A well-written trilogy with original elements. But the romance overwhelms the adventure when it should have stayed secondary. 3/5 stars.
What it’s about (to avoid spoiling the whole trilogy, here’s the blurb for book 1, Shadow and Bone:
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
I apologise if this is less of a review and more of my ramblings about the trilogy. I’ll do my best to keep it succinct and spoiler-free. 🙂
Overall this is good, but I didn’t love it. I think it takes itself a little too seriously. Also the romance – which becomes drawn out and irritating (just get it together already!) – overwhelms what could otherwise have been a great fantasy adventure/action story.