UNIQUENESS (but ya it's fantasy)
The capital has fallen.
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.
Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.
You can read my reviews of Seige and Storm and Shadow and Bone here.
As you can see, I regard this series as the most unique out there in fantasy today. I will also remark that the only reason this review is even coherent is because I had an entire week to collect myself.
OH MY GOD. I JUST
Ok, Leigh Bardugo you have guts and heart and I SALUTE YOU. Alina was SO KICK BUTT in this book that I practically wept with pride. And the best part? So many authors try to market their heroine as strong and badass that everytime she does something halfway decent all the other characters are like 'wow omg you're so amazing' and the reader is just like, huh?
WELL ALINA ACTUALLY IS. And there's no need to make a remark about it every five minutes. It is perfectly accepted and obvious to all involved. I LOVE HER.
I found the whole Darkling-Mal-Nikolai conundrum absolutely THRILLING. I couldn't decide who I loved more and I didn't have to. There was no wounded Jacob to attend to- yeah, Nikolai wanted to marry her, but he wasn't infatuated. And besides that I am still bursting from satisfaction that Alina liked Mal BEFORE Mal realized he liked Alina. HOORAY FOR SENSE AND REFRESHABILITY!!
On that note, WE GET THE DARKLINGS NAME!! *does victory dance whilst melting*
I would also like to note that I have Bronchitis and read this while sick in bed. Picture this:
Nikolai/Mal/Alina/Pretty Much Everybody: *makes a crack*
Me: *busts up laughing*
Me: *coughs up lung*
Rinse and repeat.
The beginning was a little slow, but it picked up fairly quickly. The end broke me in that it was happily ever after but not quite- just the way I
All that's left is to cry that it's over.