OwlCrate Book September 2017: “Before She Ignites” by Jodi Meadows

“Before She Ignites”

Fallen Isles #1

by Jodi Meadows

Nikki’s Rating: 6 out of 10

Summary: Mira, the Hopebearer, beloved to the people of the Fallen Isles, finds herself in the most unimaginable situation, imprisoned in the notorious and brutal Pit. When she went to the Luminary Council after finding out that dragons, the children of the gods, were being kidnapped, Mira expected outrage and a swift plan to stop the culprits. Now she must consider that it was her government, the Luminary Council, that sanctioned this affront to their gods. Mira must find a way out of the Pit to save her cherished dragons and stop the Great Abandonment, the rise of the Fallen Gods, from happening.

OwlCrate Book September 2017: “Before She Ignites” by Jodi Meadows

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Dragons

Probably my favorite fictional creature, I love dragons. I totally relate to Mira’s character of absolutely cherishing them and wanting to protect them at all costs. In the Fallen Isles world, dragons are children of the gods and endangered thanks to humans. Bit of a reflection of how we are killing our own beautiful animals on planet Earth.

2. The Fallen Isles

The Fallen Isles world is unique and utterly beautiful in its myths and constructs. The Fallen Isles are actually gods who fell from the sky and are known as the Fallen Gods. Each Isle has a unique culture, government, and religious book based on their Fallen God.

3. Gifts

Each of the Fallen Gods have gifts or powers that people of their island are bestowed. Some of them include being able to create silence and/or hear exceptionally well from Idris the Silent, increased speed, reflexes, strength from Khulan the Warrior, charm and allure from Damya and Darina the Lovers, Harta the Daughter allows her people to promote growth of plants, and people of Bopha the Shadow are able to manipulate shadows.

4. Anxiety

I’m really curious to know if author Jodi Meadows actually suffers from anxiety and panic attacks because she really captures this insidious mental condition very well. The main protagonist, Mira Minkoba, suffers from panic attacks throughout the Fallen Isles Trilogy and it actually caused me to experience some anxiety while reading because Meadows does a very accurate job of describing the feelings. As someone with mental illness, I always appreciate books that include characters with mental illness as it is a way to destigmatize it and help others to understand and realize we are human too, not crazy. Also provides great examples of someone being able to thrive regardless of mental illness.

5. Friendship

“Before She Ignites” portrays friendship at its finest. Mira’s best friends Ilina and Hristo attempt to spring her free from her imprisonment at the risk of their own lives and freedom. Even though dehydrated and a prisoner himself, Aaru gives Mira water and stays with her when she unleashes uncontrolled power. Mira chooses to go back to the Pit to free her friends instead of running free when she could have. These friendships are absolutely inspiring!

6. As She Ascends

The Fallen Isles Trilogy continues in Jodi Meadows’s “As She Ascends.”


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

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10 Kingly Things about David Grann’s “Killers of the Flower Moon”

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

by David Grann

Nikki’s Rating: 10 out of 10

Summary: Living a life of luxury during the 1920s, the Osage Nation in Oklahoma were the envy of many and this envy took a deadly turn. Members of the Osage tribe began dying under suspicious circumstances and anyone who investigated were murdered as well. With the rising death toll, the newly put together FBI gets involved and exposes a large conspiracy that will haunt the Osage for generations to come.

10 Kingly Things about David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Educational

Killers of the Flower Moon was an absolute eye-opener, I’ve never even heard about the Osage Nation and definitely not about their murders. This novel was a wealth of knowledge about the Osage Indians, the Osage murders, and also the beginnings of the FBI. It is a testament of the atrocities we can do to fellow human beings due to prejudices and believing they are less-than.

2. Osage Indians

David Grann showed the utmost respect when talking about the Osage Tribe and their people throughout Killers of the Flower Moon. Grann gave background and described some practices of the Osage people but he did not attempt to be an expert and he did not make stereotypes. He did not portray them as ignorant savages who need pity nor did he portray them as nature protecting shaman who should be revered.

3. White Power

Ultimately, the Killers of the Flower Moon is a story of how whites took advantage and even killed many members of the Osage Tribe during the 1920s for their money. And they got away with it because of prejudices and discrimination against Native Americans. Many of the whites in the county including judges, policemen, and doctors were complacent, no one cared about the rich Indians and there was an overall attitude that these crimes were okay because they were benefiting white people.

4. Good Whites

On the flip side, David Grann makes sure to show that not all whites in Osage County were involved with the conspiracy. There were some white men who honestly tried to solve the Osage murders and found themselves killed as well. And then there was Comstock, an affluent white citizen of Osage County who openly and willing assisted investigators.

5. New Information

One of the most important things that came out with David Grann’s investigation into the Osage Murders was that there were more killings than just what the FBI investigated and pressed charges for. Through Grann’s research he found that hundreds of Osage Indians had died at a much higher rate than normal and that all of them had money being overseen by whites. Grann uncovered a conspiracy that went farther than what was once believed and the victims will never have justice.

6. Writing

While incredibly heavy with dates, facts, and overall information, Killers of the Flower Moon does not read like a history textbook. Instead Grann does an exceptional job of uncovering the facts, people, and places in a story-telling way and he keeps his readers engaged with great pacing, beautiful descriptives, and a layer by layer reveal of the conspiracy and its key players.

7. Context

Another exceptional writing skill that Grann displays is that of contexts. Grann makes sure to explain customs or norms that were different during that time period. He also includes background on numerous characters allowing readers to better understand their motives, values, and choices. And Grann also includes reminders of who people are in relation to events. This was incredibly helpful and allowed for easy understanding without having to flip back in the book or to look something up.

8. Now

Even though the events of the Osage murders occurred during the 1920s, Grann visited Osage County and interviewed relatives of those who were directly involved. This is so powerful because of generational trauma and the fact that so many of the murders did not get investigated. Grann looks at the repercussions on a people who have been abused and neglected by the government and justice system that was meant to protect them. 

9. Pictures

Throughout Killers of the Flower Moon are pictures. Pictures of people, sometimes places but pictures to help remind you that these are not fictional characters. The tragedies that happened in Osage County during the 1920s were real. Killers of the Flower Moon isn’t a fictional mystery novel and the pictures help provide context but also to drive that fact home.

10. References

There was extensive research done for the Killers of the Flower Moon and Grann has both an “Archival and Unpublished Sources” and “Selected Bibliography” included at the end. It is proof that Grann did his work and provides credibility to all information presented in Killers of the Flower Moon. It is hard to realize that this tragic tale is not fiction but rather a true tale of horror that many people lived through. 


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

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5 Foremost Things about Kendare Blake’s “Five Dark Fates”

“Five Dark Fates”

Three Dark Crowns #4

by Kendare Blake

Nikki’s Rating: 5 out of 10

Summary: Katharine is the Queen Crowned, yet her two sisters still live and the island is not happy about it. The mist that once protected and concealed the island now raises up to gruesomely slaughter all who come into contact with it. As Queen Mirabella seeks out Queen Katharine to find a peaceful solution, Queen Arsinoe prepares for war, backing the rebellion of the Legion Queen. All the while, Queen Katharine is finding that she may have doomed the whole island as she is the Undead Queen and may not be able to control the rageful dead queens inside of her.

5 Foremost Things about Kendare Blake’s “Five Dark Fates”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. The Gifted

Many residents of Fennbirn are gifted with supernatural powers. There are the elementals that can manipulate the elements of earth, air, fire and water, with Queen Mirabella being the strongest one in a long time. Then there are the poisoners such as Queen Arsinoe that are able to ingest poison, withstand them, and have uncanny abilities creating them. Naturalists like Queen Katharine are able to influence plants, communicate with animals, and usually have a familiar. Then there are the oracles or seers and the warriors who are war-gifted and have exceptional fighting skills.

2. Concept

Overall, the concept for the Three Dark Crowns is pleasantly unique. A set of triplets are born each generation by the preceding queen and then those triplets must battle to the death. The remaining girl becomes the Crowned Queen and reigns until she bears the next set of triplets. Very dark and twisted.

3. LGBTQ

Blake includes a LGBTQ romance budding between Jules and Emilia. There also seems to be no uproar from other characters so in the Three Dark Crowns universe this is accepted and appears to be viewed as normal. Hopefully we can get there one day!

4. The Queens

While they have been taught and raised to not trust each other, the three queens do attempt to work together. They remember that they loved each other once and that perhaps they can be there for each other instead of against each other.

5. Conclusion

“Five Dark Fates” has an overall happy ending for such a bloody and dark tale. Queen Katharine redeems herself in many ways, even though she was never truly monstrous. The Legion Queen is crowned and the island begins to change. There is no more mist to conceal Fennbirn and the reign of the three queens is finally over. And although Billy has left back to the mainland, “Five Dark Fates” ends with Arsinoe leaving to find him.

What were your favorite things about “Five Dark Fates”?


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7 Sassy Things about Donna Grant’s “Midnight’s Seduction”

“Midnight’s Seduction”

Dark World #9; Dark Warriors #3

by Donna Grant

Nikki’s Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary: Finally free from her curse and able to see, Saffron wants nothing more but to get revenge against the Druid who tortured her. With the help of the enticing Warrior, Camdyn, Saffron stands a chance until she starts wanting Camdyn more than her revenge and Camdyn doesn’t seem even interested. But when Saffron is captured once again, Camdyn swears to slay all who get in his way till she is by his side once more.

7 Sassy Things about Donna Grant’s Midnight’s Seduction

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Camdyn MacKenna

While all the Warriors have pasts filled with loss, trauma, grief and regret, Camdyn’s story was quite heart wrenching. He was married once and watched his wife not just grow old and die but become bitter and unhappy with their marriage because he was immortal.

2. Kristin

Kristin was a side character that was introduced in “Midnight’s Lover” and secretly planted at the MacLeod castle by Declan. Happily, the Druids and Warriors have figured this out and while it is sad that she died, good riddance, who knows what kind of damage she could have done.

3. Laria

“Midnight’s Seduction” was full of “finally” moments, read on to come across more. So many things happened in this novel that readers have been waiting for. One of those being Laria. Not only were the Warriors and Druids able to find Laria but they also awakened her. Time to kick some Deirdre ass!

4. Malcolm

Finally, finally Malcolm has redeemed himself! While never truly bad, Malcolm has made some poor choices and has been following Deirdre, becoming one of her henchmen. Regardless, when it counted he made the right choice and turned the tide to ensure Deirdre’s demise.

5. Deidre’s End

Deirdre has finally met her end at the hands of the Warriors, Druids, and her sister Laria. While the death of Deirdre cost Laria’s life, it was absolutely necessary and a long time coming. Victory dance!

6. New Beginnings

With a happy ending of Saffron and Camdyn being together, their union was made so much more magical with finding out that Saffron is carrying his child.

7. Midnight’s Warrior

Donna Grant’s Dark World series continues in Book 4 of the Dark Warriors series, “Midnight’s Warrior.”

What were your favorite things about Midnight’s Seduction?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

9 Knightly Things about Leigh Bardugo’s “King of Scars”

“King of Scars”

Grishaverse #6; Nikolai Duology #1

by Leigh Bardugo

NIKKI’S RATING: 9 OUT OF 10

Summary: Trying to save Ravka from another war, Nikolai is doing all that he can to save his country. Then one night, he is taken over by the monster, the Darkling’s monster that possessed Nikolai months ago but has been absent since the Darkling’s death. Knowing he must secure the Latsov line, Nikolai calls a lavish festival, inviting all the important influential families in the world, in order to help choose a bride but the Saints have other things in mind.

9 Knightly Things about Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Grishaverse

A return to Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, we get to catch up with some characters from both the Shadow and Bone Trilogy and the Six of Crows series. Love it when I get to return to some old fictional friends! After “Crooked Kingdom” is was a relief to read about Nina and see how she was coping with the death of Matthias and her promise to him.

2. Nikolai

Nikolai Lantsov is one of my favorite characters from the Grishaverse. He is a dashing king with an adventurous spirit, devilish charm, and fantastic humor. But most importantly, he is a king that cares about his people and wants only the best for his country. Nikolai is not interested in personal glory, power, or money.

3. Isaak

While short-lived, Isaak was truly an enjoyable character. A simple guard pretending to be King Nikolai to keep Ravka safe from enemies, Isaak stumbles through the role quite hilariously. As Isaak states:

“I was just so excited, finally something went wrong and I had nothing to do with it”

Bardugo 406
4. Zoya

Zoya Nazyalensky, I have come to really like her after nearly hating her when she was first introduced. In “King of Scars,” readers get to know more about her background and how deeply she cares for those around her and how much loss she has already dealt with. One of the last things Juris says to her really resonated with me:

“Stop punishing yourself for being someone with a heart. You cannot protect yourself from suffering. To live is to grieve. You are not protecting yourself by shutting yourself off from the world. You are limiting yourself”

Bardugo 464
5. Saints

Who knew that a “saint” could be such a fucking bitch?! Ugh, so not a fan of Elizaveta for many reasons. Regardless, it is very neat to have the Grishaverse’s Saints feature as actual characters in “King of Scars.”

6. Grisha Power

In each book so far in the Grishaverse series, Bardugo has revealed new information about the universe and the magical workings in it. In “King of Scars” we learn that the Grisha have severely limited themselves in their training and teachings of their powers and the use of amplifiers as they did not embrace the true concept of like calls to like. Are we not all things?

7. The Darkling

Not sure if I have ever been so excited to have a bad guy come back! The Darkling is very intriguing and seductive, I can’t help but like him. Hoping that perhaps he will change his ways, do good things and redeem himself but sadly, this is probably wishful thinking. Very curious to see how this is all going to turn out.

8. Writing

As always, Bardugo provides an engaging, imaginative story with good pacing and charming characters. The writing is clear, providing description to set scenes but is not overwhelming or stifling to the story.

9. Nikolai Duology

While no title or release date, this series is called the Nikolai Duology so there will be a second book and the Grishaverse shall continue, hopefully very soon.

What were your favorite things about King of Scars?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

8 Cunning Things about Leigh Bardugo’s “Crooked Kingdom”

“Crooked Kingdom”

Grishaverse #5; Six of Crows #2

by Leigh Bardugo

NIKKI’S RATING: 8 OUT OF 10

Summary: Double-crossed by a merchant and the man who killed his brother, Kaz Brekkar is preparing to go to war. As his gang of misfits come together to save the Wraith and even the score, Kaz will need be the ruthless monster of The Barrel as they take on not just two men but the whole town of Ketterdam as word gets out that Kaz is protecting the only person who can create parem, the super addictive and deadly drug that gives Grisha god-like powers.

8 Cunning Things about Leigh Bardugo’s Crooked Kingdom

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Grishaverse

“Crooked Kingdom” features characters from the Shadow and Bone Trilogy and even though it is a brief glimpse, it is always to see previous characters again. It is like bumping into an old friend.

2. World Building

Bardugo has done an amazing job of building the Grishaverse world and she continues weaving the tapestry. One element of world building that is very prominent in “Crooked Kingdom” is the politics in Kerch. It is drastically different in comparison to Ravka or Fjerda making her universe believable and brings diversity to her fictional world.

3. LGBTQ

As with her previous novels, Bardugo includes characters who identify as LGBTQ. Jesper and Wylan are adorable and thankfully Wylan gets his own face back to keep Jesper from making mistakes again.

4. Raising the Dead

While Nina grieves the loss of her original powers, her new powers are pretty badass while also disturbing. Basically a necromancer, Nina can control the dead in certain aspects, a perversion of her Corporalki powers after consuming parem.

5. Balance

One of my favorite elements of the Grishaverse is the universe’s mandate of balance. This was seen in the Shadow and Bone Trilogy in many ways, the Fold being created by the Darkling on accident, a place where his powers were utterly useless and then when Alina attempts to become super powerful, her powers are scattered amongst thousands of others and she is left with nothing. In the Six of Crows series we see this with the madness and death usually brought on by the consumption of parem or in Nina’s case, since she survived, her powers were altered. There is a cost, a balance to be maintained.

6. Emotional

“Crooked Kingdom” kept me on my toes mostly because I was so afraid of one or more characters dying and then when everything seemed safe Matthias was killed. I’m still upset about this death, Nina and Matthias were meant to have a happily-ever-after. It was so devastating to read their goodbye scene, absolutely killed me!

7. Hope

Regardless of the pain, turmoil, and trauma that all the characters have gone through, especially Kaz and Inej, “Crooked Kingdom” ends on a positive note. The book concludes with each character planning for the future, a brighter one, each of them grasping onto hope.

8. King of Scars

With the glimpse of the characters from the Shadow and Bone trilogy, it is only fitting that Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse continues with those characters and a return to Ravka in “King of Scars” book 1 in the Nikolai Duology.

What were your favorite things about Crooked Kingdom?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

9 Skillful Things about Leigh Bardugo’s “Six of Crows”

“Six of Crows”

Grishaverse Book 4; Six of Crows Book 1

by Leigh Bardugo

NIKKI’S RATING: 9 OUT OF 10

Summary: Ruthless and monstrous criminal Kaz Brekkar is the best there is. A picklocking master, Kaz is truly a devious genius and trickster who only wants more. More power, more money, more respect. And when the opportunity presents itself, Kaz grabs at it. Faced with the impossible task of breaking into the Ice Court of Fjarda, Kaz picks his team of rogues and misfits carefully. But upon arriving to Fjarda, Kaz and his team realize that they may have gotten more than they bargained for as rival teams attempt to take them out and the Grisha they come across are powerful beyond anything they have seen and completely strung out on a new drug.

9 Skillful Things about Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Grishaverse

The Grishaverse is a fantastic universe and it was a pleasure to have “Six of Crows” take place outside of Ravka and in Kerch. Bardugo does a great job of having Kerch feel distinctly different from Ravka in culture, economy, traditions, religion, etc. but making sure that they fit cohesively in the same world.

2. Disability

Often in the media, people with disabilities are overlooked and are usually a side character but Bardugo includes a main character with a disability, Kaz limps and uses a cane to aid him. This inspiration stems from Bardugo’s struggle in her own life with osteonecrosis in which she sometimes needs to walk with a cane.

3. Inej

Inej is a great female protagonist as she is a badass. She is both feminine, even slight in stature, and deadly. Inej has been traumatized and abused in the worst of ways but still remains spiritual and hopeful for a better future. She is a great example of resiliency and grace in the face of adversity.

4. Kaz

A devious con artist, Kaz is an intriguing protagonist as he is not really a “good guy.” He is feared amongst the Barrel gangs of Ketterdam, is ruthless with his enemies, and is constantly looking for ways to swindle more money from unsuspecting tourists; overall a crook through and through. And yet, you want Kaz to have the upperhand in the end and win.

5. Matthias & Nina

Probably my two favorite characters in “Six of Crows,” I love the story between Matthias and Nina. What is so powerful about their story is the discrimination that they must both overcome to eventually realize how they truly feel about each other. Both of them are able to come to terms with the fact that they have been misguided in what they were taught about each others’ people. It’s a great lesson into thinking about our own bias and judgments that may be completely false.

6. Twists and Turns

“Six of Crows” really is a masterpiece of twists and turns. It is a true adventure of misfits with high stakes gambles and impossible situations that keeps readers on their toes.

7. Humor

With all the dire situations they are put through, the characters throughout “Six of Crows” keep a hilarious and believable banter between them. Bardugo has a great sense of humor and she effectively uses it throughout all her novels.

8. Writing

As always, Bardugo’s writing is superb. “Six of Crows” moves at a quick pace with compelling and colorful characters with great character development and an exciting plot.

9. Crooked Kingdom

The gang’s fate concludes in the next Grishaverse book “Crooked Kingdom.”

What were your favorite things about Six of Crows?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

9 Rewarding Things about Leigh Bardugo’s “Ruin and Rising”

“Ruin and Rising”

Grishaverse Book 3; The Shadow and Bone Trilogy Book 3

by Leigh Bardugo

NIKKI’S RATING: 9 OUT OF 10

Summary: Unable to use her powers, Alina Starkov is a prisoner once again but this time to the cunning Apparat, the spiritual leader of Ravka who tends to change sides whenever it suits him. While Nikolai attempts to keep the Darkling busy focusing on him, Alina’s allies come together to help her escape. As they travel across Ravka searching for the last amplifier, Alina comes to discover that the cost may be too high. In order to stop the Darkling, Alina will have to destroy herself and kill the man she’s loved since childhood.

9 Rewarding Things about Leigh Bardugo’s Ruin and Rising

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Genya

Genya’s storyline is tragic and yet beautiful. While her looks get ruined she not only remains true to Alina and what she believes in, she eventually shows the same confidence and sassiness she had prior to her punishment, looks be damned. Genya gets all she deserves in the end, her man David, a pardon, and a leadership role.

2. LGBTQ

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy included the LGBTQ community through the characters Nadia and Tamar who were an openly lesbian couple. And I loved that in the Grishaverse this was not seen as abnormal, no one commented on it, made a fuss, and the characters weren’t trying to hide their feelings. Hopefully our world can become that accepting one day.

3. Writing

“Ruin and Rising” was written well with great pacing and was absolutely emotional. It was a hard book to put down and it was difficult to say goodbye to the characters in the end.

4. Sun Summoners

The great twist of the three amplifiers, power multiplied a thousand fold but not in one person but shared amongst many otkazat’sya. This twist was so unexpected and yet, made sense with Morozova’s story and the need for balance in the end.

5. The Darkling

Aleksander, the Darkling, another tale of tragedy. While he needed to be stopped, his end is truly sad. All he wanted was to not be alone but he always would be in his power, in his greatness, he had no equal. The Darkling was evil, he did horrible things but there was a goodness to him, a human quality of wanting to be loved, accepted, and cherished.

6. Mal & Alina

OMG! Just an emotional rollercoaster with these two! I’m so relieved that Mal and Alina ended up together in the end, I was really unsure if they would both survive. After everything they had been through with each other, they deserve their happy ending.

7. The Future

While Alina is no longer in the picture, I love that Nikolai embraces her ideas for the future of the Grisha. The leadership for the Grisha will be shared amongst representatives from each order and together they will lead the Second Army, maintaining a safe haven for the Grisha in their world.

8. Bittersweet

Overall, “Ruin and Rising” had a bittersweet ending and it was fitting. Alina and Mal both lost their “gifts”, Nikolai and Genya are forever scarred, and they all have some serious PTSD. However, they all move forward and they appreciate and embrace the happiness that they are able to find. Such is life.

9. Six of Crows

While Mal and Alina’s story has ended with their happily-ever-after, the Grishaverse continues on in Leigh Bardugo’s “Six of Crows.”


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

9 Superior Things about Leigh Bardugo’s “Siege and Storm”

“Siege and Storm”

Grishaverse Book 2; The Shadow and Bone Trilogy Book 2

by Leigh Bardugo

NIKKI’S RATING: 9 OUT OF 10

Summary: Prisoners of the Darkling, Mal and Alina are forced to hunt Morozova’s next amplifier, the legendary ice dragon Rusaly. Just when it seems that there is no hope, they are rescued by the most unlikely person and dropped into the vindictive and superficial Ravka court. As Alina tries to lead the Second Army and find a way to save them all, she is being haunted by the Darkling and comes to realize that they may not be so different after all.

9 Superior Things about Leigh Bardugo’s Siege and Storm

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Grishaverse

Bardugo’s greatest accomplishment as a writer is her world-building skills. There are so many tiny details about the Grishaverse that make it wholeheartedly believable and interesting. While Ravka is influenced by Imperial Russia, Fjerda appears to be influenced by the Norse, while Shu Han appears to have Asian influence. I suspect the Wandering Isle may be inspired by Ireland but I could be wrong. Regardless, as one would expect all these nations have diverse cultures and ways in which they deal with their Grisha, looking forward to learning more about each of them.

2. Grisha Magic

Another testament to Bardugo’s wonderful imagination is the lore, especially surrounding the Grisha and their magic. The idea that it is not necessarily “magic” but manipulation of natural elements and that there is a balance that must be maintained creates a unique spin on the concept.

3. Amplifiers

The amplifiers are a neat idea; the “rule” that a Grisha may only have one and that some Grisha are actual amplifiers makes things much more interesting. And then of course, there are Morozova’s amplifiers that are legendary beings, which are totally awesome and beautiful. I just wish they didn’t have to kill them, like why would you kill a legendary, mythical being, its just wrong!

4. Sturmhond

Sturmhond aka Nikolai Lantsov is a fantastic character and quite possibly my favorite. While handsome, he is incredibly intelligent, kind, cunning, and most importantly hilarious. Regardless of all the darkness, challenges, and heartache happening, Nikolai keeps his humor and positive outlook. He is the much needed comic relief!

5. Mal

The hero of our story, Mal is another beloved character of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy. He is steadfast, loyal, good looking and all around good guy. While it is heartbreaking to watch his self-destructive behavior, it really shows how much Alina means to him and how much he will put himself through to do the right thing.

6. Alina

While not the most fascinating female protagonist, there is an element of darkness in Alina that makes her alluring. Her desire for more power makes her more relatable and human and really adds to her character development.

7. Connection

The connection between Alina and the Darkling is very intriguing and makes sense. They are connected through their unique powers, their drive for more power, and wanting to “save” Ravka from itself. Just as Alina learns that there is some goodness in the Darkling, there is some darkness in herself. There is no light without darkness and vice versa. It’s all about balance.

8. Emotional

“Siege and Storm” was an emotional rollercoaster for me. Bardugo can seriously pull on some heartstrings. Being the romantic, the only thing I want is for Mal and Alina to have a happily ever after and I’m getting a sick feeling that I may not get what I want.

9. Ruin and Rising

Thankfully this is not the end for Alina and Mal, the Grishaverse continues in Book 3 of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, “Ruin and Rising”

What were your favorite things about Siege and Storm?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.