Review of Shadow and Bone Series

I did it. I read a book just because I wanted to watch the series on Netflix and I absolutely refuse to watch something before I read the book. Anyone else?

Overall, it is a great series. My one complaint echoes the ones I’ve seen everywhere. There is just too much trope. Love triangle trope. Chosen one trope. Moody female lead trope. You get the picture. I’m a fan of tropes. After all, they are the reason YA (and other genres) work. There is system and dare I say it, formula, for what makes a book tick. But I wish Leigh Bardugo had picked just 2 tropes to go with instead of all of them.

Shadow and Bone still ticked for me too, despite that complaint. I even stayed up way past my 9 p.m. sharp bedtime to finish each book. I liked Alina, Mal, Nikolai- Oh! Nikolai!- and even the Darkling. Most of them had great background stories and I could really connect with them. It leaves me craving more about the Darkling and Nikolai, so I’m going to have to turn to the show and The King of Scars to have that thirst quenched. Those two characters saved the books for me and any scene with them were the ones I needed to read at all cost. I love a good complicated villain (especially a misguided, lonely one) and a Prince with layers no one can quite untangle.

I’ll also admit the ending got me. I loved it. I loved the twist halfway through the 3rd book, though I saw parts of it coming since book 2. As an author myself, I would have taken the twist in a different direction but I suppose the the power of an author. They can do whatever they want with this world they’ve created. Overall, I enjoyed the series immensely, though it fell a tad shy of a perfect 5, which surprised me. I may read it again in 5 or 6 years and see if I’ve changed my mind and it can catch up with that perfect 5.

Onto the next step of my mission: reading Six of Crows so I can finally watch the show and truly dig into the grishaverse.