Dates Read: January 13, 2016 – January 15, 2016
I enjoyed this book immensely. The characters, the plot, the magic, it was fantastic. Not gonna lie, this is probably attributed to the Darkling. Majorly. All of my notes and Goodreads updates centered around him and his softer side, but I’ll get to him later. I want to talk about Alina. She was pretty hilarious.
Oh well, I thought as I got to my feet. Maybe he’ ll fall into a ditch on his way…
This made her feel relatable, albeit a bit stubborn at times. She isn’t overly beautiful and stunning, in fact, she looks sickly most of the time, which we find out has to do with her subconsciously suppressing her power. Once she learned to let go and embrace it, she started to look like a normal, healthy human being. Before that though, I think she sold herself short on a lot of things, including her relationship with her best friend Mal. She’s secretly in love with him and totally writing herself off because she doesn’t think he can see her the same as other girls. Despite that it’s evident that he’ll always be there for her, she doesn’t quite see it right away.
But then, she gets caught up with the Darkling and quickly falls under his spell (as do I, admittedly).
He had a sharp, beautiful face, a shock of thick black hair, and clear gray eyes that glimmered like quartz.
There’s just something about him that absolutely drew me in. Perhaps it was the air of mystery surrounding him and the fact tha no one really knew what was actually the right story. Or, maybe it was the tender moments that he shared with Alina. I totally sensed a little bud of a romance, and I wanted it to happen so bad. I’m so hoping that he’s a bad guy that doesn’t turn out to be so bad afterall.
I mean, he allowed her to wear his color and insignia! That was huge.
“Genya,” the Darkling called after us, “the kefta will be black.”
I totally loved the scene where they did their demonstration for the court. I giggled with glee once I realized that she’d go on stage with him and they’d do their magic stuff together and it was awesome. Yeah, that definitely didn’t help the snowball that had started when he first made his interest in her known. It just got worse from there.
Genya was probably my favorite out of everyone. I loved her relationship with Alina and thought that her Grisha gift was interesting. She could make people beautiful/alter their appearance, which is why the queen took special interest in her. Her gift is unique, like Alina’s, though not nearly as powerful. It’s also so sad to find out what the king did/does to her, although I’m not sure I quite grasped the full implications.
Surprisingly, despite the fact that Alina and Mal are best friends, he isn’t in much of the first half of the book. However, he does come back for the latter half and we kind of find out what he’d been up to during the time she was gone. Although, he was less than pleasant about it for a while; it was as though he blamed her for being a Grisha. It’s not like she chose to be a Grisha, and she did write letters to tell him she was ok. He just never got them. I did warm to him though, and I want to root for team Mal, but I’m still under the Darkling’s spell. It’s quite ridiculous, actually.
I enjoyed the plot of this book, and I’m super intrigued to see where it goes in the rest of the series. However, I wish that there would’ve been a little more world building. Leigh set it up for us a little bit and kind of left us to figure a few things out for ourselves. It would’ve been cool to have a little more background information that wasn’t based on stories people have heard, although I guess that adds to the air of mystery in the story. We don’t really know what’s actually true and what’s just a story. There were a couple twists that I did not see coming and thought were really cool.
Overall, I’d totally recommend this read. The story sucks you in from the start and the charm of the Darkling keeps the pages turning. I loved the idea of this book with the different powers of the Grisha and just about everything to do with the Darkling.