Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just booklove miscellany in general.
Pansing Books sent me this trilogy specifically for our Fantasy theme and I can not thank them enough for introducing me to a series that I truly enjoyed reading.
This series has got to be, by far, the best fantasy series I read this year. Make that in the past few years. And I do not say this lightly. Add the fact that I have read a total of 416 books (so far) in 2014 – and I am hoping to add a few more before the year ends. 🙂
It is difficult for me to put into words exactly what I love about this series. A lot of it has to do of course with where I am now in my life. There is always that interaction between the reader and the book that is so organic and unique which explains any reader’s response to a reading material. And so I acknowledge that the effect of these books would vary from one individual to the next. Since I am at a loss for words, allow me to just come up with a bulleted list of “how much I love these books and let me count the ways”:
- A right blend of strength and vulnerability with the female character, Alina Starkov. Her power came to her unexpectedly – unbidden and largely-unwanted. How she dealt with it says much about her character and the kind of woman she turned out to be. I like how she has evolved from the very first book to the last one. Her voice is unique, keenly-felt, and oh-so-strong. None of the whining and complaining voices that you often hear from female heroines. There is uncertainty and vulnerability, but always her voice emerges solid and authentic.
- While there is a love triangle here, it has always been clear where Alina’s affections lie. And so calling it a love triangle may not be entirely accurate, as she is very much aware of what her heart tells her. I find the the love triangle aspect in YA fiction to be overplayed – but here it is done with intelligence and sensitivity and with remarkable subtlety.
- This entire series HAS TO BE MADE INTO A FILM. While I was watching Mockingjay in Washington DC a month ago, the only thing that was going on in my mind was how much better The Grisha Trilogy would be on film. This is further proof of how much this series has overtaken my sensibilities, so much so that Hunger Games – a series that I absolutely adored – was summarily eclipsed by The Grisha Trilogy. Reading each chapter is like watching an episode in a TV series – everything so smoothly crafted with a satisfying finish.
- The entire fantastical world has been so brilliantly and uniquely conceived that the Etherealkis, Corporalkis, and Materialkis are now inherently part of my vocabulary, I could not even imagine my literary life without them.
- Sturmhond. For readers of this series, you would know how much that one name has the power to send shivers up anyone’s reading spine. Needless to say Nikolai Lantsov is my literary crush. And perhaps shall remain so til the end of my days. I am fairly loyal that way. I never had a literary crush before reading this book – again, quite unusual for such an avid reader such as myself. But Sturmhond has overtaken my literary fantasies and there he shall remain.
- I have never read a series with such avidness that all three books literally set my pulse racing, my heart beating so fast, that I can not read all three in public because of the emotional reactions they engender in me. It is that good and more. I was so heartbroken upon reading the first half of Ruin and Rising – my reaction akin to how I felt while reading the Game of Thrones five-book series. Leigh Bardugo is the best thing since sliced bread – and this is only because I can not think of any more apt metaphor: Since Eddie Vedder? Since smartphones? Since email?
- I can not, for the life of me, understand, why this series is so undervalued or under-read by avid bibliophiles? I find this to be a well-kept secret in that sense, and one that I am now happy to reveal to the reading public to be the best fantasy series ever. So find the books and read them!!!!
Anyone else who have read these books and fallen in love with them? Would love to hear your comments, similar to mine or otherwise. I would so love to have a conversation about these books.