Like all of Leigh Bardugo’s work, I have heard nothing but great things about “The Language of Thorns”. And like so many other books before this, I refused to give in to the hype and read it. However once I came across the “The Witch of Duva” in an Audible sale, I was hooked. Leigh Bardugo’s tales and fascinating and frightening. They terrify but enthrall. I NEEDED more. “The Language of Thorns” contains six dark stories that leave you captivated, vaguely unsettled but still wanting more. Forbidden love, backstabbing and betrayal are family who cannot be trusted are just some of the themes that are explored in this collection. I especially enjoyed the unique backstory/adaptation provided for Ursula from “The Little Mermaid”. If you are a fan of fantasy and fairytale, definitely give this a try. There is no way you can possibly NOT enjoy this.
I feel like everyone and their mother knows how underwhelmed I was with the first two books in this series. All Alina did was be weak or run after Mal (please can we turn this series into a drinking game? Take a shot every time Alina calls out for Mal).
However this book was a work of art. This book showed me why I love Leigh Bardugo’s writing and you get to see the kind of incredible plot twists that are visible in the Six of Crows trilogy.
Following her (failed) attempt at battle with the Darkling, Alina is incredibly weakened and more or less trapped with her Sun Summoning cult.
It isn’t long before Alina breaks free in a desperate attempt to save Rafka. A part of me just wanted to bang my head against something because OMG, have we not done this before??? Like in the last book. And the book before that. Please go marry Mal and hide in a corner of the forest because there is no way you can beat the Darkling.
But I told my snarky side to shut up and I gave this book a chance and I am so glad I did. This book was mind-blowing. I feel like the series as a whole was pretty meh but this book was an explosive finale would just made everything okay. Read this book. Even if you have to skip books 1 and 2, its okay. This book is amazing and I 110% recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy (especially since King of Scars will be out soon!)
Picking up shortly after the first book, Alina and Mal try to live a regular life away from Grisha magic and the problems that come along with it. However it isn’t long before they are discovered by the Darkling and his new team of monsters (Seriously that guy is like a damn roach. CAN HE NOT DIE?)
The Darkling still has plans for Alina and her magic. But Alina is not the girl she once was and will not go quietly. I loved how Alina’s character has developed. She is stronger and more sure of herself.
However, the more she tries to fight against the Darkling and his power to save Ravka, the more issues she seems to create between herself and Mal.
This book would make an excellent drinking game if you took a shot everytime Alina called “Mal”or everytime they had issues. I understand that they are still teens and angst is part of the YA world but COME ON! Can’t they be like Kaz and Inej and put their issues aside for a while? There is an entire world at stake.
I feel like at this point I am just tolerating them just so I can find out what happens to the Grisha. I ship Grisha. Mal and Alina can go be fed to the Darkling’s monsters.
That being said, the ending of this book blew me away and I had to get the next one immediately. Mal and Alina have one more book to stop getting on my nerves with their teenage relationship issues.
Picking up shortly after “Six of Crows”, “Crooked Kingdom” follows Kaz and his gang as they plan their revenge after being double-crossed. Kaz wants his money and he wants his Wraith back. This is both personal and business. But while Kaz and the team are trying to stay alive, avoid the police and save Inej, Ketterdam is overrun with foreigners hoping to cash in on jurda parem in some way. There is also a new threat to Grishas (because when it rains, it pours) everywhere- a new type of being hunting the Grisha.
I felt like this book had a slower pace than “Six of Crows” but I enjoyed how this book showed that even the great Kaz Brekker makes mistakes and can be caught in his own traps. After finishing this book, I was left heart-broken and desperately needed more. After binge-reading this series it was impossible to think that I would no longer wake up and go to work while listening to this story. I needed to know more about these characters and their lives. What were their childhoods like? When would I see them again? What were they doing at this exact moment? Are they okay? I developed a very unhealthy attachment to this world and I love it. This was a compelling read and I loved the many plot twists and turns. I can’t wait to read the other books set in the Grishaverse.
Ravka is divided by a creepy place of darkness called the Shadow Fold. The Shadow Fold is crawling with bloodthirsty creatures such as the volcra who eat humans. Plain Jane (and utterly boring) Alina Starkov crosses the Fold with her regiment and is attacked. Several people die but when her best friend is attacked, Alina manages to save him wiith a mysterious power she didn’t even know she had. (Can you tell how skeptical I am about Alina? Because I am really trying to hide it. She’s a sweet girl. Just very boring. And not smart. Anyway…)
Alina is sent to train as a member of the Grisha- a group of people with special powers. However, Alina isn’t just any Grisha. She is one of her kind and incredibly power. And her power could save Ravka.
This is all incredibly cliche but let’s go with it (you’ll see why in a minute). As Alina adjusts to her new life as a Grisha, she discovers that nothing is as it seems in her new home.
This was a great read but I didn’t think that the ending was much of an ending. It just felt kind of incomplete. It was like the story was pausing when I desperately needed more (thankfully I had the next book already). Definitely DO NOT read this unless you have the entire series. I’m currently dragging myself through the second book because I don’t want to finish it without having the last one with me.
This was a well-written book with an intriguing plot. Alina annoyed me with her obsession with Mal and their love story seems forced to me (I support another ship) but I’m hoping she’ll grow out of it with time.