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.
Even this time around this book was just simply OK. There didn’t seem to be many special or particularly exciting factors about this book only that it flowed along fairly alright and managed to set up an intriguing if not vague world.
Firstly I’ll say I liked that this was supposed to be a Russia inspired world and the author did a good job of creating an authentic feel to it. However other reviewers have said the Russian usage and Russian culture here was used incorrectly such as with names and language etc, then of course there is the matter of kvas.. Even with these obvious mistakes I can still see why many still love this world and characters because despite everything this book was quite well written.
The world in itself I felt could have had more depth to it as we barely get any world building here despite the fact that there’s a lot of room for some really detailed world history especially with these amazing maps.
As for the characters I will say, like everyone else, that the best character in this entire series has to be the Darkling. A lot of the time he felt like the only character with real personality and depth. Alina and Mal most of the time just felt typical and unremarkable but perhaps that’s because the author created such a rich character out of the Darkling that everyone else pales in comparison. Either way I cannot wait to find out what will happen to him in the end and I’d love to know more about him and ds past too..
So overall this was a decent book with good writing and an amazing villain. It could have had more history on the world and the author could have also done more research into her Russian influences, but other than that I quite liked reading this.
Who I’d recommend this for
I’d say if you like real world inspired fantasy (but don’t mind the cultural mistakes) that have medium pacing and a character with a lot of intrigue and secrets, then you should try this. If you’re looking for a fast paced thrill ride however, then this wouldn’t be the book for you as it’s slow around the middle.
*Image courtesy of Google images*