I am not going to hesitate in saying that this book was an amazing read. It fed right into my love for the dystopian genre and within a matter of pages I was hooked.
In a nation called Ravka, the citizens are divided by their abilities. Those with powers join the Grisha, a magical hierarchy led by the Darkling whilst the land is ruled by royalty. The land is divided by the Shadow Fold, an area of darkness that is home to flesh eating creatures; however this is the only route between an important seaside town and the rest of the land. Alina, a member of the Ravka army is among many attacked on their journey across the Fold and as she watches a friend get brutally attacked she unleashes a power she had suppressed for many years. Taken to the lavish world of the Grisha she is trained to use her power, but could she be the answer to Ravka’s ongoing battle and could she be the hope the people of Ravka have been waiting for?
The characters of this novel make it so enjoyable, Alina is determined, humble and a strong female personality. I really enjoyed reading as she grew in character, confidence and strength both physically and emotionally. I loved reading about the Grisha, their lives and the glamourous objects they are surrounded but was surprised how despite their great powers, they still lived in a hierarchal environment. The royalty made for some interesting reading and I felt myself comparing the different levels of society as I read the book. Alina is an orphan who was raised under the kind roof of a wealthy man, therefore I enjoyed seeing the plot from her eyes as she is a grounded and well-round character who isn’t blinded by the opulent surroundings.
From the beginning the plot takes the reader through many different settings and by the end of the book there is a good understanding of the land of Ravka. The characters delve between lush and expensive royalty, to sleeping on pine covered forest floors. Leigh Bardugo compiled a wonderful plot that takes the reader on a journey throughout Ravka and by the end of the book there is a great understanding of the layout and the different settings of those who are wealthy compared to the town’s people.
Leigh Bardugo’s writing style was easy to read, fluid and gripping. Before I started the book I was worried I wouldn’t grasp the storyline as so much was happening in the plot, however the book was structured in a comprehensive style and was a truly enjoyable read. I love the different names of the Grisha, the inventive and creativeness of the plot, the setting and the characters. It was beautifully written and constructed and I cannot wait to continue the series. To find out more about the next books in the series, click on the book covers below.
I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars on goodreads because I couldn’t fault it, I loved it. It reminded me of how much I loved Divergent, The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner for the pure individuality, the process of losing yourself in the middle of another world and falling in love with characters for their sheer determination and strength. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the dystopian genre or who is looking for something different and new. Definitely pick this up and give it a read!