Author: Leigh Bardugo
Rating: 5 stars of pure awesomeness!
Summary: Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.
Review: I want to live in this book so badly because I'm just completely in love with it. The Grisha an the world-building is absolutely amazing! Bardugo kept me on my toes with all her twists and suspense. Alina started off scared and pretty weak. She is content with being a mapmaker in the army, and doesn't believe she is anything special. Over the course of the story, Alina becomes stronger and more sure of herself and her abilities. She even gets these super cool fingerless gloves with mirrors that let her reflect her magic light so she can blind her opponents and distract cats. Yes. Yes yes yes! At the beginning, I thought that Mel was a jerk. He was off galavanting with random girls when Alina totally liked him and he was all angry with her because she was a super special Grisha. Duo to my low tolerance for annoying romantic interests, there would usually be no recovery from these grevious errors. Except for Mel. When it came time, he proved that he really was a good guy. After I finished this book, my first thought was: "When does the second book come out?" Guess when? I don't know because it isn't even on Goodreads yet!!!!
Not only that, but I'm reading an ARC (advanced reader's copy) of this book; it doesn't come out until June of 2012. So think about what that means for the publication date of the second book!!!! :(