Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Reread Discussion: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Last week I went out of my comfort zone again and reread another book! This time I tackled one of my favorites.

I was honestly kind of scared to read it again because I was really worried that I might not like it anymore. I read it a few years ago and fell in love, but after not loving Six of Crows or King of Scars, I thought maybe my tastes had just changed that much. Alas, after a year of putting it off, I finally gave it another read and here's how it went (Spoilers, obviously):

  • I had a hard time focusing on the story. It was weird, but I was so focused on trying to decide if I liked it that I found myself reading but not really absorbing the story. 
  • Another reason I had trouble focusing was because I kept trying to figure out what the characters would look like in the show. I couldn't fully enjoy the Darkling because I was too busy thinking about who could possibly be cast to play him! (Any ideas?) 
  • Leigh Bardugo's style of writing characters changed DRASTICALLY between the Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows. All of the characters are so much more snarky ALL THE TIME in Six of Crows and it carried over to King of Scars. I found the way the characters interacted in her later series to be really unrealistic and found the characters of the Grisha Trilogy to be much more relatable. 
  • Mal is still soggy bread. He's so bland and useless and I still can't stand the way he treats Alina once she embraces her power, even in book one of the series. I thought maybe I'd grown as a person and would love Mal now, but nope. Still hate him.
  • Similarly, I still adore the Darkling. Another reason I had a hard time focusing was that, after reading King of Scars and having DARKLING BAD shoved down my throat for 500 pages, I tried really hard to see the Darkling as pure evil. There were times when I thought that maybe his "feelings" toward Alina were a big manipulation, but I really don't think they were. I know that he's definitely evil, but I still have sympathy for him and understand the reasons behind his actions, even if they aren't great. Reading about how he thinks again makes me wonder if he might actually get that redemption arc after all. 
  • I liked seeing all the places that come into play in Six of Crows. Obviously they were there before, but I didn't pay much attention and didn't remember them being mentioned when I picked up Six of Crows. It's cool to see it all come together. I'll have to keep an eye out to see if Ketterdam is mentioned in future books. I wonder if Leigh had that series planned already while writing this or if she just wrote it to fit the world. 
  • I definitely can't wait to read book two and compare Nikolai of this series to Nikolai of the book. I'm curious to see if he's as different between the two as I think he is. 
  • Reading this was like coming home to the Ravka I remembered after the really weird experience that was King of Scars. It's so bizarre going back to this after reading that and being reminded of how much different the two books feel. 

So in the end, I still really love this book! I did have a hard time paying attention for all the reasons I mentioned, but I really enjoyed starting this series again. I can't wait to dive back in again with Siege and Storm! 

What past favorite are you scared to read again? 
Have you ever hated a book you used to love?
Let me know in the comments!