Y’all. I’m here to say, loudly and proudly, I like fantasy. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before, maybe because I get confused by book genres, but I’m a real fan and delighted to keep finding new fun books to dive into thanks to the CBR community (hip hooray!) I don’t read a lot of YA so definitely have zero ideas of what’s new and hot in that sphere, so heard about this possibly at one of the Zoom book clubs (I think?) and got on the weight list for some Bardugo.
Confession: I’ve only read the Six of Crows series and have NOT read the Shadow and Bone trilogy which for me is almost sacrilege to go “out of order” but was told by the book people of CBR that this duology is superior to the trilogy, and stand-alone, so that’s what I did. I also heard the trilogy leans more heavily into some romance angles and the lack of that is one thing I liked about this series, so it remains to be seen if I’ll feel compelled to read S&B. Or maybe I’ll just jump into the Netflix series instead?
So, this book. I was a little surprised how the first book ending, thinking that Kaz and the gang were going to be more victorious in a straightforward way, so I was excited for the rest of the journey wherein I hoped that our “heroes” would beat the bad guys. I mean, everyone is a bad guy here, just to varying degrees, but I firmly wanted the “good” bad guys to win, vs the “bad” bad guys. Kaz finds himself surprised a number of times in this installment (and thus, the reader is surprised too) but the tricks up his sleeve never run dry.
I definitely wanted to keep reading but Bardugo got a little “paint by numbers” for me in the end with one of her character plot points, as if someone said, “the end of a series has to include x.” I don’t want to spoil so keeping myself deliberately vague. That said, I thought together these two books made for a delicious series and I’m going to be recommending them to anyone looking for a fun summer read. Also, and this might be sacrilege, but I almost think I might like filmed versions of these better than reading the books (!!!). I just really want to see the action happening, some of the scenes would be fantastic, and if S&B on Netflix is any indication we just might get that. (Pause for Googling).
Okay, well that is unexpected. Apparently, the S&B series is including Six of Crows in it, which is ambitious if not confusing since Six of Crows happens after, but if everyone’s meh assessment of the S&B books is accurate, maybe that’s not a bad idea? Color me intrigued…