Published: June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Company
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
I feel guilty for not having read this book sooner! I have had it on my kindle for months now and I kept putting it off for other books. #Problemsofabookaholic!! However, I am now currently kicking myself because I really should have read it sooner because it was just that AWESOME!!! I am so glad I have all three books on my kindle so that I can binge! I wanted to read this series first, because Six of Crows is set in the same world. So it made more sense to read this first, to get a feel for the world, before finally catching up to that series!
Alina was amazing in this book! I loved her! It was very easy to watch her growth as a character throughout the book because the changes she makes are huge. At the beginning she is this quiet character who usually keeps what she is feeling to herself, whereas, by the end of the book, she has definitely become that much stronger. I loved her interactions with Mal and the Darkling – although more with the Darkling until her revealed his true colours! Can I just say, I wish I had her gift!! It sounds so cool…
The Darkling… Where do I even begin with this characters. It’s characters like these that create trust issues. Seriously. We as readers have so many trust issues thanks to you authors. I knew that the Darkling was a villain. I knew it. I have the candle from the villainous box! However, with his interactions at the beginning, I was holding out hope. He seemed genuinely nice and caring and I really thought he was cute. Clearly I was mistaken. I still think he is pretty redeemable and he seems to be a misunderstood character. I think he has his own reasons for being the way that he is, we just don’t know them yet. I also loved the way that Alina, where others would just do as he says without telling him their opinions, told him what she was thinking and whether he was being a bit stupid. There is definitely a spark between them!
The world that Bardugo created was also extremely rich! I could have totally been there… despite the fact that I was in my living room for most of it! I loved the descriptions of the different places and activities! Can someone please transport me to this world??
The only real issue that I had with this book was probably Mal. I didn’t feel any particular connection to him and I didn’t feel any kind of spark between him and Alina. I wanted to because they do have a history together and they can be pretty cute together… but it just wasn’t there for me. I do not ship them, I’m afraid… I think we all know who I ship!!
All in all I really enjoyed this book! As I mentioned earlier, I have all three books on my kindle, so I have actually already jumped into book two! I am loving it so far! I gave this book 4.5/5 stars.