Tag Archives: Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Overview
Shadow and Bone: Siege and Storm : Leigh Bardugo : 9781510105263

Title: Siege and Storm
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Shadow and Bone Trilogy #2, Grishaverse #2
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Magic, Young adult
Dates read: 4th September 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Square Fish
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: The wound in my shoulder felt like it was on fire, but I was unhurt and my whole body was thrumming from using my power again.

Synopsis

SOLDIER. SUMMONER. SAINT.

Alina Starkov’s power has grown, but not without a price. She is the Sun Summoner – hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Shadow Fold. But she and Mal can’t outrun their enemies for long.

The Darkling is more determined than ever to claim Alina’s magic and use it to take the Ravkan throne. With nowhere else to turn, Alina enlists the help of an infamous privateer and sets out to lead the Grisha army.

But as the truth of Alina’s destiny unfolds, she slips deeper into the Darkling’s deadly game of forbidden magic, and further away from her humanity. To save her country, Alina will have to choose between her power and the love she thought would always be her shelter. No victory can come without sacrifice – and only she can face the oncoming storm.

Thoughts

Ever since reading Shadow and Bone, I’ve been seriously wondering what was going to be thrown in Mal and Alina’s way this time. And, you know, when the Darkling was going to reappear. He’s a great villain – I don’t really get the sexy vibes off him that others have claimed, but he is dark, mysterious and undoubtedly evil. A wonderful combination for a villain in my opinion.

Even though I think Mal is a wonderful lead love interest, he’s also kind of a knob. I mean, he’s got a woman who is obviously being thrown into a situation she’s not comfortable with. But instead of trying to communicate and support her? He runs. And just acts… well, knob-like. By the end of the book I was finding him to be a bit much and a bit frustrating in this area… im hoping Ruin and Rising will redeem him a bit more…

The build up that Bardugo creates in this story is wonderfully and seriously intense. Not only is there the clash between Alina and the Darkling, but there’s now royalty and a cult… I mean, if that set of trials and tribulations isn’t gearing up for a massive one, then what is?

I honestly couldn’t put this book down. Even in the moments that I wanted to cringe and look away, I just… couldn’t. The majority of this was read in one sitting. Late at night. When I should have been sleeping. Always a good recommendation for a book in my eyes…

<- Shadow and BoneRuin and Rising ->

Image source: Bookdepository

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Overview
Shadow and Bone : Leigh Bardugo : 9780805094596

Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1, Grishaverse #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Magic, Young adult
Dates read: 4th – 5th April 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Square Fish
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: He didn’t say a word to me, and as the hours and days wore on, I started to worry that I’d somehow offended him.

Synopsis

SOLDIER. SUMMONER. SAINT.

Orphaned and expdnable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first rek across the Shadow Fold – a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dromant magic not even she knew she possessed.

Now Alina will enter a lavish world of roaylty and intrigue, as she trains with the Grisha – her country’s magical military elite – and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.

As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she lvoes and the very future of a nation.

Thoughts

I can seriously understand why this series, and this story in particular is so damn popular. I knew that I’d probably love it from the fact that I have loved all of the short stories which Bardugo has written. But I didn’t realise how much I would enjoy this. I mean… wow. It is an amazing, unforgettable journey and I can’t wait to read more of this series! hopefully before the Netflix series comes out…

Alina is a lovely and soulful lead character. I honestly fell in love with her from the very beginning. There is something about her loyalty and strength that makes you love her from the first page. And the fact that she will do anything for the boy that she loves… that just makes it all so much sweeter and cuter. Particularly when you discover the depths she’s actually gone to for him…

I seriously can’t wait to dive into the rest of this series – not just he trilogy, but the whole Grishaverse. Alina and Mal may have found a way to escape the first obstacle. But there are so many more to come. And the Darkling doesn’t seem like the kind of villain that is going to be easy to escape – he is kind of terrifying if I’m being completely honest.

I love that this is most definitely a friends to lovers romance. Particularly since you can see Alina’s loyalty and love from the very beginning. Boys are stupid and tend to take a little bit longer, but that tie is there from the very beginning. I can’t wait to see how this all grows and blossoms throughout the series. Everything about writing this review and reading the story just make me want to pick up the next novel in this series!!!

All in all this is an amazing story. One that has pulled me into the Grishaverse reality completely. I can’t wait to read more of the series. And then, hopefully, when I’ve finished, dive into the Netflix show too…

<- More Leigh BardugoSiege and Storm ->

Image source: Bookdepository

When Water Sang Fire by Leigh Bardugo

Overview
Image result for the language of thorns book cover

Title: When Water Sang Fire
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Language of Thorns (Leigh Bardugo)
In: Grishaverse Companion
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fairy tales, Fantasy, Illustrated
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Imprint
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: The sands turned black and the waters froze and never warmed again, so now all the exist there are whaling villages and the few brave souls who can bear such empty places.

Synopsis

In this retelling of the wicked witch from The Little Mermaid, Ulla is a poor girl with a beautiful voice. But tragedy is about to strike, and twist her into something a little more bitter.

Thoughts

Holy crap.

Holy crap.

Holy crap

This was not expected. And it took me way longer to realise how this related to The Little Mermaid than I would like. Especially since I’m an incredibly big fan of the story (both the Disney version and Hans Christian Anderson’s version).

This is a story of creation. Not of The Little Mermaid, but how the evil with (Ursula) came about. And now I’m completely on her side, and can’t believe that there was ever any doubt as to the validity of Ursula (or in this case Ulla’s) point of view…

I want to say all these amazing and meaningful things about this story. But honestly, my entire reaction to this is simply HOLY CRAP.

<- The Soldier PrinceShadow and Bone ->

Image source: The Grishaverse Wiki

The Soldier Prince by Leigh Bardugo

Overview
Image result for the language of thorns book cover

Title: The Soldier Prince
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Language of Thorns (Leigh Bardugo)
In: Grishaverse Companion
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fairy tales, Fantasy, Illustrated
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Imprint
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: I want.

Synopsis

A modern retake on the classic Nutcracker. A darker twist for a fairytale.

Thoughts

Something about The Nutcracker has always interested me. Or at least, something about it has drawn me in from the very beginning. So to read a short story, rewritten fairy tale that features the plotline of the nutcracker completely drew me in. The fact that it was kind of dark, and incredibly fun… just made it all that much more intriguing and engaging.

About halfway through this tale, I was kind of gunning for Clara and the Nutcracker. But then the discussion of an individuals’ wants and needs came into play, and I no longer wanted them to end up together. The story quickly stopped being about a romance between Clara and the Nutcracker, and something more. A tale of finding one’s own life and path. And maybe, just maybe, breaking free of a toxic past and toxic parents…

<- Little KnifeWhen Water Sang Fire ->

Image source: The Grishaverse Wiki

Little Knife by Leigh Bardugo

Overview
Image result for little knife leigh bardugo book cover

Title: Little Knife
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Language of Thorns (Leigh Bardugo)
In: Grishaverse Companion
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fairy tales, Fantasy, Illustrated
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Imprint
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: She was so beautiful, in fact, that the midwife attending her mother snatched up the wailing infant and locked herself in a linen closet, begging for just another moment to gaze upon Yeva’s face and refusing to relinquish the baby until the duke called for an axe to break down the door.

Synopsis

In this third Ravkan folk tale from Leigh Bardugo, a beautiful girl finds that what her father wants for her and what she wants for herself are two different things.

It is a companion story to the third book of the Grisha Trilogy, Ruin and Rising, and the stories “The Witch of Duva” and “The Too-Clever Fox.”

Thoughts

I thought this was going to be very traditional-feeling. The overlooked suitor keeps on trying for the beautiful, rich bride. He gets help from an unpredictable source (in this case a river), and after completing task after task, he finally triumphs. That is until you remember that this is one of Bardugo’s fairy tales and they aren’t going to be like this at all.

One of my favourite recurring moments throughout is “it wouldn’t have happened if they just asked her what she wanted”. And it honestly reminded me of all the times that what I wanted / said / needed felt like it went ignored. And I remembered that most young women have probably felt the same – prized for their beauty / standing / whatever and had their wants and needs ignored. It was certainly the issue that I had in all of the Grimm Brothers fairy tales that I’ve read recently…

Little Knife is a wonderful story with (in my opinion) a happy ending. It is a great reminder that marriage, and social standing aren’t everything. It is about not taking things for granted, and not thinking that you own something just because it has helped you. Everything, everyone has a spirit and it is far better not to trap them… in case the worst should happen.

<- The Witch of DuvaThe Soldier Prince ->

Image source: Overdrive

The Witch of Duva by Leigh Bardugo

Overview
Image result for the witch of duva leigh bardugo book cover

Title: The Witch of Duva
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Language of Thorns (Leigh Bardugo)
In: Grishaverse Companion
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fairy tales, Fantasy, Illustrated
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Imprint
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: The trees are hungry tonight.

Synopsis

There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls…or so the story goes. But it’s just possible that the danger may be a little bit closer to home. This story is a companion folk tale to Leigh Bardugo’s debut novel, Shadow and Bone.

Thoughts

I love the notes of a traditional fairy tale throughout this story. The idea of “don’t go into the woods”. Be careful of the wicked witch. A young girls’ life being turned upside down by the remarriage of her father (after the mother has passed away). But this is where many of the similarities end.

The Witch of Duva goes to show that sometimes the danger is actually a lot closer to home than we realise. That the big unknown isn’t actually what’s scary and dangerous. It turns the traditional tales and themes on their head. Nadya is sent off in to the woods to protect her. Her step mother acts the way she does for a completely unexpected reason.

Bardugo does an amazing job of rewriting fairy tales with a spin, that, at least for me, feels far more realistic than the traditional stories. And this tale tells us that it is often that which is close to home that is the more terrifying and dangerous…

<- The Too-Clever FoxLittle Knife ->

Image source: Goodreads

Ayama and the Thorn Wood by Leigh Bardugo

Overview
Image result for the language of thorns book cover

Title: Ayama and the Thorn Wood
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Language of Thorns (Leigh Bardugo)
In: Grishaverse Companion
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fairy tales, Fantasy, Illustrated
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Imprint
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: And what a brave girl to attempt such a task.

Synopsis

Ayama’s sister is beautiful, and she is often forgotten. Until the day that the King needs a messenger to go and negotiate with his beast of a son… then her entire world is changed.

Thoughts

Most stories, fairy tales, really anything that I read features a pretty girl. She is gifted by grace, beauty, kindness, yadda, yadda, yadda. But not so with this reimagined fairy tale story. This is all about the ugly (and somewhat forgotten) ugly sister.

Ayama isn’t beautiful, her voice sounds horrible, and even her parents are kind of freaked out by her. She’s a lot more like everyone else in the world, and it’s kind of nice to read about someone who isn’t beautiful. But she does have all of the characteristics that I have become used to in a lead girl in a fairy tale. Ayama is kind, and humble. She has a strong moral and ethical compass. And she isn’t afraid to love. Everything that a young girl should actually aspire to be.

Although there is a major point throughout the story of the difference in perceptions and acceptance of siblings, this isn’t actually seen to cause a rift between the two siblings. The sisters still love each other and treat each other with respect, even when the parents are a little lacking in this. Normally I would expect a level of bitterness throughout, and it was incredibly refreshing to not come across this.

<- The Language of ThornsThe Too-Clever Fox ->

Image source: The Grishaverse Wiki

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Overview
Image result for the language of thorns book cover

Title: The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Language of Thorns (Leigh Bardugo)
In: Grishaverse Companion
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fairy tales, Fantasy, Illustrated
Short story collections
Pace: Medium
Format: Collection
Publisher: Imprint
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: The bear craved jokes.

Synopsis

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

Thoughts

I found it almost impossible to put this damn book down. Which is a little problematic… since I have a whole heap of other productive things to do… the illustrations in this version just helped to make it ten thousand times more difficult to put down.

I’ve been on a bit of a fairytale binge lately. But there is always something that sits a little funny when I read the old school stories. They don’t really feature strong women, or women with any kind of power at all. Bardugo’s versions were completely different. They were dark and twisted. They featured women with power and independence.

One of the tales throughout this constantly says, it all would have been different if they’d just asked her what she wanted… and this works brilliantly as a theme throughout the entire collection.

The only disappointing thing about this novel was that it ended. I sat there staring into space for ages, wondering when I would next find such an amazing read… luckily there is a whole series to sink my teeth into now!

 <- More Leigh BardugoAyama and the Thorn Wood ->

Image source: The Grishaverse Wiki

The Too-Clever Fox by Leigh Bardugo

Overview
The Too-Clever Fox

Title: The Too-Clever Fox
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Grishaverse Companion
In: The Language of Thorns (Leigh Bardugo)Kisses & Curses (Lauren Burniac)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy readingFantasy
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Square Fish
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: What would he want with me?

Synopsis

In Ravka, just because you avoid one trap, it doesn’t mean you’ll escape the next. This story is a companion folk tale to Leigh Bardugo’s novel, Siege and Storm, the second book in the Grisha Trilogy.

Thoughts

This short story had such a great, traditional fairy tale feel to it. I’ve been reading a bit of Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen lately, and it would sit right in amongst all of their tales. The twisting, convoluted tale. And the ways in which this teaches a lesson, of some kind at the very end. The final twist is also exactly what I would expect from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale.

I like that the too-clever fox runs about outsmarting everyone. Until he meets his nemesis. Which isn’t quite what you expect, and shows you not to just trust the look of things. I love the twist, and if this is what a short story in this series is like, I can’t wait to find out what the greater novels within the series will be like…

<- Ayama and the Thorn WoodThe Witch of Duva ->

Image source: Goodreads

Kisses and Curses edited by Lauren Burniac

Overview

Kisses and CursesTitle: Kisses and Curses
Author: Lauren Burniac, Marissa Meyer, Marie Rutkoski, Jennifer Mathieu, Anna Banks, Emmy Laybourne, Courtney Alameda, Jessica Brody, Ann Aguirre, Lish McBride, Lindsay Smith, Katie Finn, Caragh M. O’Brien, Nikki Kelly, Gennifer Albin & Leigh Bardugo
In: Kisses and Curses (Lauren Burniac)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fantasy, Short story collections
Pace: Fast
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Square Fish
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: “And I don’t know any other girls who skate, but it could still be kind of cool.”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

EVERY PAGE MORE FIERCE THAN THE LAST.

Enjoy a good monster love story? Or a dark, Russian-style folktale? How about a flashback to the secrets of a cyborg’s past, a post-apocalyptic romance, or a conversation between a boy and Death’s dead assistant, while both sit in a diner and eat waffles?

Whether you’re already a Fierce Reads fan or you’re a fan-to-be, this short story collection will satisfy your every bookish craving! Featuring multi-genre tales from some of the hottest YA authors around, including Ann Aguirre, Courtney Alameda, Gennifer Albin, Anna Banks, Leigh Bardugo, Jessica Brody, Katie Finn, Nikki Kelly, Emmy Laybourne, Jennifer Mathieu, Lish McBride, Marissa Meyer, Caragh M. O’Brien, Marie Rutkoski, and Lindsay Smith.

By turns uplifting and sad, light-hearted and powerful, startling and laugh-out-loud, these bite-sized gems have one thing in common: You won’t be able to put them down!

Thoughts

I loved, loved, loved, loved, loved this collection. It is everything that a short story collection should be – a common thread throughout the tales, but such a diverse array of tales that constantly draw you in. I had no idea about any of the authors in this collection, except for Marissa Meyer, and now I have a new set of 12 authors to dive into.

The fact that each of these tales is part of a greater series worked beautifully. Although, there were a few spoilers throughout. Which was a little disappointing. And makes me not only want to read all of these series, but also gives a hint as to what is going to happen in each of them. The wide array of styles and tales throughout made me thoroughly entrapped.

If you like fantasy tales, this is definitely a collection worth reading. It is also a great way to find new authors if you need to add to your library… maybe make sure you have a little bit of surplus cash before you crack the spine of this though.

 <- The Too-Clever Fox Review Glitches Review ->
Image source: Goodreads