Published by Square Fish on May 7, 2013
Genres: High Fantasy, Romance, YA
Format: Paperback from Purchased
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Alina Starkov doesn't expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, she is sure of only one thing: her best friend, Mal--and her inconvenient crush on him. Until the day their army regiment enters the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. When their convoy is attacked and Mal is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power not even she knew existed.
Ripped from everything she knows, Alina is taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With Alina's extraordinary power in his arsenal, he believes they can finally destory the Fold. Now Alina must find a way to master her untamed gift and somehow fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. As the threat to the kingdom mounts and her dangerous attraction to the Darkling grows, Alina will uncover a secret that could tear her heart--and her country--in two.
This is another book that I feel like I’m late to the party with, especially since Genevieve reviewed book 3 last month. But better late than never, and I’m really glad I got to this book as I totally loved it.
There was so much going on in this book, that I’m not even sure where to start. Do I start with the characters and how much I adored Alina? Her character went through a lot of trials and had amazing growth. Mal was someone I wasn’t sold on, although he did start to grow on me by the end. The Darkling? Um, wow. Such a complex character there.
Or do I discuss the obviously Russian inspired setting? From the names to the weather, there is a Russian influence on everything, and it’s awesome. This felt extremely unique, especially in a fantasy setting.
Or do I discuss the ever changing and complex plotline? The setting moves all over, and the plot focus moves with it, from war to court to training to questing. It was never ending, and always evolving, always intriguing.
Overall, I loved everything about this book. It may have taken me a long time to start this series, but I’ll be getting to book two much quicker.