Wow. That was amazing.
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book but I am happily surprised. Alina was a wonderful character. She was easy to relate to and I liked that she had real hardship in her life. I never saw her as weak even when she wasn’t Grisha and when her body was lacking pure strength. She was always a strong character for me that was navigating strange new waters. Her reactions to the plot were realistic and easy to understand. Even as I thought she was making a bad choice I was able to recognize that it was the same choice most would make in that position.
The Darkling was perfectly evil. He was everything a villain should be and more. He was seductive and terrifying and precisely what a great villain should be. The true evil is never in the monsters that are easy to spot….it is in the hidden places of a corrupted soul. He made the book so much better by being so well written and horrible.
Genya was a tough character for me. She was a great friend at times but she always seemed to be a friend so she could be close to power. It always seemed to be about herself. I understand why Alina grew close to her but I can’t say I was surprised by Genya’s actions later. She was always looking out for herself before anyone else…even at the risk of the nation.
Mal was also a bit tough for me. I understand why Alina would feel so close to him and have those feelings but for the first half of the book I didn’t really care about him. It was later, when he found her, that I started really paying attention to him. It just seemed to me that he, all the sudden, realized he loves her right after she becomes beautiful and powerful. Maybe the later books will help me like him more…but as it stands he is not my favorite character. Maybe I am not being fair…the whole book followed Alina so we don’t get much of Mal’s story during that time…but he just hasn’t grabbed my heart yet.