A Guide to Leigh Bardugo's GrishaVerse
Are you a fan of high fantasy looking for a new book to read that will transport you into an interesting world full of magic, politics, and high stakes? Leigh Bardugo’s GrishaVerse just may be for you! As of January 2019, Ms. Bardugo has written 7 books set in a world where some people (known as Grisha) are capable of magic (the small science). Whether you prefer plot driven or character driven novels or even short stories, then the GrishaVerse has something for you. The following is a quick overview of the books in the GrishaVerse. The only exception is the short story The Demon in the Woods, which I have not read as the only medium I’ve found it on is Kindle.
Book Series: Shadow and Bone trilogy
Books: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising
Pros: Well-developed world with a unique magic system
Cons: Underdeveloped characters
Ideal for: Readers looking for a fast paced, plot driven series
What it’s About: Alina Starkov lives in the war torn country of Ravka and is an orphan serving in the first army. The country is separated by a swath of monster infested darkness known as the Shadow Fold/the Unsea. At the beginning of the novel, Alina discovers she is a Grisha sun summoner capable of wielding sunlight. Her power is the only thing capable of destroying the Fold and soon finds herself in the center of her country’s civil war.
Series Rating: 8.83/10
Book Series: Six of Crows duology
Books: Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom
Pros: Well developed characters with amazing chemistry, expanded nicely upon world established in Shadow and Bone trilogy
Cons: Slow pacing
Ideal for: Readers looking for a character driven, high stakes series
What it’s About: Six characters from diverse backgrounds (Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper, and Wylan) are recruited to go on a heist. They must infiltrate the infamous Ice Court and rescue a scientist responsible for the creation of a dangerous new drug. Much time is spent developing the characters’ backstories and focused on their interactions with each other. It is helpful but not necessary to have read the Shadow and Bone trilogy beforehand.
Series Rating: 9.25/10
Book: The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic
Pros: Stories are accessible to fans of the GrishaVerse and causal readers
Cons: Reader may enjoy only some of the 6 stories
Ideal for: Fans of classic fairy tales and the GrishaVerse alike
What it’s About: A collection of six short stories inspired by fairy tales and set in the Grisha universe. The fairy tales include stories that seem to take inspiration from Hansel and Gretel (The Witch of Duva), Beauty and the Beast (Ayama and the Thorn Wood), and the Little Mermaid (When Water Sang Fire) among others. You don’t need to have read the other books in the GrishaVerse to read these tales, but they do include some locations and characters from the other books.
Short Stories Rating: 9/10
Other Books in the GrishaVerse:
Book Series: Nikolai duology Book: King of Scars
Pros: New story with beloved characters from previous books
Cons: Slow pacing at times, some plot conveniences
Ideal for: Those who have already read the Shadow and Bone trilogy and Six of Crows duology and want to read more about the characters, world, etc.
What it’s About: The first book (and only one published to date) follows characters from both the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology while also introducing a few new characters. The events within the novel take place after the trilogy and duology, so this is definitely a book to read after you have finished those if you are craving more.
Book Rating: 8.5/10
If you would like to see a more extensive review for the Shadow and Bone trilogy, Six of Crows duology, The Language of Thorns, or even King of Scars, then let me know and I can do that! As a lover of the fantasy genre, I highly recommend these books and hope you enjoy them as well.
Next Blog: February Reading Wrap-Up (Bonus Blog) (Thursday, February 28th)