Tag Archives: Shadow and Bone

Midnight Tales Blog Tour | Favorite Books With Fairy Tales + Folklore

I’m so excited to participate in a unique blog tour for THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS by Leigh Barudgo, which in case you haven’t heard is a collection of original Ravkan fairy tales & folklore! I absolutely love that Leigh Bardugo goes so deep into her worlds as to create entire histories and legends relating to her people, places, and beliefs. It’s one of the most amazing things about world-building, how these fictional worlds can have such rich history and it really makes these worlds feel entirely real!

For my post today, I wanted to share a few more books that I’ve loved that contain rich world-building all thanks to inclusion of the world’s legends, tales, and myths! They’re so much fun and provide such amazing background that if you love Leigh Bardugo’s books, you’re sure to love these as well!

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to check out some details about the book:

Midnight Tales Blog Tour | Favorite Books With Fairy Tales + FolkloreTitle: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Publishing Info: September 26, 2017 by Macmillan
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 26, 2017
Related Posts: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Grisha Novellas: The Witch of Duva (The Grisha #0.5), The Taylor (The Grisha #1.5), The Too-Clever Fox (The Grisha #2.5), Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3), Grisha Novellas: The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha #0.1) & Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha # 0.1), Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), , Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.


BOOKS WITH THEIR OWN MIDNIGHT TALES

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor | Laini Taylor’s world-building is also incredible and fans of Leigh Bardugo will love her books! There’s so much rich history that dates back soooo many years in DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE and the timing of every reveal about the history and legends couldn’t be more perfect!


THE THIEF by Megan Whelan Turner | The Queen’s Thief series has some really interesting, continuous tales of the world’s legends, myths, and gods and it provides such a rich backbone for the series! These dark and curious tales were some of my favorite parts of the whole series.


THE WAY OF KINGS by Brandon Sanderson | I’m a huge Brandon Sanderson fan and I saved his largest series for last as I worked my way through his entire collection. THE WAY OF KINGS has some SERIOUS connections to the history of the gods and I love the way the characters learn about these legends and how it affects their stories throughout the books!


HARRY POTTER by J.K. Rowling | You really can’t go wrong with Harry Potter! I adore all of the little extras that we get for this series, including THE TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD, which include fairy tales from the wizarding world, not to mention all of the folklore we learn throughout the series. It’s things like that which allow readers to fall so far into this world that we feel like it’s real!


THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss | Patrick Rothfuss includes so much folklore in his books and I love how detailed everything is! The legend of the chandrian is enough to scare all of us and there are so many other little legends and stories that create such a rich world!


A GAME OF THRONES by George R.R. Martin | And of course, one of Leigh Bardugo’s inspirations, A Song of Ice and Fire! These books are long, but so worth it. The amount of different legends, myths, histories, stories, tales, you name it. This world gets built from the ground up so many different times and it’s so incredible to see this detailed world. I have friends whose favorite characters aren’t even alive at the point that this series takes place — that’s how detailed the histories and legends are! It’s a very cool concept.


Which books or series hold some of your favorite myths, legends, and fairy tales? Don’t miss THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS, on sale now, and if you haven’t read any of Leigh Bardugo’s books yet, start at the beginning with SHADOW AND BONE and go binge read. It’s okay. I’ll wait.

 

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on

Grisha Novellas: The Demon in the Wood (#0.1) & Little Knife (#2.6) – Leigh Bardugo

Grisha Novellas: The Demon in the Wood (#0.1) & Little Knife (#2.6) – Leigh BardugoTitle: The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha # 0.1) by Leigh Bardugo
Publishing Info: August 18, 2015 by Macmillan
Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 22, 2014
Related Posts: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Grisha Novellas: The Witch of Duva (The Grisha #0.5), The Taylor (The Grisha #1.5), The Too-Clever Fox (The Grisha #2.5), Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), , Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)

Before he ruled Ravka, before he was the Darkling, he was just a lonely boy with an extraordinary gift. In this prequel story to the New York Times-bestselling Grisha Trilogy, Leigh Bardugo takes us into Ravka's mysterious past, when Grisha lived as fugitives and the Darkling took his first steps on the path to power. Discover new territory in the Grishaverse, as well as two chapters from the soon-to-be-released Six of Crows.

bookreview1

THE DEMON IN THE WOOD was one of the short stories I was most anticipating. While I love Leigh Bardugo’s Ravkan folk tales, I’m sure we were all dying to know more about The Darkling!

I think the thing I loved the most about this short story was of course, more information about The Darkling, but also seeing that point in his life where things really started to turn for the worst… We find out quite a few things in the epic conclusion that is RUIN AND RISING, but this delves a little bit more into the story of how he became the way he is and I love that it makes me a little bit more sympathetic to him. All evil villains have to have a reason WHY they’re evil, right?

I really loved the character interaction. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I heard that it was a Darkling short story and I felt like the characters featured and what we learned about them was just perfect. I also really enjoyed getting to know more about the origin of the First Army and the order of the Grisha. We know it was something that The Darkling started but didn’t know how the Grisha ended up where they are.

As always, I want more because I just can’t get enough of this world but this short story provided answers and rounded out characters even more than they were. All-around enjoyable and entertaining!


Grisha Novellas: The Demon in the Wood (#0.1) & Little Knife (#2.6) – Leigh BardugoTitle: Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6) by Leigh Bardugo
Publishing Info: June 24, 2014 by Macmillan
Source: Read for free on Tor.com
Genres: Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 26, 2015
Related Posts: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Grisha Novellas: The Witch of Duva (The Grisha #0.5), The Taylor (The Grisha #1.5), The Too-Clever Fox (The Grisha #2.5), Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), , Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)

In this third Ravkan folk tale from Leigh Bardugo, a beautiful girl finds that what her father wants for her and what she wants for herself are two different things. It is a companion story to the third book of the Grisha Trilogy, Ruin and Rising, and the stories “The Witch of Duva” and “The Too-Clever Fox.”

bookreview1

LITTLE KNIFE, I think, is my favorite Ravkan folk tale yet. I just loved how it felt like a short fairy tale or a fable and every time I read one of these, I just cannot praise Leigh Bardugo enough for her world building skills. Each tale shows a little history of Ravka and also seem to tie back into the most recent book and I always feel like each one makes Ravka seem more like a real place. These short stories just make it exist.

The Ravkan folk tales don’t allow as much in terms of character development but I feel like you can pluck out lessons here and there that directly correlate to a scene or a situation in the books. A character has learned that lesson or reference that folk lore or been to that place — it really just ties everything back together into one solid world.

If you haven’t read any of these shorts or folk tales, I highly recommend them if you’re a big Grisha fan!

Ruin and Rising (Grisha Trilogy #3) – Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising (Grisha Trilogy #3) – Leigh BardugoTitle: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo
Publishing Info: June 17, 2014 by Macmillan
Source: Amazon
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 21, 2014
Related Posts: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Grisha Novellas: The Witch of Duva (The Grisha #0.5), The Taylor (The Grisha #1.5), The Too-Clever Fox (The Grisha #2.5), Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Grisha Novellas: The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha #0.1) & Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha # 0.1), Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), , Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)

    The capital has fallen. 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.  Ruin and Rising is the thrilling final installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

bookreview1

I put off writing this review for a while. The Grisha Trilogy has been one of my favorites for the past few years and it’s hard to come to terms with it coming to an end. The Grisha Trilogy really became the first series in at least five years that I really felt such a connection to and that I was really enamored with. Leigh Bardugo was the one of the first authors I ever met at my very first author event back in 2012 after I had just started my blog, so I always had this deeper connection to the series because it also was an early part of my blogging career that I’ve grown to love so much.

I started RUIN AND RISING with trepidation — the kind where you just aren’t ready to let go of a story — but I knew that Leigh Bardugo would end the series the way it should be ended and whatever that grand finale was, I trusted her to take the story where it needed to go. Not that I had any doubt but I was definitely not disappointed. RUIN AND RISING was sheer perfection in my eyes and I felt everything was left with finality and a sense of closure as well as a perfect ending.

My favorite thing about RUIN AND RISING was all of the plot development and all of the series-long questions that finally get answered. I’ve developed several theories over the years and it was really interesting to see how that all panned out. Some were close and some were in the right realm but still totally off — which also makes me glad that I wasn’t even able to possibly guess the answers to everything. There were many shocking moments that made me wonder how things could possibly get any better… but I always trusted that the character would end up where they needed to be and I never felt betrayed in that.

Leigh Bardugo is fantastic at incorporating new characters into the mix as well. Readers fell in love with Sturmhond in SIEGE AND STORM and in RUIN AND RISING I really loved the addition of the other Grisha members who work their way into the forefront and developed a new favorite duo in Harshaw and Oncat. Oncat is in fact a cat and somehow Leigh Bardugo managed to make a cat one of my favorite new characters of the bunch. The dynamic between Harshaw and his cat was hilarious and I just loved every scene between them. I always love the banter between all of these characters and it’s so wonderful to have that bit of comic relief — even if it’s gallows humor (which I enjoy anyway!) — when it seems like the world is ending and indeed, the fate of the world is resting on Alina’s shoulders.

The ending of RUIN AND RISING is absolutely epic. The whole book really was, actually, but the second half really pushed the book forward into what I felt was the perfect ending for this trilogy. I was surprised, happy, shocked, angry, sad, overjoyed, and amazed. This book — and this whole series really — brought me through such an array of emotions. I never knew what to expect and I was always grateful for the constant surprises — both the happy and the sad — because they always brought a sense of reality to this fantasy world and really showed that the good guys can get a happy ending but it’s not always an easy road to get there and some sacrifices will indeed have to be made.

The Grisha Trilogy has absolutely been one of my favorites and having finished all of the books — including novellas and short stories — I can honestly say that it will stay one of my favorite series of all time. I hope that these books continue to stay relevant within the book lovers and reading community and that new readers will constantly be discovering these books. This is a series I hope to be timeless. I know it always will be for me.

view_from_goodreads1

“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 8.51.25 AM

character_breakdown1

Alina // Character Obsessions: Salvation, sacrifice, solutions.
Especially with re-reading the series before I started RUIN AND RISING, I was able to look back and see how much Alina has grown over the series. I feel such a fondness for her seeing where she came from and how she transformed from almost a sort of selfish brat (harsh, but she was very sassy when SHADOW AND BONE started and a little pouty) to this leader who was willing to make sacrifices and not want to even feel like she was being selfish because it could always be worse. I just really enjoyed the growth of her character and I’m so happy where she ended up at the end of this series.
Mal // Character Obsessions: Tracking, protecting, saving.
Mal was sort of an underdog for me in this series. In SHADOW AND BONE I hadn’t even paid much attention to him. I knew he was the love interest but I think at that point in time I was just more interested in the world building and the plot than why Alina and Mal should or shouldn’t be together. I started to notice him in SIEGE AND STORM and his character really started to take shape for me — something I also happened to notice more when I re-read both SHADOW AND BONE and SIEGE AND STORM again. I loved seeing him grow into such a mature character and so unselfish that at times it was hard to watch. I loved his love for Alina and his connection to her. He definitely became one of my favorites and my love grew for him throughout this series as well.

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Epic series. Okay, well it’s not hard to get me hooked on epic series but I do feel like it’s hard for me to really get invested in a series as much as I have with The Grisha Trilogy. It’s a series I always want to own. It’s a series I’ve collected every possible version I can get my hands on just because I want to collect these books. It’s a series I committed to re-reading and reliving. I’ve just loved every part of this experience.
Left Me Wanting More: Of the Grishaverse. But that’s okay! We have a bit to wait but soon we’ll have Leigh Bardugo’s new series The Dregs!! The Dregs is set in the same world as The Grisha Trilogy and Leigh has confirmed that although it does NOT focus on the same characters, there will be some appearances!

Addiction Rating
BUY IT

Buy RUIN AND RISING. Buy this series. Read this series. Love this series. It will always be one of my favorites and I will recommend it forever to fantasy lovers or not. I wasn’t a big fan of fantasy when I started but I think this has absolutely helped contribute to how much my love of fantasy has grown.

book_recommendations1

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        Cinder Marissa Meyer       Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Re-Read Review: Siege and Storm (Grisha Trilogy #2) – Leigh Bardugo

Re-Read Review: Siege and Storm (Grisha Trilogy #2) – Leigh BardugoTitle: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo
Publishing Info: June 4, 2014 by Macmillan
Source: Audible
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 15, 20214
Related Posts: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Grisha Novellas: The Witch of Duva (The Grisha #0.5), The Taylor (The Grisha #1.5), The Too-Clever Fox (The Grisha #2.5), Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3), Grisha Novellas: The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha #0.1) & Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha # 0.1), Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), , Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)

Darkness never dies. 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, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But 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.

bookreview1

SIEGE AND STORM was an interesting re-read but ultimately not as exciting as the first time around – don’t get me wrong, it was still amazing, but I was in total awe when I first read this book over a year ago. (WOW, over a year!?) It was really fun being able to discover everything all over again. Some things had lost their surprise, of course, since I already knew the big twists but the best thing about re-reading – like with my re-read of SHADOW AND BONE – was that I had forgotten so many of the little details. Hell, in SIEGE AND STORM, I had even forgotten some of the BIG details and big reveals. It had been so long since I had spent some time in the Grishaverse that I had forgotten a lot of the backstories, things like the tales in the book of Saints, and how specific events actually transpired. Especially re-reading, it’s even more apparent how much SIEGE AND STORM shows off Leigh Bardugo’s writing talent. SHADOW AND BONE was so enjoyable (both times) but SIEGE AND STORM really starts to take the plot to new places, open new doors, and put the characters in even more peril until they learn how to fight their way out of the situation. We learn that not all characters are forever safe. We learn that everyone will be put under much more pressure. I felt like there were so many twists and turns and secrets to discover in this book that even after knowing how it ends, I had forgotten how we even got there. The action was stupendous as well. SHADOW AND BONE had its action sequences, but SIEGE AND STORM really took it up a notch, allowing the characters to roam much more and really develop their strengths, giving them the freedom to find more trouble and conquer it that much better. I really appreciated the intricacy of each situation that much more. This book also offered a lot more in character development. I never felt like I was missing any in SHADOW AND BONE, but this was a natural layering of characters as the series progresses. I kind of felt like Alina was a bit of a brat in SHADOW AND BONE but she really does start to mature in this book. That doesn’t mean that she leaves her cheeky attitude or sarcasm behind, which I’m thankful for because I just love the banter that occurs between her and Mal and of course, her and Sturmhond. She just really comes into her own as a leader, as a Grisha, and even just as a young adult. Leigh Bardugo really stretches her repertoire of characters as well. We all know how much I love Sturmhond and his character addition makes me wonder how the series didn’t have him from the beginning. He’s such a fan-favorite and he really adds a wonderful presence to the story. I just love how he affects the series both in plot and his own effect on other characters.

My only issue with the re-read was a personal one and that was that I was reading as an audiobook. Since my audiobook time is literally ten minutes at a time to and from work now, it was a hard book to even re-read much less read in short pieces like that. I’m so glad that I really savored it the first time around so even though my re-read was patchy, I still knew how amazing it was and the re-read turned out to be much more of a refresher than a time to sit down and savor. If you need to read or even re-read SIEGE AND STORM, I highly recommend making sure you allot enough time to really enjoy it and soak it all in!

view_from_goodreads1

“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 9.07.21 PM

character_breakdown1

Alina // Character Obsessions: Leadership, powers, Mal, sun. Alina really grew up in this book. Not only in her personality and maturity but also her abilities. She really started to take on some responsibility and also started to really understand what it was to sacrifice for those she loved. I loved watching her grown throughout this series and I feel like Alina grew leaps and bounds in this book!
Mal // Character Obsessions: Tracking, army, Alina. Mal really grew up too. This was the book in which I first started noticing him and I think his presence really grew much stronger in SIEGE AND STORM. I really grew to like Mal a LOT when for some reason I didn’t feel like he was a bit presence in SHADOWN AND BONE. His abilities grew leaps and bounds as well and they set off all kinds of bells in my head as to why his tracking abilities developed even more! (To be continued in RUIN AND RISING. No spoilers here!)

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: The Grishaverse. I just love this universe that Leigh Bardugo has created. I cannot get enough of it and I just loved learning even more about all of the mythology, history, and people within it.
Left Me Wanting More: Time to read it! Okay, that’s a cheating thing to say. But re-reading on audio gets hard sometimes! I just wanted a little bit more time to listen to it at length. I DID listen on the plane for a while… But I was also super tired and started falling asleep haha.

Addiction Rating
BUY IT!

You know I’m in love with this trilogy and re-reading just made it that more exciting! I’m so glad I re-read before RUIN AND RISING! This will always be a trilogy I  highly recommend.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SIEGE AND STORM

(Click the cover to see my review!)

       Daughter of Smoke and Bone   A Game of Thrones

Re-read: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) – Leigh Bardugo

Re-read: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) – Leigh BardugoTitle: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Publishing Info: June 5, 2012 by Macmillan
Source: Audible
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 12, 2014
Related Posts: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Grisha Novellas: The Witch of Duva (The Grisha #0.5), The Taylor (The Grisha #1.5), The Too-Clever Fox (The Grisha #2.5), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3), Grisha Novellas: The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha #0.1) & Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha # 0.1), Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), , Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)

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.

bookreview1

This was quite the interesting re-read for me… I think this was the first re-read in which I had two totally different expectations going into it: When I first picked up SHADOW AND BONE almost two years ago (!!!), I was not a fantasy reader. I think I had read Graceling first and that was about it, so I wasn’t expecting much in the way of a new fantasy book and it turned out that I loved it! I was really scared going into the re-read this time because I had since fallen in love with this series and was afraid that the re-read just wouldn’t be the same. Honestly, I did read the book entirely differently. Well, in two ways — I bought the audiobook from Audible because I’ve started to really enjoy doing my re-reads via audiobook and also because I been obsessing over the series for two years now and all of the THINGS that I know, I’m able to pick up on so much more with a re-read.

I must say, re-reading SHADOW AND BONE really proved to me how amazing SIEGE AND STORM was. As someone who wasn’t a fantasy reader before, I very much appreciated the whole revelation of having powers, learning how to use them in that almost boarding school-type setting, and the romances involved but reading all of these things a second time and especially after reading SIEGE AND STORM came across totally differently. Honestly, TOTALLY. For one, I already knew Alina had powers and exactly what they entailed, so I wasn’t as interested in the figuring out process so much as paying attention to the other details that I may have glossed over in my first read. The whole learning process actually wasn’t as appealing to me the second time around, I think because I really already knew how it happened so I was ready to dive into more character development of secondary characters which didn’t happen as much in the first book as it does in the second. SHADOW AND BONE is very much about Alina and about Mal and about their ties to the Grisha so my impatience didn’t exactly pay off haha. But of course, it was still enjoyable to go through that experience again!

I read the romance aspect of this book entirely differently the second time around. During my first read, I did not get what was the big deal about Mal. I liked him and I loved his friendship with Alina but I didn’t fall for him (or the Darkling, really, but that’s another story) the way other readers did. During my re-read. YEAH. MAL. I’M THERE. I really got to know him better in SIEGE AND STORM so that made my connection in this re-read stronger but WHOO BOY, that best friend romance thing going on there…. *fans self* How was I not more into this during my first read!? I don’t understand. Because best friends falling for each other is a trope that I luuuurve and I was totally on board with it during my re-read. I also felt less love-triangley about the Darkling because knowing what I know now, it seemed more like a power play than a romance and I had it in my head that way more happened than it actually did in the book. Since I already knew about the world-building side of the book, I did pay more attention to the romance this time around which hadn’t really seemed to play a big part for me during my original read.

Speaking of world building, that was something I really enjoyed even more. The more I read about this world, the more I fall in love with it. It’s always a little difficult to get a grasp on a new world with unique (and foreign) names so now that I know a little more about the Grishaverse, I really got a hold on what happens where and exactly what’s involved. As far as plotting and characters go, obviously now I know their connections, but even then I was formulating new theories about the Darkling and why we don’t know his name yet and what if it’s related to or connected to characters we’ve already met and don’t know it?!

I think I enjoyed my original read a little bit more than the re-read but I am even MORE anxious to re-read SIEGE AND STORM and I’m still salivating over RUIN AND RISING and dreaming about how it’s SO CLOSE. I’m still in love with this world and this series and it will be bittersweet to end in June but I still can’t wait!

view_from_goodreads1

“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 8.45.56 AM

Related but unrelated note: I wish that Goodreads let you update reading progress differently if you’ve already read a book, but such is life. (Take note, please.) You get a sneak peek at my original read’s notes in which I only updated one time. Must have been GOOD!

character_breakdown1

Alina // Character Obsessions: Mal, drawing, light, Grisha.
Wow, Alina was suuuuuch a brat when this book started! I don’t think I realized how short she was with people and even for the state she was in at the beginning of the book, she was a bit immature and selfish. That being said, I really enjoyed watching her progress throughout the book and how her instructors really pushed her and didn’t care about her attitude and were happy to give her attitude back. I think she needed that push and once she really came into her powers and started to feel confident in herself, that sour personality seemed to melt little by little.
Mal // Character Obsessions: Tracking, flirting, friendships, Alina.
MAL. How dare you go under my radar in my first read!! How did that even conceivably happen…? Sigh. I just really loved Mal in this book and I didn’t even realize it until I read it all again. I love the best friends having FEELINGS for each other and this just really killed me. So many heartbreaking things to watch that develop and almost never come into existence and then even more heartbreaking and bittersweet once it does.

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: The Grishaverse. Oh, dear friends, I just love this world. I loved being able to see the introduction to it all over again and really get to know the corners of it even better. I got to see where things originally took place and picture them even better in my head.
Left Me Wanting More: Secondary characters. I do still love Genya’s involvement but we don’t really dive into secondary characters until SIEGE AND STORM — at least, not into as much detail. That was totally not an issue, really, but something I noticed looking back. They really do complement the main characters so well!

Addiction Rating
Re-read it!

Get your re-reads in! Either before RUIN AND RISING or just finish the series and start it all over again. I’m anxious to re-read SIEGE AND STORM now and I think I will fall in love with that one even MORE upon re-reading.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SHADOW AND BONE

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        Cinder       Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Fan Art: Game of Thrones Sigils for Leigh Bardugo’s The Grisha Trilogy

A couple weeks ago, Alyssa was reading SHADOW AND BONE for the first time so naturally, we got in a grand discussion about it. We looked up all of the Grisha powers and decided which ones we would be (I’m a Squaller, in case you were wondering). I was looking at Leigh Bardugo’s website with those fantastically designed sigils/shields for each of the Grisha Orders and the idea came to my head to create sigils for the main characters, Game of Thrones style. The GoT ones are generally a bit plane, so I took my own liberties in adding some extra flourishes because hey. It’s my art. I can!

So without further ado, here are the sigils I created for The Darkling, Alina, Sturmhond, and Mal.

THE DARKLING

TheDarklingSigil

lines

ALINA

AlinaStarkov

lines

STURMHOND

Sturmhond

lines

MAL

Mal

 

That’s it for now! If you choose to use these pictures or re-post them anywhere, PLEASE link back to me! 🙂 Hope you all enjoy them!
I’m thinking of doing this for more series as well… Knowing my love for The Lunar Chronicles, that will probably be next haha! If anyone has any recommendations or suggestions, I’m always open! I am by no means a photoshop pro, but I have fun with my amateur skills and I think these turned our pretty well!

 

My Latest Bookish Addiction [5] – Fantasy. The RIGHT kind of fantasy.

MLBA

In keeping with the theme of my blog, I decided to start bringing you updates of the newest and greatest bookish addictions in my life so I can share with you some awesomely bookish things or discuss if maybe we share the same bookish loves. It seemed like a great way to get a little discussion going in a very relaxed way.

This Edition’s Bookish Addiction? Fantasy. The RIGHT KIND of fantasy.

I always used to think I didn’t like reading fantasy. With the exception of Harry Potter (because come on… It’s Harry Potter), I was convinced it was just a genre I wasn’t ever going to LOVE. I tried reading LORD OF THE RINGS and it just never caught me. Everyone loved Julie Kagawa’s THE IRON KING but it just wasn’t for me. I had basically given up on fantasy unless it had involved wizards.

When I started blogging and reading YA, I gave fantasy a few more tries. THE IRON KING was one of them and I got more and more settled in my ways. But then I picked up GRACELING by Kristen Cashore thanks to some suggestions from my fellow bloggers and I LOVED it. SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo convinced me that I was not giving fantasy a fair shot — I mean, amazing world building AND magic galore. This was totally what I loved! I just hadn’t figured out which types of fantasy I should be going after and which were not quite for me. I finally started figuring out the type of fantasy that I enjoyed and it’s somewhat specific: I enjoy mostly high fantasy with a medieval-type feel. Books that helped me realize this? GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers, RIFT by Andrea Cremer (I had not read any other part of the Nightshade series), and then finally, picking up George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series for #SOIFRA.

     

I’ve figured out I don’t like a lot of fantasy that deals with different kinds of “creatures”, especially in modern times. For some reason, all of my fantasy needs to feel somewhat historical. I guess I don’t believe that it would happen in present day? I’m not totally sure how my brain even works… But my fantasy has to be somewhat… believable, despite the fact that it’s fantasy. I can wrap my brain around magic, spells, and some creatures like dragons but when it comes to fairies, elves, and hobbits, somehow I’m just not buying it.

I also love fairy tale retellings. THE LOOKING GLASS WARS by Frank Beddor was one of the first fairy tale retellings I read, followed by CINDER by Marissa Meyer and TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson. I already have the basis for those stories in my head since these are the stories (and Disney movies) I grew up with. If things start to get a little fantastical there, I basically already have a general idea and concept that the book may stretch my imagination a bit more than I’m used to.

 

The one exception to ALL of these rules was DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor. Chimaera? In present day? Totally not my thing… But Laini Taylor did such a great job with this book that I really ended up loving everything about it! I was really transported into this world and somehow it all felt totally real to me. I guess sometimes I just have to throw my rules out and trust some recommendations!

Now I’m trying more fantasy books than ever. It turned from a genre I almost never read to one that I’ve become really, really interested in. I’m always looking for new recommendations so if you have any favorite fantasy books, throw ’em at me!

Review: Shadow and Bone Novellas + Extras

    

The Witch of Duva (The Grisha #0.5)
The Taylor (The Grisha #1.5)
The Too-Clever Fox (The Grisha #2.5)
by Leigh Bardugo

Completed: June 18, 2013
Source: The Witch of Duva + The Too Clever Fox read on Tor.com; The Tailor read on Facebook.com (all available to read for FREE!)
Genre: Fantasy
Related Posts: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha#1) // Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) // Casting Call: Shadow and Bone // Five Good Reasons to Read Recap! // Fierce Reads Tour 2012 Recap

bookreview1

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo is easily one of my favorite series (dare I say it) of all time, so when I was having a bad day at work the other day, I snuck in all three of these series extras to brighten my day. Granted, they’re not all exactly bright and sunny stories, but good writing will always make me feel better, even if the content is a little on the darker side!

THE WITCH OF DUVA

I started with THE WITCH OF DUVA, which is a Ravkan folk tale about… well, the witch of Duva. Girls keep disappearing mysteriously with only the slightest trace left behind. In the suffering town of Duva, the girls no longer wander alone and parents try to keep their girls indoors for fears that the witch will snatch them up and take them away. This tale follows Nadya, her father Maxim, and his father’s new love interest Karina Stoyanova who Nadya suspects may be the town’s awful witch.
This story was dark for sure — it reminded me a bit of Hansel and Gretel from Nadya’s encounters with a real witch who lives deeper in the woods and a few events that occurred towards the end of the tale. Pieces of the tale were a bit shocking, others gruesome, others enlightening. While I suppose all folk tales & fairy tales are fictional (or at least fiction based on possibly true stories), this really felt like I was reading a fairy tale that has existed for centuries. Even the fact that fans of The Grisha Trilogy get to read these folk tales really makes the world come alive that much more. I feel like these characters are real people by getting this extra layer of their history.

THE TAYLOR

THE TAYLOR is a snippet of SHADOW AND BONE told from Genya’s point of view. Genya was actually one of my favorite characters from SHADOW AND BONE because of her personality and her friendship with Alina. Although THE TAYLOR is listed to come in between books one and two, I’m actually glad that I read it after SIEGE AND STORM because of certain events in book two that show another side of her character. I don’t think it will spoil anything to read it before S&S, but for me personally, I was glad to know a bit more about her character as a whole before starting THE TAYLOR.
It was nice to read about Genya because we not only get her point of view from one of her encounters with The Darkling (Helloooooo, Darkling!), but also we receive a little backstory of how Genya came to work for the Queen, how their relationship evolved and deteriorated, and what really goes on behind the scenes in the palace. It was just a quick little snippet (only 15 pages), but I was glad to have that little something extra from Genya!

THE TOO-CLEVER FOX

In SIEGE AND STORM, Alina compares Sturmhond to the Too-Clever Fox so it was really fun to be able to read the folk tale that accompanied this thought. I feel like The Too-Clever Fox is really somewhat of a fable more than just a tale because there’s a nice little “moral of the story” at the end and we learn something from the fox’s encounters in this tale.
I loved how clever the fox was and there were even some tiny twists, making the entire tale clever in itself. This story wasn’t as gruesome as THE WITCH OF DUVA, but it’s also not without it’s own touch of villains and it does get a little dark at times. It’s billed as #2.5, but really this can be read at any point in time in the series. It’s another folk tale, like THE WITCH OF DUVA, so there really aren’t any spoilers or major plot points for the series.

addiction_factor1

Go read them! All three of these are available to read online for FREE (I think you have to ‘like’ some content on Facebook before you can read The Taylor, but still free) and they were really great additions to add more depth to the series. Leigh Bardugo is a master at her craft and I easily got swept away in each of these short stories.

book_recommendations1

     Shadow and bone      Siege and Storm

Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) – Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) – Leigh BardugoTitle: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo
Publishing Info: June 4, 2013 by Macmillan
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 30, 2014
Related Posts: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Grisha Novellas: The Witch of Duva (The Grisha #0.5), The Taylor (The Grisha #1.5), The Too-Clever Fox (The Grisha #2.5), Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3), Grisha Novellas: The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha #0.1) & Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha # 0.1), Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), , Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)

Darkness never dies. 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, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But 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.

bookreview1

OMG, YOU GUYS. Siege & Storm. SIEGE AND STORM!! It was amazing. And now I need to write a review for it… Where do I even start? So right off the bat, I was in love with SIEGE & STORM. This book hits the ground running with lots of exciting action, reuniting readers immediately with Alina & Mal, and introducing one of my favorite new characters, Sturmhond. I have to say that the action throughout the book was incredible. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book — there are periods of time where the story slows down and we get more of a slow build to the overall plot, but even that was exciting! I honestly took a step back from the book and sat there in awe as I was reading because I had to wonder how Leigh Bardugo not only came up with this story and its details, but observed how well it was written. Leigh Bardugo’s writing is eloquent, exciting, funny, thoughtful… The book honestly amazed me from start to finish.

The characters that Leigh Bardugo has developed all feel so REAL. We definitely see a new Alina in the end of SHADOW & BONE and we continue to see how she’s changing even more by coming into her power in SIEGE & STORM. I felt like Mal was much more present in this book than he was in S&B, at least for me personally. I didn’t really get into the romance until the end of Shadow & Bone and although I felt like it was still a little slow to develop in SIEGE & STORM as well, it was still SO good and I think I much prefer it that way than introducing it too soon. The romance didn’t take over the story because really, the primary focus is Alina’s powers and her role as possible savior of Ravka. The romance surely does help mold and shape this major plot line and it was wonderful to read, but I was just glad I felt like the powers and the magical elements were still the main focus of this book.

You may be happy (or unhappy) to know that The Darkling is still a major part of this book! I admit, I was a little concerned because for some reason I felt like he was going to fall into the background in book two, but nope. He is back with a vengeance and it’s delightfully wicked. Book two is (no pun intended) much darker than book one and readers really get to see more into the history of things as well, both from Alina’s side and The Darkling’s side. I loved all of the history/mythology/legends that we get as a background in SIEGE & STORM. Sometimes it’s not easy to picture a fabricated history as real, but I found myself gobbling it up and just wanting more and more clues, more and more details.

My final opinion of the book is that if you liked SHADOW & BONE, you’ll love SIEGE & STORM. I guess if you LOVED the first book, you’ll love this one even more (I hope)! I feel even more amazed than I was with book one. The plot and the characters are just SO well done and I felt like everything was just an expansion of what went on in SHADOW & BONE instead of introducing too many new things. This was truly a continuation of a series and it didn’t feel disjointed as so many second in a series do to me. I was overjoyed with how much I loved this book and I cannot WAIT for everyone to read it and love it as much as I did!!!

view_from_goodreads1reading

You may notice from the reading progress picture above that I actually started SIEGE & STORM on April 8th and didn’t finish until April 30th. Usually that’s an extremely long time for me to read a book. Yes, I did put it down so I could read for a couple other obligations, but honestly? This was a book I wanted to savor. I really took my time reading it, made sure I was in the right frame of mind, and really did not want to rush through it at all. I really took it all in and to be honest, I kind of didn’t want it to end!

character_breakdown1

Alina: Alina got way more complex in S&S! She’s definitely dealing with a lot and can even see herself changing… But it’s a slippery slope and it’s difficult to be a teenager AND be in love AND have powers AND save the world. All of her reactions and emotions felt so real, though. Sometimes with the main characters, I feel like too often their actions fit just to make the story work but this really seemed like I was watching Alina’s life and really seeing her make decisions. They weren’t always the right ones, but I could always understand what was going on in her head.
Mal: You know…. I wasn’t totally sold on Mal in S&B. I felt like he was MIA in part of the book so I was just missing that connection with him. Right from the beginning in S&S, I totally connected with him and I’m so glad he played such a huge part in so many different aspects of the story. I also have suspicions about him and I’m not sure if I’m just making something out of nothing, but I can’t wait to see his role in book three! Oh geez, that’s still so far away. How do I get into Leigh Bardugo’s mind to answer these questions…?
The Darkling: Ooooh boy, he sure is dark! The Darkling becomes an even more complex character and has a much creepier presence in S&S. I actually kind of loved him as a villain because I loved to hate him in this book. So many interesting things going on with his whole story as well! You just have to read it!!

addiction_factor1

Buy it… NOW!

WHEWWWW holy cow. This book was SO good. This is the best I’ve felt about a book in a looong time and I’m just so over the moon right now.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SIEGE AND STORM

     Through the Ever Night      The Darkest Minds

Oh yeah, and there’s also a GIVEAWAYYYYY!!! I’m passing my ARC of Siege and Storm along to one lucky winner! Only thing you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Sorry, this giveaway is open to US/Canada residents only! Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Casting Call [6] – Shadow and Bone


Welcome to Casting Call, hosted by Tee @ YA Crush, Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks, Candice @ The Grown-Up YA, Dixie & Maggie @ Gone Pecan, and of course, me too! Each Friday we’ll take a couple characters from our favorite books and discuss who we’d think would be perfect for the roles! And of course this gives us the opportunity as well to rehash our favorite parts of the story and swoon over all those dream literary crushes of ours.
Casting Call is now a weekly meme for you to join in on the fun! Just check out the schedule at any one of the host blogs and join us on Fridays!

First up this week, we’re casting for Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo! If you haven’t read the book, here’s a quick summary from Goodreads and a link to my original review:

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.

My original review:  Shadow and Bone from 8/26/12
Leigh Bardugo appearances: Five Good Reasons to Read Recap, Fierce Reads Tour

We are so excited to officially introduce this as a meme for everyone to participate in now! Since we’re all casting, we’re no longer breaking up the cast amongst up. Now each week, all of us will do the full cast of characters of our choice – and we look forward to seeing your picks as well!! 

The Darkling: I knew EXACTLY what I thought the Darkling looked like in this book. I don’t even think I need to explain my choice of Matt Bomer as his role in the Darkling. He would kill it.

Mia Wasikowska as Alina

Alina: Mia Wasikowska is my Alina, no doubt about that. I always pictured her looking something like Mia and even in the Q&A, Leigh Bardugo herself said that  she thought Mia would be good for the role! So… maybe that made me a little biased too.

Deborah Ann Woll as Gadya

Genya: I actually pictured Genya looking like a young Angie Everhart. Since we can’t go back in time, I had to pick a more age-appropriate choice.  I love Deborah-Ann Woll in True Blood and I think she’d be a great glamorous red-head for Genya.

Do you agree with my choices? Who would you have put in these roles? And as for every week, be sure to check out everyone else’s choices! Catch who they picked and show them some comment love too!

And don’t forget, this is a weekly meme for you to participate in too, so link up over at Teen Lit Rocks so we can see who your choices are!

Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA
Tee @ YA Crush
Dixie & Maggie @ Gone Pecan

And don’t miss us next Friday when we cast The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting! 

*Disclaimer: In our development of this feature, we discovered that the book blog Lit Snit featured “Casting Call Fridays” back in 2010. Our Casting Call feature is in no way purposefully copying or stealing this idea and any similarities in  format, casting choices, etc are purely coincidental.