Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

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I read Shadow and Bone almost five years ago, but I recently decided to pick up the sequels and finally finish the series. It took me a minute to get back in the story, but once I did, I remembered how much I liked it.

Throughout the series, Alina morphs into a complex character. She is powerful lost and trying to save the world because she is the only one who can. Mal is her strong and loyal best friend/love of her life, who has been with her before she mattered. Honestly, they aren't unique characters; I have read many books with characters exactly like Alina and Mal. But I still love them to pieces. And the Darkling has my heart. I know he's evil and all that, but every time he pops up in a scene, I scream "YES!" in my head. I fell for his tricks at the beginning of the series--just like Alina--but unlike her, I was never able to break from his hold. In Siege and Storm, Nikolai joined the show, and I instantly fell in love. He was a great addition to the story as a whole. He added some humor and lightness to the novel, and a new dynamic to Alina's power and "sainthood".

There are some parts of this series that I don't like as much. Plot points that I don't think are necessary; like Nikolai turning into a darkness creature for seemingly no reason except for drama, and the tendency to drag and add scenes that mean nothing to the overall story. But it's still a strong series that I recommend to fantasy fans. I laughed, I cried, and my shipper heart exploded a handful of times.

Is in on my OMFG Must Read Series list? No. But that doesn't mean that it isn't fantastic. And if you think this series is good, Six of Crows blows it out of the water.



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