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, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But 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 from Amazon
WOW. How could I have held off on reading this series? I'm very glad my blogger friend Yara asked for this and Of Triton because it basically forced me to read both series before I sent the sequels off to her. Bardugo has created a really fantastical world here, and memorable characters.
I don't want to say too much since it is a sequel. Alina though is a wonderful main character. I absolutely love that she's so fierce and does a good job back in Ravka (and with the privateer's ship), but there are plenty of moments of self-doubt, insecurity, and worry over her actions and whether they're the right thing to do. I enjoyed her interactions with Mal; Bardugo does a good job of showing their deep friendship with each other. I also liked the character of Sturmhond; he really lit up the page whenever he showed up.
Bardugo also works the villain angle well- The Darkling is not just one-dimensional, 100% evil. He's a character that is just as complex as the main characters, and though I feel one way about him (I want him defeated!) and don't expect that to change, there obviously is something there because he does seem to have many fans.
Overall, another wonderful fantasy series. It deserves all the hype it gets, truly.
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.
I'm a 30 year old male who started a book blog over on Myspace back in June 2007. I have since moved completely to Blogspot as of July 2009- feel free to follow me on here! I mainly review YA books, but will also do the occasional MG or adult title, as well as interview authors and sometimes have them guest blog.