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 saw the first five chapters of this were free on Amazon, so I thought I’d give it a try. I was hooked pretty early on and went ahead and bought the book. I had to know what happened with our heroine Alina and Mal. While I love high fantasy books, I always get a little frustrated with all the crazy names and places. I guess it’s a personal pet-peeve of mine, but I did think it was a bit much in this book. There are a lot of crazy names, different levels of Grisha (magic people), places and slang to keep track of. Overlooking all of that though, I did like the story. It’s kind of your typical plot, but with enough original ideas to keep things interesting. I liked Alina, for the most part. I liked her history and relationship with Mal. I liked that they were good friends and depended on one another. I definitely felt potential for them at the start of the book, some things happen though that kind of dampened it for me. There were just a couple things that kept me from really loving the story, probably more of a personal preference than anything else. I think it will probably be a fun series and I can see why a lot of people like it.
Overall, I did enjoy it and it kept me reading. I liked how it all wrapped up, but may be curious enough to read the rest of the series. For full review, with spoilers, visit my Goodreads review.
Content: Pretty clean, mild innuendo. One makeout scene gets a little steamy, but nothing happens. Was pretty violent and dark. I think maybe a handful of swearwords.