Soldier. Summoner. Saint.
Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold—a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.
Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite—and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.
As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.
Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.
Now I finally know what the fuss was all about. To be honest, I can see why so many people liked this story, me included. It’s fresh and things never get boring. Also, while I’m not a love triangle fan, I did enjoy the romance in this book. Granted, it’s not the greatest love story of all time but it’s cute enough for me to like it. I liked Mal as well as the Darkling. There were times when I liked the Darkling more than Mal, until the ending that is. All those plot twists made me second guess the characters personality and if they really aren’t what they seem. The author did great work with all main characters and while it took me more time to warm up to Alina by the end of the story I grew to like her. At the beginning I didn’t like how weak and cynical she was, since that could’ve saved her so much grief and heartbreak but at the same time as the story progressed I could see her grow into a stronger person. I also liked Genya’s character. Despite the cultural differences, she didn’t let others bring her down. There were things she could’ve done differently but she’s only human, so I didn’t expect her to be a saint. As for the other characters, well, I wasn’t really a fan of. Too much pretence and snobbiness for my taste. What I also liked and what I was quite surprised by is the ending. The story ends on a cliffhanger and the way it ended makes it a great setup for the next book, which I will definitely reading soon.