- Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
- Release date: June 4, 2013
- Series/stand-alone: The Grisha, Book 2
- Number of pages: 435
- Format: Paperback
- Source: Bought
- Rating: 4.5 cookies
- Swoon spoon: Shovelful after shovelful (75-100%)
Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
I am now in the state of waiting for tomorrow to come so I could run to the bookstore and buy the third book. I am very twitchy. And antsy. And restless. There is an urge to capitalize every word here because I am itching to get my hands on the next installment. But I need to regain my control. I will not capitalize.
SERIOUSLY THOUGH. THIS BOOK IS INSANE.
I always expect that the second book of a series would be kind of a let-down compared to the first one. But Leigh Bardugo has proved me wrong. Hallelujah! If I need to spell it out, then let me say that I LOVED THIS BOOK.
See, in my mind, there are categories of Big and Small stories. This book is definitely under the Big ones. I love that the setting extends far beyond Ravka and not just contained into one place ('cause that'll be boring). The expansion of the map on the second book, compared to the first one, gave me a much wider view of the world they live in and that gave a sense of a much bigger adventure. To know that they weren't alone in the world brings the story more alive and more tangible.
Also, Leigh Bardugo has a knack for introducing readers to really shmexy male characters.
- One thing I missed for sure (and still missing) is the Darkling. Oh, please, please, please return to us. I have decided that you will always be my favorite character in this series. Not even Alina could top that. I love that he haunts Alina, though if that would have happened to me, I'd probably pee my pants the first time.
- Mal though, you have become quite the insecure little rabbit and I wish I could shake some sense into you. You annoy me sometimes. Though after all that happened in the book, I can still see why he did what he did and it's probably the most normal and human reaction. So I'll just let that slide since we need a couple of normal humans every book (Though my curiosity is piqued by his tracker brain).
- And oh, dear. Sturmhond. You have me in stitches with your wit and I'm dying to have you survive in the last book. He's mostly the one who brings the humor in the book and I absolutely adore him.
The characters in this series are complex and Leigh has done well in depicting their nature. We can see both the yin and yang of every person, making them a little more realistic. None of them are a hundred percent good or bad, and that's why I'm still probably pining for the Darkling. He's never going to be well past redemption in my eyes!
A ton of action, blood-pumping battle scenes, strong characters with their own internal battles, decisions that cause a chain reaction, choices that affect the entire nation; every one of these are introduced in one book.
Leigh, you have just created a monster in me.
*COVER IMAGE AND SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS*