Guess what! I succumbed to weakness and ordered a copy of Leigh Bardugo’s latest contribution to her Grishaverse, a collection of short stories called The Lives of Saints. It’s just so pretty and I couldn’t stop my curiosity from wanting to read these tales! If you’ve been curious about this one as well then keep reading this post where I’ll include info on what the book is about, my review, and a look at the artwork inside! And don’t worry if you have no idea what the Grishaverse is, I’ve included a bit about that as well.
The Lives of Saints
Enter the world of the Grishaverse and Shadow and Bone, soon to be a Netflix original series!
Dive into the epic world of international bestselling author Leigh Bardugo with this beautifully illustrated replica of The Lives of Saints, the Istorii Sankt’ya, featuring tales of saints drawn from the beloved novels and beyond. Out of the pages of the Shadow and Bone trilogy, from the hands of Alina Starkov to yours, the Istorii Sankt’ya is a magical keepsake from the Grishaverse.
These tales include miracles and martyrdoms from familiar saints like Sankta Lizabeta of the Roses and Sankt Ilya in Chains, to the strange and obscure stories of Sankta Ursula, Sankta Maradi, and the Starless Saint.
This beautiful collection includes stunning full-color illustrations of each story.
pooled ink Review:
First of all, the cover of this book is absolutely lovely! A leather-like textured hardcover with gold text and design all makes for an impressive presentation that had me pre-ordering this compilation of tales at once. Then to open it and realize that it contains the stories of 28 Saints within the Grishaverse and each accompanied by beautiful artwork created by Daniel J. Zollinger had me over the moon with this addition to my library! Every detail poured into this book (aside from the last page plugging the Grishaverse books lol) has it feeling like some sort of genuine artifact, something I don’t think I really expected to feel and yet I am more than delighted to find such.
The stories are quite brief and to the point, none longer than a handful of pages, but they are each rhythmically written, intriguing to read, and can I please shoutout some more love for the artwork?? I gave my thoughts for each short story in The Language of Thorns (and you can find the link to read that review below), but with so many tales encompassed in one compilation I just feel like it might be a bit much so instead just know that this small book is packed full of life, character, and magic (though not all the stories escape triumphant) and is a worthy addition for any fantasy fan and at the very least for anyone seeking a beautiful book to decorate their shelves with.
If I had to choose a favorite story, I’d choose Sankt Mattheus, the Patron Saint of Those Who Love and Care for Animals (though Sankt Nikolai, the Patron Saint of Sailors and Lost Causes, comes in second for its goodness and Sankt Dimitri, Patron Saint of Scholars, comes in third for its humor), because it had a happy ending and I myself often feel that I love animals far more than people. As for the art, I think my favorite art piece is a tie between Sankta Lizabeta of the Roses, the Patron Saint of Gardeners, and Sankt Dimitri because both are quite striking to look at and call the imagination to dance. I also really love the concluding (and shortest) story about the nameless Saint of the Book as I can’t quite help but feel a kinship with it in some ways as an avid reader myself.
The Lives of Saints is a beautiful book that brings a fantasy world to life, adding a richness to the series written by Leigh Bardugo, and makes for a dazzling decorative piece for the casual passerby while providing an inspiring piece of myth and intrigue for the dedicated reader. I must applaud Bardugo and her team on managing to turn what was once a simple YA Fantasy trilogy into a growing empire.
Sneak Peek Inside!
And those are just a few pictures of the artwork and stories contained within!
More in the Grishaverse!
If you’re looking for more additions to the Grishaverse lore, then I’d recommend checking out Leigh Bardugo’s collection of Grisha fairy tales called The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic.
>>>You can find my review here
Not sure what the Grishaverse is? It’s essentially the name for this fantasy world that author Leigh Bardugo has created and I highly suggest you dive into this world of magic and dark adventures! Bardugo currently has three series within this world and you can read either her Grisha/Shadow and Bone trilogy or her Six of Crows duology first. The third series in this world, King of Scars duology, MUST be read AFTER BOTH of those other two series. MUST.
Personally I’d read these series in publication order (1. Shadow and Bone 2. Six of Crows 3. King of Scars) but if you’d rather get your feet wet with Six of Crows before Shadow and Bone I honestly think it’s fine because there really aren’t any spoilers or confusion or anything. Those two series don’t really start to intersect until King of Scars hence why you must read that series last. Anyway, Shadow and Bone is a more typical YA Fantasy style series while Six of Crows is about a gang and magical heists, but I found both enjoyable. I’ll include links below for my reviews though I’ll leave out my review of King of Scars since I’m hoping you’ll leave that one alone until you’ve read the other series first lol.
>>>You can read my review for the first book in Shadow and Bone here and my review for the first book in Six of Crows here.