to read a blurb about this book on Goodreads, click here.
Okay, let me get this out in the open right now: I want to hit myself in the head for not picking this up sooner! This was such a cool and fascinating book! I mean, I’m just stunned at how awesome this book was. It’s clearly obvious that I missed the Grisha world by the way I am gushing. I seriously should have read it before Six of Crows , though because it explains each of the Grisha and their powers a bit better than SoC did.
On to the characters. Believe or not, I actually kind of liked Alina. At first I wasn’t so sure about her because she was just so weak. She didn’t seem to want to grow or want to change. She was constantly whining about how she didn’t belong in the Grisha world despite showing immense power repeatedly. She did a lot of things to hinder herself and I wanted to smack the crap out of her on more than one occasion. But finally, there was a turning point and she grew and grew and grew. I want to put my Kindle down and scream “Hallelujah!” Because up until that point, it was a 4 star read for me.
The Darkling was something else. I really did enjoy learning about his power as well. It’s a sign of a good author when I am still unsure if he is good or bad. Yeah, I’m still debating on it. And I probably will for the rest of the series. No matter if he is good or bad, I can’t help but deny that he is an interesting character and I am curious to see more of him and maybe get some history on him as well.
As for the romance/love triangle, it was actually really nice and it didn’t overshadow the story as much as I feared it would. I liked that Alina and Mal grew up together. That is my favorite type of romance because of all the history they have together. It gives me tingles when two friends, who grew up together, find out they are each other’s soulmates. Personally, I believe that is the strongest kind of love but that is just me.
As for Alina and the Darkling, I felt it but not really. I don’t like anti heroes all that much so I don’t pair them with the MC (unless it’s Six of Crows). But, as much as I don’t like anti heroes, I cannot deny that Alina and the Darkling had chemistry. Personally, I am still rooting for Mal and Alina.
Overall, I’m very surprised by this book. I had read a lot of conflicting reviews. Some were saying that this book is one of Leigh Bardugo’s shining moments while others say to skip this book and the rest of the series entirely. You want my opinion? I would say that reading this book first wouldn’t hurt. It talks a lot of Grisha and explains the powers, how they are trained, how they are tested, all that stuff that wasn’t talked about in SoC. I would personally recommend reading this book before SoC but you will not miss a lot if you don’t.