A brief introduction to Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse

By Lisa Altendorf

Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse has become a well-known fantasy world, especially to YA enthusiasts. The Grishaverse consists of three series: the Grisha trilogy, the Six of Crows duology, and the King of Scars duology. But what even is a Grisha? Grishas are human beings that have an affinity for one of the so-called Small Sciences, which are divided into three orders: Corporalki, Etherealki and Materialki. These powers are connected to different elements which lead the categorization in one of these orders. Grisha are thus the basis of the magical world building that happens in the Grishaverse.

Apart from the magic, the world-building spans an amazing diversity of different, Europe-influenced cultures. While the Grisha trilogy takes place in a Russia-like country, Six of Crows takes the reader to Ketterdam, a place obviously inspired by Amsterdam, a Dutch city. Later, Scandinavian influences join the mixture of European cultures. King of Scars is a culmination of many more influences, creating a rich world that delights many readers.

Most popular and incredibly well-received is Six of Crows which tells the story of a group of misfits going on a heist – a plot that lends itself well to excitement and breathtaking cliffhangers. But even if the duology is praised everywhere, the roots of the Grishaverse should not be forgotten: it is recommendable to read the original Grisha trilogy first to avoid confusion that will definitely arise if Six of Crows is read first. Thus, proceed at your own caution if you do decide to skip the trilogy. Just be aware: King of Scars will be the ultimate spoiler and should only be read after both initial series have been devoured.

A short overview of the series in the order they should be read in:

Grisha Trilogy

  • Shadow & Bone
  • Siege & Storm
  • Ruin & Rising

Six of Crows Duology

  • Six of Crows
  • Crooked Kingdom

King of Scars Duology

  • King of Scars
  • Tba

Additional

  • Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (a collection of six stories set in the Grishaverse)

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