March is a special month – you’ve made it a 1/3 of the way through your year – and I have opted to go a more fantasy route with my author choice.
You have maybe kept with your resolutions, maybe even deferred to new ones and maybe you just quit all together. And that’s ok…there are books with people who live lives like that. Are given and resolving to who they are when something spectacular happens. For good or bad, it happens and it can change you irrevocably or normally or almost so slightly, it’s imperceivable. So this month’s author is someone who changed her characters, irrevocably and her readers ached.
My Author of the Month:
Is it any surprise it is Leigh Bardugo? Gosh, I hope not. Here’s the skinny – and this is a no hold barred:
The first series I read by her was her Grisha Verse series. The series is made up of Shadow and Bone (#1), Siege and Storm (#2) and Ruin and Rising (#3) and I believe is a retelling of a sort of Russian folklore/fairytales. I could be wrong, that’s not really the point. It wasn’t my favorite – it wasn’t bad, it just was middle of the ground for me and it was beautifully written, never doubt that! It introduced me to terms and mythology I am not at all familiar with – but it also introduced me to Nikolai. He was a breath of fresh, sassy air. But ultimately it taught me that like calls to like. No matter your light, you hold a bit of dark. It doesn’t make you any less or more of who you are. It makes you, you.
After that, Amazon pestered me to read Six of Crows duology and as some know, I am not a multi-POV person. In fact, I hate reading multiple points-of-view stories. I get confused, most are written with steep cliffhangers at the end of chapters that take PAGES and PAGES to get back to and honestly annoy me. But then one day, I figured – hey! Nikolai is still the love of my life, let me just try to do this. And I am so glad I did.
The duology was made up of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom – the story of The Dredgs gang, led by the beautifully, enigmatic Kaz with a strong, bad ass in Inej, a comedic and tragic Nina, brutish and loyal Mattias and a deeply charming Jasper (there are others). The POV was layered so each chapter generally started overlapping the previous chapter’s story. So when you were in the room with Kaz, Inej, Jasper, Waylan, Nina and Mattias and you were seeing it through Inej, the next chapter showed you Jasper’s story within the same room before it broke off into his storyline. It was fun, it was heart-achy and ultimately, I got see a familiar love. It showed more of that overcoming and acceptance of self. They grew but within the space they were given and that was something to see.
But above all, I finished King of Scars. Phew! It was a heavy 500+ pages part 1 of a series that will continue for at least the next couple of years. It brought back Nikolai, three years after the end of Grisha Verse series and we meet this lovely, charming but dark-secreted King in his determination to feel whole again along with his right hand woman, strong, fiercely protective, Zoya and a familiar Nina. I can’t give more of that away, but it made my limbs ache at times, made my heart constrict. They were becoming more and it scared them.
It really isn’t a surprised I chose her for March because she writes people I want to know, root for and above hope they can overcome the obstacles with which have been strewn in their paths. Not to mention, I will get to see Nikolai in the flesh at some point on Netflix (among my other favorites from her books)!
Leigh Bardugo – without a doubt – can write a damn book. They are like conversations, linear with tiny branches that lead you back to the tree and roots of stories, legends and lores. I love her artistry and appreciate her contribution to YA novels. Her book of fairytales are beautiful and I fully implore anyone to take a look into her work if you want to read interesting world building, charming fairytale, and sassy men.