What I Learned from the Grishaverse

Shadow and Bone

I finish the whole of the Shadow and Bone series this month! I didn’t love it but I am really excited about a Netflix series to come. Holy crap. Nikolai and the Darkling are going to get cast…

And I’m going to realize how wrong my head canon was because I always age people up but that’s a story for another time. This is about what did I learnt from my journey in the Grisha-verse.


Ruin and Rising

Don’t follow a YA heroine into battle!

This is especially true if she has her great love by her side and no real plan whatsoever. Also probably not a good idea if she has some weird pull to the guy you’re fighting. But really it’s just going to end with her whining about her dead boyfriend screaming for people to bring him back. (What about every body else?) She might mourn for the dead eventually but as long as love lives.


You can make a book work with boring ass leads so long as your villain and supporting characters are awesome. 

And they really are. I have to say to you can see the improvement in Leigh Bardugo’s work to because, for me at least, Six of Crows didn’t have this problem and now bring on…

King of Scars

Bardugo does cheat death better than Sarah J. Maas

No, I wasn’t thrilled when the Prince of Dullness was brought back but at least it made sense and a price was paid not just oh, boy everyone’s a hot immortal fairy that’s going to live forever. So points for Grisha.

siege and storm

Also- I may have no heart. Or questionable priorities.

Me: So you’re killing all these beautiful animals and mythical creatures or whatever but you won’t kill freaking Mal?

Me: But Nikolai is going to make you Queen! What is wrong with you?

Me: At least keep the ring. Lord knows Mal is not going to help with anything else.

The series was very middle of the road for me. Not the worst thing ever but I also don’t think you need to read it to read Six of Crows or anything else in the Universe. I did it backward anyway.

Overall Average: B-

Recommend: Not really. But it’s not the worst thing in the world either.

31 thoughts on “What I Learned from the Grishaverse

  1. I can’t stop laughing. I had the same sentiment yet I still liked the book bc biased pov I really liked the side characters from the Shadow and Bone trilogy however in SoC I see no faults #sorrynotsorry. And that Nikolai is going to make you Queen. I SNORTED HAHAHA

    1. I’d have taken Nikolai if he was just a rogue pirate but come on King to! What is wrong with that girl? Although I do have my theories on whose going to end up Queen 🙂


    This was a middle-of-the-road series for me. I found both whats-her-name (seriously, that’s where I’m at) and Mal to be boring and I didn’t buy their romance at all. But like you I LOVED Nikolai and The Darkling. I’m still scratching my head over the ending too, but now you’ve got me curious about how the Throne of Glass series ended and I might be heading over to a wiki page to read the summary.

  3. Hahaha love this review! Honestly I had pretty similar thoughts on it as well. The Darkling and Nikolai were definitely the highlights of this trilogy! ❤️

  4. I love this post! 😄 I read the Grisha Trilogy a few years ago so I don’t remember details but I can definitely remember not liking Mal lol. I thought the books were good, but that was before I read so many other amazing books that I can now compare the Grisha Trilogy to. I think I’m in need of a reread!

    1. I think you can see the sparks here for a Leigh Bardugo who would go onto write the characters in Six of Crows- but you mainly see them in the supporting characters. I’d definitely be interested in hearing what you think after a reread!

  5. I read the books last year, I think. I liked it, although Six Crows was definitely better. Did you see the new Netflix show follows both series? I am more interested in the Six Crows part, to be honest 🙂 I can’t wait to see who they cast, especially the male roles….Alina is not that interesting, but I like the girls in Six Crows.

    1. Oh dear if they’re following both series poor Mal and Alina. I mean they paled in comparison to the supporting characters in their series and know it’s going to be Kaz, Nina and the rest. Those castings will have to be small miracles to be good!

      1. That’s the second time I’ve seen that Barbie chick for Nina. I’ll have to look her up. They look good though! I got to admit in my head I always see Kaz as Ezra Miller but that guy looks like Miller so if he can pull it off… Why not?

  6. What an entertaining review! I read these books a long time ago but still remember liking Nikolai and somehow disliking Mal… I also thought Six of Crows was much better developed and showed how much Bardugo’s writing skills have matured. I loved that book. As Nikolai was my favourite character in this trilogy, I can’t wait to read The King of Scars! 🙂

    I had not idea they are making this into a tv series, I’m really curious now… 🙂

    1. I don’t know what it was about Mal but I just couldn’t deal with him 😉

      I’m looking forward to the show but probably not so much the casting wars that will no doubt break out in the fandom/online when they do Nikolai and the Darkling cause we all know we have our own head canons for those!

      1. Yeah, I know, he was really getting on my nerves too and then I found myself feeling guilty about it. I know he was sort of an anchor but still, no thanks…

        He he, I do wonder who will be cast for those roles. Time for me to start speculating 😊

  7. Hi, yes, I agree. COMPLETELY. This protag is the WORST and I had such a hard time caring about her. Honestly, Nikolai might be the only reason I finished the series. And because I found the protag so “meh” I haven’t really been that excited about the Grishaverse coming to Netflix.

    1. Honestly besides live action Nikolai the most exciting thing is it’s supposed to lead into the Six of Crows stuff- which if done well could be really amazing! Live action Nikolai and Kaz are coming 🙂

  8. Hahaha, ok, well this was a hilarious review! 😀
    Kinda made me more interested in the series as well.
    Now that it’s gonna be on netflix too, i kinda feel more inclined to read it.

  9. Haha couldn’t agree more about the boring was lead, she was so dull, like she’s meant to be the most powerful of the Grisha and she’s so boring? I enjoyed the Six of Crows duology so much more, but I’m glad I read these anyway to get a feel for the world. Can’t wait for the series!!

    Evie x | https://eviejayne.co.uk

  10. I am so psyched for the netflix series as well!! Can’t wait for it!! hahaha so agree that it’s not a good idea to follow a YA heroine into battle 😉 hahaha that is too true about the villain. I did find this series middle of the road (and I’d have preferred it if Mal had died tbh) Great post!!

  11. I wasn’t a fan of the grisha element in SoC duology, the magic system is not at all exciting. I’ve seen too many mixed reviews for this series, so I’ll probably stay away from it. But yay for the SoC duology, I hope Bardugo focuses more on characters and plot like she did in the duology than the magic system, it’s just so… meh.

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