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.
Bardugo creates a fabulous world of magic, war and love. Alina Starkov is the exact opposite of the Darkling, yet they are also alike. A blooming romance forms and slowly we fall in love with the Darkling, someone mysterious and like his name, very, very dark. Alina is a strong girl, learning to use and control her new powers in hopes of saving their kingdom.
But like every good book, there is a twist. When Bardugo first revealed her twist, I was shocked and in denial, I fought to find ways to prove that what is revealed is wrong, that everything was a mistake. The thing I loved most about this book was that it wasn't the cliché 'girl meets guy, falls in love, solves problem, lives happily ever after'. The only thing about this book was that because it went against what most storylines were like, in ways the end made me sad, but that did not make this book any less enjoyable.
I loved the setting of this book and the hierarchy Bardugo builds, her imagination is beautiful and everything, from the magical powers to the costumes they wore were brilliant and very creative. I'd recommend this book to those who love something a little different and like books set in times of magic and swords.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars