Recently, I decided to reread The Grisha Trilogy in order to prepare myself for King of Scars. If you are planning on reading King of Scars, I would strongly suggest either either synopses online or reading The Grisha Trilogy because the whole cast of characters comes from those first books.
It’s been a long time since I read The Grisha Trilogy. The picture below is actually the one I used for my bookstagram. Look how much my style has changed since then!
It was actually one of the first fantasy series I picked up and one of the first books I reviewed for my blog. Sadly, my thoughts on the books the first time I read it wasn’t so great. I thought they were confusing, kind of surface, and a little exhausting. I was a little nervous about my second reading because of these issues. I was worried I’d have to slog through this book in order to get to King of Scars, which I was more excited about.
After reading these books again, I’m going to have to do a 180 on my feelings. OH MY GOODNESS! THESE BOOKS ARE AMAZING!
I’m mad at myself for not paying attention when I was younger and impressionable. I’m mad at myself for already making the decision that this series is bad. I’m mad at myself for not being loyal to Leigh Bardugo and the Grisha Universe because of my youth. This series made a whole lot more sense the second time around and it’s made me a fan of Leigh Bardugo’s for life.
I think that my life and my reading life has changed a lot since I last read The Grisha Trilogy. I’ve grown as a person, as a writer and a blogger, and I feel like my original thoughts on the books represent the person I used to be. I was also in a bad place in my life with a lot of anxiety and for some reason, these books triggered me.
I think the biggest lesson I learned from this reread is that I should reread more often. I should most definitely try to reread books that I didn’t like or had a lot of hype because there are just things you find more of the second time around. You can most definitely say that was the case for me. Here’s what I learned about the book the second go around:
First off, I thought The Darkling was not attractive. I imagined him with this cloak on all the time and you can never get a good glimpse of what he looked like. I don’t know how that image got put in my head, but after reading it again I find him to be one of those characters that makes you blush even though you don’t want him to. I also didn’t know that his relationship with Alina was so intimate, that they made out and had this weird Kylo Ren/Rey relationship. They love each other, but they hate each other so you find redeeming qualities under all the evil.
Secondly, I thought Alina was like a scared girl similarly to Katniss in The Hunger Games. Katniss did a lot of complaining about how she didn’t want to be a fighter. She didn’t want to be the face of the revolution. She just wanted to run away with Peeta and Gale and be happy. I imagined Alina as the same. She’s a person with a power that no one else has, but she didn’t want it. I don’t know how this got into my head because what I got out of this book is that she fought tooth and nail against the Darkling. She wanted to erase the effects of the Darkling’s power even if it means sacrificing herself. She was a fighter, a stronger person than Katniss by far and I’m sorry to have compared the two.
Third, Leigh Bardugo loves to throw a big curveball right in the middle of the book. Most books either have smaller curveballs thrown throughout the novel or they save that juiciness for the end of the book (usually with a cliffhanger, so you have to wait for the next book to see what happens). Leigh Bardugo just goes and throws a huge wrench into the plot right in the middle of the book. It’s like you’re reading one book, then it changes and you’re reading the second book. It’s almost like the intermission of a play where you take a break before the big finale. The best part, it keeps you reading. The wrenches she likes to throw into the books are big plot changers. You want to keep reading to see how the rest of the book pans out. You have to know if the characters will be alright. Whatever you thought was going to happen or any predictions you may have had change and I absolutely love when I’m surprised.
I think the last thing I learned is that sometimes I need to take a step back from a book. Something that I didn’t like might look differently in a few days, weeks, months, years. I need to make space for these books and reread them because our lives change and our tastes change and what we loved may not always be the books we loved.
And you can seriously surprise yourself.
Any books you didn’t like the first time but loved the second time?