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favourite 2017 books:

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay. I tilted my head back. The stars looked like they were close together, when really they were millions of miles apart. In the end, maybe love just meant longing for something impossibly bright and forever out of reach.

Things I expected out of the Grishaverse: action, cool spy stuff, thieving, adventure, royalty, mystical powers, and heartbreak.
Things I did not expect: to have pronounced some of these names so very, very wrong the entire time I read them.

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“You were wrong.” My voice was steady, but doubt rustled in my heart. The Darkling shook his head. “You cannot lie to me. Do you think I could have come to you again and again, if you had been less alone? You called to me, and I answered.”
I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing. “You … you were there?”
“On the Fold. In the palace. Last night.”
I flushed as I remembered his body on top of mine.
Shame washed through me, but with it came overwhelming relief. I hadn’t imagined it all.
- Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo

What I’m Salty About

Nikolina. Out of all the love interests, Nikolai is probably the only one that makes sense to me. Mal seems too forced and predictable. The Darkling is interesting, but quite impossible (although it’d be such a plot twist if Alina did end up with him, but that’s for another post). Out of all the love interests in the trilogy, Nikolai is the only one who never resents her power or want to manipulate her. Yes, he did want Alina to be his queen. But it was of course for the good of his country and he never coerced her to it. Even when it comes to kisses, Nikolai understands the concept of consent. There is a mutual respect between Nikolai and Alina. It was truly appalling how Alina never fell in love with him. Sentences written about how Alina felt towards Nikolai felt more real than the sentences about Mal. I loved the quote “I’d missed him. The way he talked. The way he attacked a problem. The way he brought hope with him wherever he went. For the first time in months, I felt the knot in my chest ease” because isn’t it how you’re supposed to feel about someone you love? While troubles in a relationship is guaranteed, relieve is supposed to be the overpowering feeling. This is how Alina felt about Nikolai; not miserable (Mal), or questioning your heart (Darkling). Nikolina was so good and pure, honestly believed they were going to be together. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the ending of R&R was alright. It was bittersweet, but unsatisfying. I can’t help but feeling that Bardugo gave us false hope for Nikolina (and Alarkling). Although I understand why she chose to end the series that way, I will never stop wanting this ship to happen. 

my top 10 fav characters introduced in siege and storm

1. Nikolai Lantsov
2. Sturmhond
3. the second son of the Queen of Ravka
4. Korol Rezni
5. The Too-Clever Fox, as Alina calls him
6. Vasily’s little brother
7. The ‘bastard prince’
8. scourge of the true sea
9. the prince who masquerades as a privateer
10. the pirate king