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Garlan the Gallant

Shadow and Bone

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Is this series good? It’s pretty highly rated on Goodreads and has a Netflix show coming out that has an interesting looking trailer. I know that the series is geared towards YA which has always been very hit and miss, at least for me. So is this just another YA series with inflated Goodreads ratings or is it actually quality fantasy?

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9 hours ago, Garlan the Gallant said:

Is this series good? It’s pretty highly rated on Goodreads and has a Netflix show coming out that has an interesting looking trailer. I know that the series is geared towards YA which has always been very hit and miss, at least for me. So is this just another YA series with inflated Goodreads ratings or is it actually quality fantasy?

It's a solid series with an excellent setting (derived from Russian influences) but a fairly rote and standard story (a chosen one who has to save the world with her powers, ambivalent relationship with the antagonist, lots of people running around rebelling).

The Six of Crows duology (the second series in the same world, which will also be adapted by the TV show) is by most reports far superior, and withstands favourable comparisons to The Lies of Locke Lamora.

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I really enjoyed the first book despite a few 'mean girl' cliche points that didn't add to the overall story.  I thought the trilogy as a whole struggled from there.

But as Wert said, Six of Crows was very solid and could easily be read as a stand alone. 

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I enjoyed the trilogy. It does definitely use some familiar fantasy tropes and the Russian-inspired setting is probably the most distinctive thing about it. At times some things were a bit predictable but there were also times where the story went in a direction I didn't expect. The characterisation was generally fairly good although sometimes the supporting characters were more interesting than the leads and the protagonist's best friend/romantic interest was dull enough that apparently I can't even remember his name now.

3 hours ago, SkynJay said:

But as Wert said, Six of Crows was very solid and could easily be read as a stand alone. 

I agree, I think that's the best she's written so far.

I did also enjoy the Language of Thorns collection which is a set of short stories inspired by various European fairy tales set in the same world.

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It's definitely heavy on the YA "tortured young person romance" trope, but I thought the series was overall pretty enjoyable. But I agree that Six of Crows is better and yes, those two books (Six of Crows; Crooked Kingdom) you could definitely read without having read the Shadow and Bones series. 

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I generally liked the Shadow and Bone trilogy for the setting, but the male and female leads could be more interesting. It showed potential so I'm open to reading the author's next books. I haven't watched the Netflix series.

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Of course, some things were somehow a little predictable, but there were also cases when the story developed in a completely unexpected direction.

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