Rating: ***** Suggested Age: 13
Summary: “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.” (Summary found on Goodreads).
I feel like, if I gave .5 ratings, I would rate this 4.5 stars because while I love the series and the idea, I feel as though there is something missing. However, I don’t think it fits with my other four-star reads. Plus, a new character was introduced and I love him so much that I can’t even rate this four stars. Nikolai is one of my new favorite characters now because he’s so sassy and hilarious. I have even abandoned my hopes that Alina will end up with The Darkling (because he’s getting fairly creepy) to her ending up with Nikolai because they’d be so cute together.
Honestly, though, I do still prefer The Darkling over Mal. If Alina’s going to end up with anyone, just please let it NOT BE MAL. I hate him so much and I really can’t believe Leigh Bardugo has them together…It’s not even that I don’t like him with Alina, it’s just that he seems like a horrible person. With The Darkling, at least I see that there is possible tragic backstory making him evil, but Mal?
I also love the way Bardugo writes! She manages to capture her audience with ease and I will always love that in a book. I highly recommend this series!