Do you what it feels like to be purely happy one on side and then feel utter grieve on the other? That’s currently me after finishing Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy. Here are my thoughts!
Alina Starkov, the Sun Summoner, has escaped the Darkling’s power once more and with nothing more than a few Grisha and her friend Mal, she must now survive underground where the Apparat has promised her shelter. Unable to summon her power below the surface and with the knowledge that the Darkling rules Ravka, Alina must choose what to do next to save her country. Hoping to find Nikolai and above all else the third amplifier, Alina, Mal and her few Grisha set out to face the Darkling once more. But what lies before her might cost her her future, the future of Ravka and everyone she loves.
I am so terribly sad that this series came to an end. I am a little conflicted concerning the end, but all in all, this series was purely brilliant and I will miss Alina, Nikolai, Mal and the Darkling (and even Zoya) with all my heart.
For some reason, all three books aren’t filled with that much plot, but unlike other readers, from what I’ve read in reviews, don’t mind the lack of every page filled with action. I thought I might have a hard time starting this book, but every time I open it and read one page, I was completely sucked in.
There were some plot twists I wasn’t predicting and that was really great. However, the ending was kind of predictable, but I guess that comes with this particular story involving the Darkling, Nikolai and Mal and the way the romance/enemy relationship plays out. But even though some parts of the ending were a little predictable, I was still blown away by its beauty and the way it was created. Especially the epilogue made me cry and I don’t think reading King of Scars will make my grieve evaporate.
Alina was once again the perfect character in her unperfected way. I loved that she had flaws, couldn’t cope with her loss very well and that all she wanted was a small happy life with Mal.
I never got over the fact that Nikolai remains alone because I would have loved seeing Alina as the Queen of Ravka, but I guess it’s not what she wanted. I guess I could love two or three particular endings: a) the one Leigh Bardugo offered us now b) Nikolai as king and Alina as queen and c) Alina healing the Darkling (but not them as a couple).
Nikolai remains my favorite character with his charm, humor and strategic thinking. He will make a great king, but I guess more on that in King of Scars.
I also loved the Darkling and also the relationship Leigh Bardugo created between him and Alina, the bond that held them together and the way she made him feel again. I was blown away by the ending, the way Alina was there for him in his last moments and comforted him. That was a sign of love.
Mal was, all in all, the anchor Alina needed, but even though I liked him, he wasn’t the most interesting character within the series. He sometimes lacked the special character that all the other personas in Leigh Bardugo’s books have, like the Darkling, Nikolai or Kaz.
I absolutely fell in love with Leigh Bardugo’s writing style which was completely different from her style in Six of Crows. But that didn’t keep her from writing some kick-ass sentences.
What I really adored about this series were the epilogues which only talked about the girl and the boy but included private jokes and references.
All in all…
Concluding, this was the perfect final to a brilliant series. I could not be more happy and sad at the same time. Yes, this will be one of my favorite series ever because of the darkness and light combination and the incredible characters and fantastic story. Leigh Bardugo simply creates masterpieces.