Time has passed since the end of the Grisha trilogy and the Six of Crows duology. The country of Ravka has tentative peace, but is still threatened by enemies without and within. King Nicholai is determined to heal his country, but carries a secret that may threaten everything he has planned.
Okay that synopsis is awful but I didn’t want to give anything away that might spoil early volumes in the Grishaverse. This is the first of two books in this particular subset of the series, and it can be read without reading the previous two series, but as you might imagine, the reading is richer if you have. Personally, I haven’t gone back to the original Grisha trilogy since Ruin and Rising released nearly five years ago, because I really disliked the ending of that book/trilogy. I don’t remember as well the events that took place in Ruin and Rising. That left me catching up a little here, trying to make connections, but I had no trouble understanding the story even without memory serving me well.
And despite what I said about disliking the end of the first series, I’ve continued to read and enjoy the books Bardugo has published in the Grishaverse. I like the continuity of characters, the evolution of magic and country and culture over a troubling time in Ravkan history. The story in this book is new, a continuation of lives for several characters I’d grown to love in the past. I really do love to be able to watch as the world keeps moving for beloved characters. The new story itself was interesting and extremely tense in places, and I’m really looking forward to the conclusion of the series when it releases. And I’ll keep my thoughts to those few, because to say more would inevitably wade into spoiler territory.