Release Date: June 2012 Publisher: Indigo Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance Page Count: 358 Goodreads Rating: ★★★★☆
“Fine,” he said with a weary shrug. “Make me your villain.”
Ok, can I just read about The Darkling the entire time please? I absolutely adore him! I am a complete sucker for a villainous, mysterious, or tortured soul character if they have enough charisma – and he definitely fits this box for me.
Ravka has been torn in two. The Shadow Fold, a near impenetrable darkness, cuts through the land cutting the East from the West – eating away at what was once a great nation due to the lack of movement through it.
Alina and Mal have grown up together as orphans. While attempting to make a crossing of the Fold, Alina discovers she has a rare power – The Darkling swoops in to help her fulfil her potential and set Ravka free of the Shadow Fold.
“The problem with wanting,” he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, “is that it makes us weak.”
This book has some amazing lines that I completely adore – usually made by The Darkling if you haven’t guessed – but I must admit, I feel a little meh about the book compared to the hype that is usually around it. It didn’t stun me either time I’ve read it, but I did enjoy it a lot – possibly more the second time. It’s a lovely lighter read amongst all the heavier going fantasy I usually seem to read.
There’s three main types of Grisha – these are people who display a talent for manipulating elements, magical healing, or building fantastical contraptions to sum it up briefly. There’s the odd one whose talents fall a little outside the norm, The Darkling being one, and as I’ve mentioned, Alina being another.
Children are tested to see if they’re Grisha, and Alina came back a negative when she was a child. She’s thrown into this world later in her life and taken under The Darkling’s wing due to the rarity of her power. She’s extremely naïve, described as ‘sickly’ and ‘plain’, and is a bit of an outsider. Mal is her handsome childhood friend (I’m sure you can see where that one is going).
The concept of power is played with a lot – there’s plenty of scheming and betrayal – but I feel we could have delved a little deeper on this. We just kind of coast along the surface of what could be an awful lot more of all the intrigue – but as I say, although I wanted more from the book it’s still enjoyable, and I still loved it. It just hasn’t quite made it that extra star to ‘favourite’.
I’m delving into Six of Crows for the first time now, as why would I reread this whole series at once eh? *eyeroll* But I do look forward to picking this back up and reliving Alina’s story.
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