The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.
Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite – the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?
The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.
But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?
Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance. Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and Laini Taylor.
This is a quite a polarising book, I found. A lot of book bloggers and Booktubers either hated this book or loved this book. I didn’t listen too closely to opinions on this book because I had it on my Kindle and my TBR list and I didn’t want to go into the book with preconceived ideas. I got to the end of the book and could see why people disliked the book and the main character, but at the same time I really enjoyed it.
Alina could be thought of as foolish and reckless and a little whiny but for me, her character made perfect sense. She got swept up in the glamour of being a rare Grisha and with her friends seeming to abandon her, she let herself become better than she was. Then, when it all came tumbling down, she was scared and concerned but she didn’t do anything I wouldn’t have done in her position. I didn’t fall in love with any of the characters (not like Inej in Six of Crows) but I did like reading about them and it never came to the point where I moaned inwardly about this character showing up again. The romance was fairly nondescript but it could have been worse. Yes, it could have been better, but I didn’t mind the romance in this.
I already knew some of the world-building from reading Six of Crows but I loved how we got to explore more of the world itself, considering this series is set a while before the Six of Crows duology I think? I find the Grisha/Russian fantasy setting very interesting and different to what is normally done and the plot was cliche but done in a new way. I enjoyed everything about the Shadowfold and Grisha and the different powers they had, as well as how they were treated in-world.
I am definitely going to continue this series and I’m looking forward to reading this series, re-reading Six of Crows and then reading Crooked Kingdom when I get back home to the UK. Four stars!