My rating: 4 stars out of 5
Genre: Fantasy, young adult
I actually had forgotten how much i enjoyed reading fantasy kind books. It has been sooooo long that I cannot even remember the last book that I read in this genre. I’m so immersed in to the new adult / dark books nowadays that I feel I have neglected other genres I used to enjoy reading. And I am extremely glad that I picked this up and decided to give it a read after hearing so much hype regarding it.
I enjoyed reading about Alina Starkov’s journey into this new Grisha place. Born and bred in a society of not much importance and then suddenly she’s taken to a much higher order and shown much importance, all of which she is n’t used to in her former life. Now there are people relying on her to be their saviour, all because of discovering a power she never realised she bore. There are many expectation and responsibilities she tries to live up to while trying to adjust to this new way of living. But she misses her childhood best friend, Mal, the only family she’s ever known. An ancient created shadow fold that’s consumed in darkness needs to be destroyed and in order to do that she must embrace her power and assist the Darkling so that she can protect her nation of Ravka.
I think the main reason this book had me so attracted was was due to this this fascinating world consisting of Grisha and an element of the olden times. There were all these magical gifts that each individual Grisha possessed and how everyone is just trying to be the best they can be. I felt there was a mixture of modern with ancient, as the Little Palace contrasts so much against the rest of Ravka which I think helped make the story more attractive. Now i don’t really know how to explain this in any other way but you know the buildings and lifestyle we witness in books like the hobbit or harry potter? I saw all those settings in this book (if you know what I mean, but I am in no way comparing these books). And I LOVE the whole ‘let’s go back in time and ride on horseback and wear long dresses’ kind of situation.
I had issues with some affairs in this story but I don’t think they effected my overall enjoyment of this book at all (seeing as though I had work at 9am and I was up reading until 3am). But I will touch on those issues, seeing as though not every book/story is perfect. Firstly, as much as it was different, I saw things that seem to become a pattern amongst stories such as the main girl character not being able to see past her looks or her male interests enough to look at the bigger picture. I do hate the teenager infatuation these heroines seem to possess (ps I have no way of knowing whether Alina is a teenager as her age is never mentioned, although I’m assuming she’s a teenager due to the way she acts). I also thought if the story didn’t so heavily rely on things like dressing up and being whiny, then the story could have been even better.
I also have no idea what Mal is actually like. His personality is never explained, and for that reason I couldn’t actually connect to him. But I did connect with the Darkling’s character and I honestly think he’s doing what he is for the benefit of his people. He seems wise and Alina hasn’t in fact seen the world as much as he, and she does sometimes seem like she’s only caring about herself.
Overall, I loved the first part! And it’s a good job I have all the books at the ready to read because waiting would be a b*tch. Please don’t let me down book 2 *fingers crossed*.