Published: June 4th 2013 by Henry Holt and Co.
Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
I absolutely LOVED this book! I had a couple of issues with it like any book, but I was so hooked! It took me a little longer to read this book then it really should have and that was my fault, but I am so glad that I have this book in my life! Bardugo has created such an amazing world and characters that, whilst I have already started the last book, I don’t want this series to end!! Although… Six of Crows I’m coming for you soon!
I loved Alina’s strength in this book. She has definitely come into her own in a way that she wasn’t in the first book. She begins to accept who she really is and she begins to love the fact that she is a Grisha. She also becomes stronger in the sense that she becomes a leader and she owns it! However, she still had her moments of weakness in private and that is what kept her relatable to the readers as a whole, I think. You could still tell that the old Alina was still in there somewhere, despite being hidden by a really strong face.
I wanted more from the Darkling!!! I know he is supposed to be evil and whatnot, but I actually missed him. We did get him for the first part of the book and sometimes he showed up to Alina (which was kinda creepy), but I wanted more from him. I definitely could have used a POV from his side to see what he was getting up to. I do think that, whilst Alina is getting stronger, the Darkling is getting weaker. I think he cares in his own way for Alina and that blinds him to what she is going to do next.
Mal was my other issue with this book. I get that he is supposed to be the love interest with Alina, but I literally don’t get it. I don’t feel any spark or connection between them and I actually find him really irritating. I just want to punch him in the face. I’m hoping that they don’t end up together by the end of the last book because I would be really disappointed if they did – particularly because there are better people who are better suited to Alina than Mal. I think he would make a great best friend, just not love interest!
Can I also say that I loved Nikolai!! He was witty and extremely funny – but he used that to hide who he really was. I felt really sorry for him throughout the book, especially because his brother was such a douche. He was another character that I literally wanted to punch in the face. So many Punchable characters…
Can I also just mention THAT ENDING!!!!!!!!! Seriously… I was shocked and I still don’t even know how to begin processing that ending! I’m hoping for some major battle between Alina and the Darkling because it would be EPIC on a huge scale!
I absolutely loved this book and I cannot wait to carry on reading the last book! Im excited to see where these characters will go next and how it will end! I gave this book 4/5 stars.