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Am I late to the party? I knew a lot of people were a fan of this, so eventually I had to check it out and of course I had to give it a high rating. This is why:
The worldbuilding: the Grishaverse is quite an original set up compared to other big time fantasy novels. It appears to be influenced by a lot of Russian folklore and languag e but also other cultures including the French but also Dutch language (which is cool because it"s my mother language). You do get a gigantic info dump in the first chapters. However, I don"t think I can blame Bardugo for that because it is a fantasy world unlike any other I've read. And I'm really looking forward to explore more of it in the other series.

The plot: the plot was well structured. Interesting beginning and cruel but satisfying ending. Once you get to the middle, the story does slow down a bit and it slowed my reading a bit. I think that's one of the few things I liked less about the book. But hey, we need a character to train right?

The characters: I'm a sucker for great character development and Alina certainly has it. I really loved her development throughout the story. She's also not flawless. She believes lies, gets herself tricked, sometimes gets a little too much into her own head but she learns and that's what I really liked about her change throughout the plot.

The twisted tropes (includes spoilers): at first I got scared that this would be a typical love-triangle story. Girl is in love with her best friend, he doesn't know, so she eventually falls for the strange, mysterious, handsome brooding dark tall and dangerous antagonist (did I get it right?). And for a moment, this seemed to be the case. But Bardugo took my expectations and played me like a fiddle and I love her for it. l do like the occassional enemies to lovers trope but what really gets me going is the best friends to lovers trope (which is RARE in many (YA) fantasies) and Bardugo delivered. I really liked the story once Mal and Alina were reunited, their chemistry was well-written and I really feared for Mal's live (just like Alina) at the end of the book.

Lastly, The Darkling"s motivation is what made me really like him as a villain. His motivation makes sense, he thinks he's the hero of his own story and is a great antagonist to Alina's development throughout the story. It made the impact of the last chapters that more powerful.

There are probably other things I want to add to this review about what I liked about the first part of the trilogy but it"s almost midnight and I can now finally rest now I know Alina and Mal as safe for now.

Reacties op: Great start to an interesting and amazing adventure.

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Shadow and bone - Leigh Bardugo
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