Goodreads summary of Book 1:
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.
My overall series review:
I decided to read this series after 1. The Netflix series was announced, and 2. Reading the Six of Crows duology. Six of Crows is one of my favorite duologies of all time, and I thought that this amazing writing and worldbuilding would translate to the Shadow and Bone series. Alas, I was mistaken.
Trust me, I understand that no two series are alike. It was wrong to compare; I think I just expected so much more from the characters and the plot and thought that I would get that here since it was written by the same author. I was dead wrong.
Everything in this series is black and white, light versus dark (literally), and it made for an overall somewhat boring adventure. The quest was interesting (having to find the different amplifiers, meeting Nikolai, etc.) but where was the spice? The FLAVOR? Besides the Darkling himself, there was none.
I actually had such a hard time finishing this series. I ended up not reading for a couple of months because I couldn’t get through it—my brain doesn’t let me start new books without completing others that I want to finish (this was the case then, but I’m starting to break this cycle), so of course, I struggled through. And I hated myself every step of the way. It was like staying with a boyfriend that you just really wanted to break up with: you just end up resenting them and yourself.
Ruin and Rising was the best of the three, but overall, it was still very meh. Wasn’t great, wasn’t terrible, it was just… okay.