADSOM, Collector’s Edition by V.E. Schwab

City of Bones, 10th Anniverasry Edition by Cassandra Clare

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

It Only Happens in The Movies by Holly Bourne

A Girl Called Christmas by Matt Haig

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

The Island at The End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli (November FairyLoot)

Artemis by Andy Weir (November Illumicrate)

The Elites by Natasha Ngan (Gift from Holly @booksandskittles)

Books Sent for Review

A special thanks has to go to Harper360YA this month, for sending me the most AMAZING package of books…

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

Rise of Fire (Reign of Shadows #2) by Sophie Jordan

Other Review Copies:

The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club by Alex Bell

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Advanced Reading Copies:

The City of Brass by S.A Chakraborty

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Review Subscription Boxes:

City of Bones, 10th Anniversary Edition by Cassandra Clare (Book Dragon Box) – yep, a second copy!

Like Water by Rebecca Podos (Rainbow Book Box)

Storygram Tour:

The Worldmaker Trilogy by Lucy Hounsom

(Check this out on my Instagram on the 12th December!)


PHEW!

A total of 25 books… That’s a whole lot to get in the space of a month when I’m moving house this weekend… whoops!

But on the plus side, my brand new bookcases will look fabulous when they’re up!


Any on this list that you’ve read or want to read? Let me know in the comments below.

November Wrap-Up/December TBR

IT’S DECEMBER!!!

Which means…

It’s nearly Christmas!

merry christmas films GIF

I absolutely LOVE Christmas, aside from the cold weather, which I am NOT a fan of. I love listening to (and dancing around madly to) cheesy Christmas music, wrapping presents for all my friends and family, and of course, the food… mmm….

But although I don’t like the cold weather, it is the perfect season to curl up with a blanket, a hot drink, and read a really good book.


November Wrap-Up

In November, I’ve read some REALLY good books.

Actually, I read all 3 books of the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo and absolutely loved them! I don’t usually read books from the same series back to back, but with this one I just couldn’t help it because it really did just pull me in.

Shadow & Bone: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Siege & Storm: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Ruin & Rising: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I’ll be writing a full review on the trilogy this month, so keep your eyes peeled!

Also read The Assassin’s Blade, by Sarah J. Maas this month. I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages, but after reading Empire of Storms, I realised that I needed to read this before Tower of Dawn because I was missing little details about some of the characters/events mentioned. I, again, loved this book and can’t wait now to move onto Tower of Dawn!

Assassin’s Blade: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5


December TBR

So, until about 3 days ago, I was going to re-read the Harry Potter series this month. But then there was so many other books that I really wanted to read, that I’ve decided against it.

So this is now my TBR for December:

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig

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I’ve already made a start on The Last Namsara, and really enjoying it so far! I’m hoping to get it finished within the next couple of days, because I’m super excited to make a start on The Glass Spare – it sounds awesome!

And of course, having a couple of Christmas/wintry themed reads on the list is imperative for this month to help get into the festive spirit!


What’s on your TBR this month?

Book Review: Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

29749085Synopsis: Daughter of immortals.
D
longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.
A
just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together.
T
will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.


Let me start off by saying…

THIS.

BOOK.

WAS.

AWESOME.

Like, seriously. I’m officially totally obsessed with Leigh Bardugo and need to read everything she ever writes/has written after having only previously read Six of Crows (review here). I’m not really the comic book, superhero loving type. I’ve seen a few movies and thought they were okay, I wouldn’t watch them again or go out of my way to find out about the latest releases, etc. So honestly, I don’t even know what persuaded me to pick this up in the first place, other than that it seemed like a good idea at the time.

But boy was it a good idea! It’s one of my favourite books I’ve read this year, and I definitely want to re-read it and secretly (not so secretly) hope that there will be a sequel!

This book had everything I could have wished for and so much more. Diana was fierce and compassionate as our main character, and I loved the diverse cast of supporting characters, especially Nim – she was my fave.

Funny, action-packed and brilliantly written, this book gave me all the feels. I couldn’t put it down and totally recommend it to everyone, superhero fan or not!

I hope there’s more to come.


View Wonder Woman: Warbringer on Goodreads

September/October Wrap-Up & TBR

So I’ve been a bit MIA on the blogging front recently.

I’ve just wanted to take some time to chill out and take some pressure off myself to actually enjoy reading for fun again, rather than it feel like a chore. But I’m going to keep on keeping on with writing review etc. and just make it more casual, so you might not see quite as much from me, but I’ll post at least once a week, so I hope you’ll stick around!


Here’s what I read in September/October:

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Caraval by Stephanie Garber ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Empress of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (Technically I finished this on the 3rd Nov. but I’m including it here because I started reading it in October).

My Goodreads Challenge is also well on-track, and I’m currently 2 books ahead of schedule (this is a miracle).


My TBR for November:

The Assassins Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Considering that 2 of these book are 600+ pages each, I think my chances of finishing my TBR for this month are slim to none, but I’ll sure as hell give it a good go!


What will you be reading this month?

Book Review: Empire of Storms (ToG #6) – Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis:

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.


I know I say this every time I write a review of a Sarah J. Maas book, but seriously, WHY DID SHE LEAVE IT LIKE THAT?!

I need more, and I need it NOW.

I know there are issues with this. I hate Rowan and his possessive control over Aelin, and don’t understand why every single character needs to have a romantic pairing, but Maas has a way of writing plot lines that suck you in and are just seriously addictive. I’m total trash for it, I don’t even care.

Once again the drama has been kicked up yet another notch and once again we’re left with a gaping hole where this book once was, a massive book hangover, and A YEAR LONG WAIT until we find out what the hell happens next.

I don’t know if I’ll survive.

Send help.

This next paragraph contains romantic interest spoilers, be warned…

I adore Lorcan and Elide and I will ship them to the end of the earth. The pairing between Manon and Dorian I feel is a bit unnecessary, I always felt like Manon was a fierce independent woman who doesn’t need a man, but there we go. And can we just please spare a thought to that tragic, uncomfortable beach scene which I feel like everyone could have done without having to endure… ahem.

Anyway.

Crown of Midnight and Queen of Shadows are still my favourites in the series so far, but I really did love this one too overall.

Next stop, Tower of Dawn!


 

September Book Merch Haul!

In September, I seemed to actually spend less money on actual books, and more money on book things. We’re talking candles, bookmarks stationary etc. So when I did my book haul, I thought, ‘hey, maybe I should do a merch haul too…’, and so here we are! It actually took me a while longer than expected to put this post together, but I finally got there.


Bookish Candles

Yes, they need their own sub-sections…

Happy Piranha

The first candles I received in September were from happypiranha.com who I rep for over on bookstagram. I absolutely adore their candles; they smell amazing, and the packing is just gorgeous! I talked about them a whole load in a blog post not too long ago, which you can read here.

One of the candles I got this month, which was part of my rep package, was “The Greatest Show on Earth” candle. I also bought the “Polyjuice Potion”, “Courage” and “Wing Leader” candles.

 

Don’t forget that if you buy anything from HappyPiranha, you can get 10% off by using my code: INCASEOFPIRANHA


Bookish Burns

I recently discovered another UK candle company, called BookishBurns, and just had to buy the “Court of Dreams” candle. It smells really fresh with a hint of citrus, and is also sparkly!

I’ll defnintely be buying more from this company in the future (I have my eyes on the Hogsmeade Autumn Treat candle…)

 


Book & Nook

Yep, we’re still going on the candles… September was a long month, okay?!

I bought 3 candles from Book&Nook this month:

  1. Liesl’s Song (Wintersong inspired, 4.5oz)
  2. Rhysand (ACOTAR inspired, 4.5oz)
  3. Weep (Strange The Dreamer inspired, 7oz)

I absolutely adore all of them, but I think my favourite is Liesl’s Song – it smells Uh-MAY-Zing! I already had 2 candles from this company, so knew I’d love them, but they still surprise me every time!


Bookmarks

I may have gone a little overboard on the bookmarks this month… is that possible? Can you have too many?

I bought bookmarks from the following companies and love them all!

HappyHello

HeyAtlas

Ink&WonderDesigns

StrangeTheBookmark


Other Stuff

Funko Pop Vinyl Figures:

  1. Luna with Glasses
  2. Harry Potter (#1)
  3. Newt Scamander

Literary Emporium:

I bought the mystery lucky dip box from LitEmporium, which comes with a randomly selected stationary item, jewellery item, and pin badge. I was so surprised by this, and even though it states that the items will be “slightly imperfect”, I couldn’t actually detect a fault with any of them! I love each item, and they’re of such amazing quality. Whether I’ll buy another of these boxes for myself, I don’t know, just because I’m scared I’ll get the same item. However I will definitely be buying them for gifts for friends!

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Book Sleeve

I bought my first ever book sleeve this month! It’s from BookBuddleUK and the quality and print design are just so worth the money. I struggled for ages to find a UK book sleeve company who’s designs I liked, and BookBuddle just ticked all of the boxes. I bought the large hardback size, which fits all of my heftier hardbacks in nice and snugly. The print is super cute and woodsy, perfect for autumn. I definitely want to buy a paperback size in the future.


So that’s it!

One HUGE book merch haul… I’ve never bought any merch before, so I really went to town this month whilst I had the money to do so, and made sure that I got a little bit of everything to try. I’m so impressed by all of these companies, and can’t recommend them enough – there really are some very talented people out there!

I still have orders from Society6 and Meraki Candles on their way to me, but I’ll save those for my October haul, seeing as I am now on a BOOK BUYING BAN.

Oh god, save me.

I need it, and I will be thankful for it, but it’s going to be tough… wish me luck!


Liked this?

Click here to see my September Book Haul.