Welcome to a new entry in my Good Books category. Recently I read several books that I enjoyed a lot, books that entertained me, captivated my interest and made me excited for more. Two of these books are "The Raven Boys" by Maggie Stiefvater & "Shadow and Bone" by Leigh Bardugo. Both books are fantasy from the YA section, both are the first books in trilogies, the first one is set in our world but with some extra magical elements, the second one is set in a world were magic rules over everything else.
"The Raven Boys" is the second book by Maggie Stiefvater I read. A few months earlier I read "The Scorpio Races", loved the first half of it and did not really enjoy the second one. So of course I was a bit anxious about giving "The Raven Boys" a chance. Looking back I'm very happy that I decided to go and buy the book shortly after it was released. I didn't read a lot of reviews on the book before reading it myself, for once I wanted to go into the book without having too many thoughts by other readers on my mind.
first sentence: "Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she'd been told that she would kill her true love".
Shortly after I began with "The Raven Boys" I knew that I would work for me. Right from the start on I loved Stiefvater's writing style and I especiallly enjoyed reading about the main characters. They were so complex, felt so real and at times made me laugh out loud, other times their actions frustrated me a lot and they always fascinated me.
From beginning to end the book managed to put me under a spell. Ok, some of the fantasy elements did not fascinate me that much, some developments in the story were not perfect for me, but still I enjoyed reading every page of this great book. You can bet that I will go on with the second book in this series, especially because the last sentence of the book made me scream "What the hell happened here?!?".
If you like reading books with great characters, magic, deadly predictions, old kings and adventure, then please give "The Raven Boys" a chance.
When I started reading my German version of "Shadow & Bone" by Leigh Bardugo (German version published by Carlsen), I knew pretty much from the first sentences one that I would love reading the book. That I would love going with the main characters Alina and Maljen on a dangerous, dark and seductive adventure. That I would love the magical world Leigh Bardugo created for her fantasy trilogy. Sometimes it's love at first word!
first sentence: "The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest, and because they haunted the Duke’s house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches."
Alina and Maljen are characters that are not perfect. Sometimes they act in a stupid way, sometimes the lure of power can weaken their beliefs. And sometimes they need a damn long time to realize what is right in front of them. I loved that the characters in "Shadow and Bone" were allowed to be imperfect, that they were allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. Added to that I loved the dark world Leigh Bardugo created. A world in which intrigues, power plays and deadly plans are business as usual. A world in which nothing is easy and nearly everything is dangerous.
When I finished the last sentence of "Shadow and Bone" I needed to take a deep breath, because I felt as if I had been on a great adventure myself. And after that deep breath the excitement for book #2 started to grow and grow. A few more months of waiting and I will finally know what will happen next.