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.
Oh how I loved reading this book. I was hooked from the first moment. It has elements of the most popular young adult books, but the creativity and the world that has been created is really something else. It was original enough to catch my attention while sticking close to good story-telling. It’s about a girl, average in just about everything except for the things she is less than average in. She’s got a best guy friend that she’s in love with, but he doesn’t see her in a romantic light at all. In a desperate situation she unlocks a power to save her best friend that propels her on a journey of self-discovery and danger. It is a great and entertaining read along the lines of the best selling dystopians and paranormal romances in teen lit. The only thing that bothered me, and it was a large thing for me, was the references to sex and heated moments between certain characters. It’s not graphic, and there aren’t any actual sex scenes, but it was enough making out and almost-there scene to make me really uncomfortable. Sigh. If it weren’t for that, I’d be super gushy of this book.
I give it a 3.5 out of 5 because it’s better than average, but less than fantastic.