When Netflix released the first season of Shadow and Bone from Leigh Bardugo, my daughter was the one who insisted I read the books first. When my daughter recommends I read a book, I take her advice, especially when this is a series she admittedly rereads as often as she can. So that is what I did.
What I discovered in Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising was a fascinating story of magic and power, oppression and heroes. The Grisha world is amazing with all the various powers alongside the fear and anger others hold towards them. At the same time, I will admit that Alina is not my favorite character, Even Mal is more charming and has a bit more personality than Alina does. I found I wanted more of the Darkling and less of Alina’s inner angst. While he certainly is evil, I find his backstory intriguing and his desire to see the Grisha earn a better place in society perfectly acceptable. Granted, he goes about it the wrong way, but he is only trying to make the world a better place for his people. You have to admire that.
Because the first season of the Netflix series includes the introduction of the Crows, Holly also recommended I read the Six of Crows duology. And so I did. I have to admit I liked Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom much for than I did The Grisha Trilogy. I like nothing better than bad good guys, and the Crows are that and more. Their personalities are more vibrant. Their morals are gray but not really. Their heist is a thing of beauty, and their ability to beat the odds is perfection. The sleight of hand scenes are almost as good as their banter, but it is their flaws that make them real and personable. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the Crows in the future!