YA Real Talk: "The Grisha Trilogy" is the Next "Harry Potter"
I’ve gone on record stating that The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo is the one true and worthy successor to the Harry Potter throne. I said this before the series had wrapped itself up, that’s how enamored I was of the first two books, Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm. Now that the YA fantasy trilogy has FINALLY released the last installment, Ruin and Rising, I can go on record saying for sure that this book scratches the Hogwarts’ itch.
Below, a list of reasons why these books are the greatest things since Harry Potter AND sliced bread.
Ravka is The Best Fantasy World Since Hogwarts
I know you all love your Game of Thrones Westeros or whatever, and I’m not going to get up in your grill about that. (Heaven help the fool who messes with a GOT fan.) That said, I’m here to make a play for Ravka, a fantasy version of 19th century Russia that is the series’ setting. Ravka is basically like if Durmstrang from Harry Potter was as fun as Anastasia, the cartoon musical. The details are straight-up five-course-meal delicious. You know how you’ve been waiting for your letter for Hogwarts to come FOR YEARS? Read these books and you’ll also be waiting for the Grisha Inspectors to come to your house and declare you a Sun Summoner. I know you have no idea what I’m talking about, but just read the books and you will, I promise.
A Heroine Who Is Cranky And Lonely And Prone To Making So Many Mistakes
Heroines, they’re just like us! Except a lot of the time they’re not. Raise your hand if you’re tired of heroines who only kick ass and never cry or leading ladies whose fatal flaw is they’re “clumsy.” Alina Starkov of The Grisha Trilogy follows a well-worn heroine path (ordinary girl discovers she’s extraordinary and has to use her powers to save the world from darkness and stuff) but Alina is so deeply flawed (and always trying to remedy those flaws) that she makes us forgive the familiar packaging she comes bubble-wrapped in.
THREE Leading Men Who Are Too Sexy To Be Anything But YA Dudes
You meet the first two leading men in the first book, the last in the second book, and you see all three in the third book. Not only are these guys written to seem SO HANDSOME, they’re also, you know, really compelling and well-developed characters. Seriously, this book gave me the most crushes. I love Harry Potter with the fire of a thousand suns, but all that series gave me was Cedric Diggory, so, points for The Grisha Trilogy.
Great Female Friendships
There is sexy time with sexy dudes but also some really wonderfully complicated female friendships. And a GREAT female mentor who, at first skews Snape, but inevitably proves herself to be a Dumbledore-level teacher.
So Many Jokes
Look, I loved Twilight (especially the wolf parts, I’m not ashamed!) but those books did NOT make me laugh. Few YA fantasy novels do. HP is the rare exception (Will anyone ever make me laugh as hard as the Weasley Twins? Magic 8-ball says “Outlook not so good.”) But The Grisha Trilogy had me laughing on the regular.
I Could Never Guess ANY Of The Plot Twists
And there are so many. And they are so delicious. Buy this trilogy on a Friday and don’t make ANY weekend plans. Trust a girl.
The Ending is Perfect
You remember how angry-times everyone was about the Divergent series ending? YA reader anger almost burned a hole in Twitter! The ending of this trilogy is so monumentally satisfying and just plain right, that I can’t imagine ANYONE having qualms.
There’s More To Come!
So you know how we all want J.K. Rowling to write Harry Potter prequels about the Marauders (or Dumbledore and Grindelwald!) and she just ignores us and keeps writing mysteries under pseudonyms? So Leigh Bardugo has two more books coming out that are set in the Grisha-verse. The series is called The Dregs and it’s being described as a cross between Oceans 11 and Game of Thrones. I’m too excited, I can’t wait.
Any other Grisha Trilogy fans in the house? How can we conspire to get the whole world to read these a-mazing-times books?