Today I want to talk to you about one of my favourite bookish universes: The Grishaverse. It consists of several books written by Leigh Bardugo. The first trilogy is called the Grisha Trilogy and its books are Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising. The next duology is the Six of Crows Duology with Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. There are a few novellas and a book with myths from the world, Language of Thorns. The newest book is King of Scars, the first in the Nikolai Duology.
Have you read any of those books already? What did you think? Who are your favourite characters? Which Grisha Order are you in? Urgh, so many questions but please talk Grisha to me.
Why is it called the Grishaverse?
The stories evolve mostly around specially gifted people, so-called Grisha. They are separated in different orders, depending on their magical abilities. There are the Corporalki who have power over bodies, the Etherealki are Summoners, usually of the elements, but there are some exceptions. The third order are the Materialki who are basically the researchers and builders. Grisha are born with their power, but usually it takes a few years until this power shows. In most countries, Grisha are disliked and mistrusted, in some they are even hunted and killed as witches.
Now: why do I love this universe so much?
Let’s start with the overall world, shall we? The countries are based on real countries, with very different nations and very different people. Each nation has a different type of social structure and system, they have different government types as well and they do specialize in things and trade with each other. A thing I like a lot about all of the books is how political they are. While politics are not always the main focus, there is always a political subplot. It is such a rich world with complex people(s) and history.
Then of course, there are the characters. I love so many of them, they are all precious. I just want to introduce you to some of my favourite favourites very quickly.
- The Darkling (Grisha Trilogy): My all-time favourite character, I just love him so much. He is a Grisha who can summon darkness and he is also one of the most powerful Grishas who ever lived. And he is ancient enough to never tell his real name. He is smart and ambitious and basically the embodiment of a Slytherin. Sorry to take HP in this, but he’s the stereotypical Slytherin and I love it. He leads the Grisha Army in Ravka, the Second Army. I will cry about him forever.
- Alina Starkov (The Grishs Trilogy): Alina is the main character in this series which is entirely told from her PoV. She is an orphan who discovers that she can summon light. She becomes part of the second Army and fights for her country even though all she wants is to be left alone. She develops so well, but always stays true to herself, even though that is hard sometimes.
- Nina Zenik (Six of Crows, Nikolai Duology): Nina is a Grisha of the Corporalki order. She’s a Heartrender, meaning she has the power to slow or fasten hearts. She is a bisexual sunshine who loves waffles. And she knows how to fight in several meanings of the word. She is looking good and knows how to use it, but she is also a strong Grisha.
- Inej Ghafa (Six of Crows): Wow, she is such a precious. She may look sweet and small, but she could probably murder you. And she would as well. Inej is a talented spy and is really good with knives. She is more of the quiet sort and has a good heart.
- Nikolai Lantsov (entire Grishaverse): My precious boy! Prince. Pirate. Whatever. I love him. His sharpest weapon is his mind, which he constantly uses. He sees possibility in everything and he knows how to talk himself out of situations into which he got himself in the same way beforehand. And he talks without a break. He knows people and types of people and can analyze them very well.
I know I said I love all of them. And I do. But I had to pick some favourites and I definitely adore every single one of them. They each are unique with individual character traits and layered personalities. What I probably like the most is that none of them is perfect. All of them makes mistakes and learns and has a wonderful development.
I don’t know what else to say, I just love everything about the Grishaverse. It is so dear to my heart, all the magic and the people, the world building and history, the writing which is a mixture of thrill, fun and beautiful details.There are so many quotes I absolutely adore.
I wish humans were able to show feelings because I don’t know how to describe the love I have for this universe.
And with that, I hope you share my love for the Grishaverse (if not, that’s ok too),
The Grisha books by Leigh Bardugo
The Grisha Trilogy:
- Shadow and Bone
- Siege and Storm
- Ruin and Rising
Six of Crows Duology:
- Six of Crows
- Crooked Kingdom
- King of Scars
- The Language of Thorns
- The Demon in the Woods (Darkling prequel)
- Little Knife
- The Witch of Duva
- The too-clever fox