The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

This is a fantasy trilogy with a website which will interest those readers drawn into the world of the Grisha. The first book in the trilogy is Shadow and Bone, followed by Siege and Storm and then Ruin and Rising.

Shadow and Bone – Book 1

Alina and Mal grow up as orphans and best of friends. Their country is ravaged by a dark cloud that hangs over a large stretch of land, barring access to the sea. The Shadow Fold, as it is known, is the home to frightening monsters. As part of their work in the army, Alina and Mal are forced to cross the Fold and face the monsters. Alina’s love for Mal forces her to protect him during the crossing and, in so doing, she is shown to have special powers. From that day forward Alina’s future is no longer her own to decide and she is forced to leave Mal behind….

I enjoyed this story so much more than I expected to. The main characters are likeable and the fantasy world they inhabit is interesting and fascinating. There is plenty to hold the reader’s attention: romance, betrayal, action, intrigue, deception, friendship and courage and the story develops at a good pace. I liked the way that things didn’t always go the way I wanted them to and that characters didn’t always do as I expected. A very enjoyable read.

The book has also been published under the name The Gathering Dark.

Siege and Storm – Book 2

Alina and Mal try to flee the Darkling and the horrors of the Shadow Fold but they are tracked down and Alina finds herself torn between her love for Mal and the awesome power that she controls and which she is unwilling to ignore.

The second book is the series is full of adventure and intrigue, although I found it less powerful than the first book, perhaps because the storyline was at times familiar. However, this remains a good read and the reader is left on a cliff edge wondering whether it is possible for Mal and Alina to ever achieve a happy ending. New and interesting characters join the cast and the reader is never quite sure which way the story will turn. The characters are very human and Alina is refreshingly realistic as she struggles between following her heart or giving in to her power.

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