by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Reading level: YA
Book type: short story
Before he ruled Ravka, before he was the Darkling, he was just a lonely boy with an extraordinary gift. In this prequel story to the New York Times-bestselling Grisha Trilogy, Leigh Bardugo takes us into Ravka's mysterious past, when Grisha lived as fugitives and the Darkling took his first steps on the path to power.
(synopsis from Goodreads)
For a short story, this was pretty good. Not spectacular, but just okay. You won't get much out of it if you haven't read the books of The Grisha trilogy, though; in fact, it will probably be rather confusing.
I did like seeing another side of the man who became the Darkling. If this had somehow been included in the books themselves, it would have helped to develop his character more. The events in this short little story help us understand him a little better; even so, I kind of wish there had been more. This is such an early incident in his life, and although I can see how it would have driven him to do some of the things he did later on, there are still a lot of unanswered questions.
So, like I said: it was good, but not great. It's worth reading, though, especially if you enjoyed the trilogy of full-length novels.
He understood then. The Grisha lived as shadows did, passing over the surface of the world, touching nothing, forced to change their shapes and hide in corners, driven by fear as shadows were driven by the sun. No safe place. No haven.
Overall Rating: 3.38 out of 5 ladybugs