Shadow and Bone, a TV adaptation of Leigh Bardugo's bestselling fantasy trilogy of the same name, launches on Netflix, April 23rd. Some are calling the show the next Game of Thrones. A huge GoT fan, I knew I had to read the books before the TV series hit the airwaves because let's face it, the books are always better than the show.
I managed to read the entire trilogy in a month and have moved on to Bardugo's Six of Crows duology that follows. Needless to say, I'm a fan. Bardugo has created a captivating universe set in what feels like the Russia of long ago but with magic. In Shadow and Bone, the first book of the trilogy, Bardugo introduces readers to a world in which the Shadow Fold exists, a swath of near impenetrable darkness inhabited by deadly monsters that separates East and West Rovka. The novel's heroine, Alina Starkov, is a soldier sent into the fold and when her transport comes under attack, Alina's dormant magic is released. Only her magic isn't like that of other Grisha who can manipulated materials, control water and wind, or heal the human body. Alina can control light, the very thing absent from the Shadow Fold.
Every story needs a bad guy and this story has one of the best. The Darkling, who can summon shadows to Alina's light, has lived for centuries waiting for the Sun Summoner. The Darkling is smoldering, charismatic, enigmatic and driven. He is the hero of his own story and for that you'll grant him a certain leeway. You'll hate to love him, but love him you will.
What unfolds over the course of the trilogy is expansive world building every bit as deep as that seen in Game of Thrones. In addition, there is deep character development, loads of action and some great twists as well as a satisfying ending!
The Grishaverse established in this trilogy continues to expand and get even better in the Six of Crows duology. If you're a fantasy fan, a lover of strong heroines, or a fiend for action, I highly recommend this series!