Alina Starkov is an orphan who grew up with her best friend Mal, and now they are in a kind of camp/army that takes care of them yet moves around a lot. During one particular move, they are attacked by gigantic bird monsters called Volcra, one of their friends is killed, and as Alina is being dragged away by one of them a light fills the camp and the birds stop attacking. In their world, only the Grisha are shown to have powers, but she had never shown powers before this point. Nevertheless, she is swept into the world of Grisha training, meets the mysterious Darkling leader of the Grisha, and begins to question many of the things in her world.
Although the storyline was honestly not that different from many other YA books, I still enjoyed the story overall. This was the first book I had read by Bardugo, and I am pleasantly satisfied by it. The character Alina never seemed to be too whiny, or too stuck on love, making the plot slow, but instead showed strength as her world was flipped upside down. Some people say she was stubborn to a fault, but I actually think that she refused to back down as the Grishas wanted to make her like them and following their rules. The twists in the plot seemed appropriately placed, and it was just a rather smooth ride throughout. I was able to finish the book in one sitting, which pushed me to check out the next books of the series and THEN went to immediately read Six of Crows. Which I then loved just as much. Altogether, I love when authors succeed on their debut book, and this one definitely hit the spot for me. I won’t spoil anything else, if you’re late like me, go read this book!
Overall Rating: 4.5/5