When Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone came out in 2012, few could predict how successful the first book of the Grisha Trilogy was going to be. Almost ten years later, the books taking place in the same world, collectively known as The Grishaverse are many and well-loved – and accompanied by an excellent Netflix show. So, will there be another Grishaversebook?
In many ways, Shadow and Bone, which was followed by Siege and Storm (2013) and Ruin and Rising (2014) are typical YA fantasy novels of their time; a time that involved characteristics that are much less appreciated today than they were now. The trilogy was the first-person narration of Alina, a teenage girl like many female protagonists of many late 2000s and early 2010s YA books: special without realizing it, destined to save the world, prone to silly decisions, and all in all quite plain in the opinion of everyone apart from the manymale characters pursuing her.
But in other ways, the first Grishaverse trilogy felt like just a beginning. The world-building, the interesting magic system, and the entire mythology Bardugo created deserved to be explored further – and they were. Six of Crows (2015) and Crooked Kingdom (2016) came right after the first trilogy, and they were everything a YA of the time should be.
It seems that the author is much better with ensemble casts, diverse characters, and relationships that will stay with you for long after you've closed the book. In that sense, the Grisha Trilogy might feel a bit like an exercise before something brilliant could be created.
That being said, Shadow and Bone was a very good exercise. Alina and Mal might have been a boring couple but they were still surrounded by a secondary cast more layered than most; Nikolai, a second-born prince with an interesting agenda and killer humor, Zoya, a seemingly stereotypical rival who proves herself to be a fan-favorite with hidden depths, and Genya, a Grisha Taylor willing to do anything to survive – to name just a few.
These characters deserved an adventure all their own and got it with King of Scars (2019) and Rule of Wolves (2021), another duology, focusing on formerly secondary characters trying to rebuild the Kingdom of Ravka following the events of the first trilogy. The duology was quite well-received, and, with the Netflix series having been renewed for a second season, we can expect that the demand for more Grishaverse stories will stay strong.
In an NPR interview, author Leigh Bardugo talked about the increased violence in Rule of Wolves, the subverted expectations for several characters, and the future of Grishaverse.
The author feels that the Netflix series – in the production of which she's involved – seemed like the right moment to step back, and possibly work on other projects, although another Grishaverse book can't be ruled out: "There are so many stories I want to write and worlds I want to explore." Bardugo concluded. "I have every intention of returning to the Grishaverse; I just don't know when. So I wrote Rule of Wolves as a finale, a "farewell for now."
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