Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Birthday Gift Thanks Jude!
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I'm not much of a fantasy reader so it takes a long time of reading lots of raving reviews of one before I'll pick it up. I also heard there was a best friend's romance so I slowly was persuaded to give it a try. Then my best blogging buddy Jude @ In Between sent me a copy for my birthday so I was excited to finally see what all the fuss was about Mal and The Darkling.
I admit I was a little bit confused at first getting used to the world and all the funky terms like malenchki, corporalki, etheralki, and if I saw the word kefta one more time I might have lost it (was mentioned 70 times FYI) but the world was very detailed and interesting. Alina and Mal are orphans that grew up together. I was immediately drawn into their friendship. Alina is a mapmaker and Mal a tracker. They are about to venture out into the Fold. Still not entirely sure exactly how and what the Fold is to be honest. A dark area with lots of evil murderous creatures and you have to go through it if you want to get to the other side. When you enter it you basically just prey that you get through. No such luck though. Volcra creatures attack and Alina needs to save Mal so she lets lose a power she never really knew she had.
Word of her power gets out fast and The Darkling arrives to see if it is true. If she is the sun summoner. He calls her power out and takes her away from Mal for training. Together he believes they can destroy the Fold. So The Darkling. He is sexy in a tall, dark, deadly, powerful, and psychotic kind of way. I was very intrigued with his character but didn't really fall in love like so many others. My heart is with Mal although neither guy is really in the book that much. Also The Darkling tells Alina is thinks he is 120 years old. I don't know why but when someone super old is with a teenager it just kind of grosses me out. I don't mind it so much in adult books but in YA books I think about it more.
Much of the story revolves around Alina's training. Most Grisha are discovered at a young age so Alina is a bit lost on how to fit in and master her power. The Grisha culture was well detailed and the world building very intricate. I loved it even though like I said I would get a little lost sometimes. Alina slowly begins to feel like she fits in and that she could make a great team with The Darkling. But thoughts of Mal continue to haunt her. Mal is so sweet and I was rooting for him the whole time. The flashbacks to them as children just warmed my heart. I love The Darkling in a way too. I can picture him in my mind perfectly and I am infinitely intrigued to learn more about his character. I didn't feel like I got enough of him or Mal and hope they are present more in the Siege & Storm.
"So I'm the Darkling's prisoner?"
"You're under his protection."
"What's the difference?"
Ivan's expression was unreadable. "Pray you never find out."
"You're shaking," he said.
"I'm not used to people trying to kill me."
"Really? I hardly notice anymore."
"The problem with wanting," he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, "is that it makes us weak."
"I'm not like you, Mal. I never really fit in the way that you did. I never really belonged anywhere."
"You belonged with me," he said quietly.
"I'm sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now."
"I don't care if you danced naked on the roof of the Little Palace with him. I love you, Alina, even the part of you that loved him."