Leigh Bardugo in Philippines

Last June 21st, we had the privilege to meet the Best Selling Author of the epic Grisha Trilogy, Leigh Bardugo. The event was held at the National Book Store Glorietta 1 branch.

I arrived there by 7 in the morning. The line of the attendees was pretty much long when I got there. It turned out that I was 98th. Not bad for me who came late. Anyway, kudos to the early birds who came there a day before the event. The registration of the event begun at 10AM. I was surprised to get some freebies. We were given “Grisha for Life” pins and Six of Crows bookmarks. Aghhhh, the beauty of these little things:

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The event started ¬†past 2PM. The feeling of overwhelming joy flowed in my system. Because it’s LEIGH BARDUGO in front of me!!! Thank goodness tears did not flow. Lol. We all gave her our warm welcome. Then, as per usual, the NBS events host does her interview with the author.

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In the interview, Leigh thanked her Filipino fans and told us how fun her trip have been so far. Also, here are some points that were touched during the Q & A portion ūüėČ

*Her favorite Filipino food is pork adobo.

*She always knew who Alina is going to end up with.

*Leigh mentioned that the paperback copies of ¬†Ruin and Rising will be available in August. ¬†There will be a sneak peek for what she called “The Darkling Collection”. She said that it’s ¬†going to be entitled “Demon in the Wood”. (Honestly, this one made me freak out. OMG! I CANNOT WAIT!!!!)

*It was easier for her to write about the bad characters than the good ones.

*On her advise to¬†her fans, she said “Read everything. Never be ashamed reading of young adult”.

*Leigh also told us about what we can expect with her newest series, Six of Crows.

 

Finally, after a looong wait..we get to have our books signed and our pictures taken with her.

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She’s so nice and friendly. Thank goodness, I didn’t stutter while talking to her. She’s got that personality which will put you into ease when talking to her. I was pretty much proud of myself for being able to make a decent conversation. Lol. I had so much feels..so much happiness. Here’s my babies with her sign on them:

 

 

 

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Book Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher:  Henry Holt and Co. (June 7, 2014)

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 422

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction‚ÄĒand claiming it could cost Alina the very future she‚Äôs fighting for.

Finally, the last book in the series!!!!¬†The frustration of not having a copy of this book ready in my hands when I finished Siege and Storm was a real struggle. My feeling when I started it was somehow bittersweet. It made me feel as if I’m going to be saying goodbye to the characters who I have grown to love.

Back to the story, it started out pretty slow with Alina still recovering from her confrontation with The Darkling. The Apparat was annoying and creepy as always. Oh that moment of victory when Alina, Mav, and company beat the Apparat in ruling “Alina’s faithful followers” was pure bliss. Badass moments in books make my day.

Saints. This book played with every emotion that I was capable of having. I want everyone to be safe and sound including the Darkling but except the Apparat ( I really don’t like him). Ugh and what happened to Baghra and Nikolai, it just really broke my heart. I told you, those characters make me love them.

The whole time I was reading Ruin and Rising, I kept on hoping, hoping that The Darkling would be redeemed. I was praying that he would change but there are things we cannot have.

This book is a masterpiece!. I highly recommend it. Miss Bardugo, you have an exceptional writing style. Kudos! I am so pumped up for Six of Crows!

 

5-rating

Book Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher:  Square Fish (June 4, 2013)

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 435

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
Siege and Storm is the second book in The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.

After finishing Shadow and Bone, I cannot help but be obsessed to get the copy of Siege and Storm. So days after, as soon as I can go to the bookstore, I bought this treasure. Honestly, the last chapter of the first book in the series almost made me have a heart attack. I mean, you never know what the Darkling could do. I love him but he is pretty much scary.

Anyway, we continue our journey with Alina and Mal in an unfamiliar land. Both of them hiding their true identities to avoid the wrath of The¬†Darkling. Until one day, their luck runs out and they are forced to come with him. They board a ship with the privateer, Sturmhond and his crew. They journeyed to find Alina’s second key to becoming more powerful.

 

It still was an engrossing read. There were plot twists that I really did not see coming. All the new additions to the list of characters made me enjoy it more. I especially loved Sturmhond. I didn’t expect him to be someone so important in Ravka. I also love the loyalty of his crew. His charm and humor brought some brightness to the darkness of the theme of the book. I also confess that I also shipped him with Alina. ‚̧

Although I enjoyed the plot and the character additions, I think the pacing was a bit slow. There are moments when I just want to jump out to my most awaited scene on the book. They had these preparations and training and stuff but there were times, I’m all like.. “I WANT THE ACTION!!!”. My Darkling dose was also minimal in this book. I think I miss him like Alina did. Oh and the apparition effect between them was impressive. Pretty much anything the Grishas can make me envious of them. ūüėÄ

Anyhoo, the last chapters made me sitting on the edge. The confrontation between our main characters was intense. Ms. Bardugo wrote it amazingly. Again, I will say that it was as if I am watching a movie.

I think I liked Shadow and Bone better than this one. It’s just because I felt like I expected to read more action scenes and more Darkling, of course. I still really enjoyed it though, thanks to last few chapters which blew my mind away.

4-rating

Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher:  Square Fish (June 5, 2012)

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 372

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, she is sure of only one thing: her best friend, Mal–and her inconvenient crush on him. Until the day their army regiment enters the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. When their convoy is attacked and Mal is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power not even she knew existed.

Ripped from everything she knows, Alina is taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With Alina’s extraordinary power in his arsenal, he believes they can finally destory the Fold. Now Alina must find a way to master her untamed gift and somehow fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. As the threat to the kingdom mounts and her dangerous attraction to the Darkling grows, Alina will uncover a secret that could tear her heart–and her country–in two.lina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, she is sure of only one thing: her best friend, Mal–and her inconvenient crush on him. Until the day their army regiment enters the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. When their convoy is attacked and Mal is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power not even she knew existed.

Ripped from everything she knows, Alina is taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With Alina’s extraordinary power in his arsenal, he believes they can finally destory the Fold. Now Alina must find a way to master her untamed gift and somehow fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. As the threat to the kingdom mounts and her dangerous attraction to the Darkling grows, Alina will uncover a secret that could tear her heart–and her country–in two.

 

I am so glad to be back again after 5849364 years! It’s been such a busy month for me. But gladly, I am able to go back to reading and blogging. ūüėÄ

Okay, okay.

Grisha Trilogy has actually been on my TBR for a long time. Good thing that Leigh Bardugo happens to have a book signing here in our country, so I finally realized to start getting into the series.¬†All I know about the book is that it’s set in a place inspired by Russia and there is this main character named The Darkling.

From the first page of the book, it¬†definitely caught my interest. The story opens at an orphanage where our main character, Alina grew up in. There, they got visited by the Grishas, an army led by the mysterious Darkling. I love the feeling that I had when I was reading the book. It was as if I am reading a childhood fairy tale. It was like a start to this magical fantasy world that’s playing in my mind like a movie.

Then, fast forward to several years later. We meet Alina and Mal as a part of Ravka’s military on their way to¬†cross¬†the Shadow Fold. It is a portion of their country where it is engulfed by ultimate darkness where monsters known as volcras live.

Despite the fantastic world building, it took me some time to like Alina’s character. At first, she’s this¬†girl you will perceive to be annoying because she is too dependent on her best friend Mal. It’s like she can’t do anything special. All she does is be worried and be scared.

Then, something miraculous happens when Alina and other members of the military pass through the Fold. She discovers ta power she never knew she had. That’s the day everything in her life changed.

Good bye to the scared little girl and hello to this strange new girl with awesome powers. Later on, Alina turned out to be someone that you’ll really love. She’s got the determination and you’ll get to identify with her. I love how much she grew as a character, from a weakling..she became so strong and independent.

Oh and of course, I would not forget the Darkling. Gods, I love him so much. I know he’s really a terrible character but he got me and my heart. Lol. I don’t know but I feel that he has this good person inside him but he doesn’t want to be vulnerable. Imagine my frustration every time he does something horrible. I want Alina to redeem him.

Meanwhile, I also like Mal. He’s adorable and he’s the best friend that any girl would want to have. Surprisingly, I also cared about Mal too much..but I’m on Team Darkling!

I am so in awe with Grishas! They are so cool! I want to have their powers, especially the powers of a Heartender and a Fabrikator.

My final rating:

4-rating