First impression: Let’s see if it lives up to hype
Last impression: Eeeeek can’t wait for the next
Format: Library hardcover / 358 pages
Publishing Info: June 5th 2012 / Goodreads
Other books read by author: None
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.
Book Buddies is a discussion-style review that takes place with one of my two buddies. (Learn more and see past reviews here) We both read the book and then have a private discussion about it. We post our discussion as a review on the last Wednesday of each month. You’ll be able to see our similar/different opinions on the overall book, characters, writing style, etc. – just like a regular review. The first half our discussion will take place right here, and the second half will be on Kaitlin’s blog! (Link at the bottom)
Lauren: So what made you initially put this one on your TBR?
Kaitlin: I had a big time period where I was obsessed with BookTubers and a lot of the BookTubers mentioned this book on their hauls or recommendation videos and said they loved or liked the/series book. I read the synopsis and thought it was pretty interesting so, I put it on my TBR list.
Lauren: Mine was kind of similar actually! When I first started blogging a few months ago, I noticed that it was a series that everyone loved. It sounded really unique but I wasn’t sure if it was a book I’d like. The more I saw people talk about it, the more I realized I needed to read it.
Kaitlin: Yea, I think the best place for book recommendations are from other people like bloggers or BookTubers, because if you find someone you think has the same taste in books as you then you can find books you might really enjoy from them.
Lauren: Exactly. Book blogging is good for that. Did the book meet your expectations overall? How’d you feel about it?
Kaitlin: I think this book pretty much topped my expectations. I have never been a big fantasy reader because it takes me ages to read one. This book only took me about 3 days to finish because there was a constant line of events. The book never got very boring and this is one of the books that I would love as much as a dystopian read. The world development was pretty good and I think that’s a super important aspect with fantasy because the world can be very different. It’s also very fun imagining how certain things in a fantasy world are different in our world and I can imagine what the different things would look like.
Lauren: Oh absolutely. In theory, I love fantasy books. They’re so cool because it shows a whole new world to explore. But I’m with you on that – it can take a while to read. I started this week before a weekend, and then didn’t read much over the weekend, but I think it only took me about four sittings to actually finish the book. I loved that the plot continued steadily. At times I would think “there’s not much happening right now” but it was still SO interesting that I didn’t mind. Everything got crazy towards the end, too!
Kaitlin: I know! One thing that got me motivated to read on was to find out what was going on with Mal (that’s not a spoiler because it was in the synopsis).
Lauren: Same here! I liked the “love triangle” in this one. The Darkling was totally a villain you love to hate. I’m definitely fascinated to learn more about what’s really going on with him. My heart definitely is torn between him and Mal; I understand the draw to both of them. One thing that was kind of lacking for me was characterization. I really liked Alina’s character and seeing her come into her powers was SO cool, but she didn’t really have a personality that much.. if that makes sense.
Kaitlin: I understand where you are coming from, like you felt like she is just Alina, not brave or smart Alina..
Lauren: Exactly! She did have moments of bravery, but I want to know more about her. It’s definitely a great thing that this is a trilogy. She’ll be characterized a lot more as the book goes on and she learns about her powers.