Review by Janine
This book was one that I was super excited to read because of all the awesome reviews it has gotten, and I am so pleased to say that it completely lived up to the high expectations I had for it. From the first pages, you know that this book will be unlike any other that you have read ever. The setting, or essentially the world, that was created by the author is all-encompassing, thorough and intriguing. Mal and Alina are orphans who have grown up together and are now in the second army together. She is a frail, sickly, mapmaker, and he is the attractive tracker that all the girls like. When it is discovered on a trip to the Fold with her unit that she has an undiscovered power, her life changes in ways that are unfathomable even to her. She is the one who will rescue the land from the dark powers of the Fold and the creatures that live there, or so she is told. When Alina’s powers to summon the sun are reviled, she is shipped to the Little Palace to be trained in the ways of the Grisha, or those who have special powers. While at the Little Palace, she not only learns the ways of the Grisha and how to use and control her power, but she also finds within her a hidden strength and courage that I was hoping she would find. When things turn out not to be what they seem, she must use what she has learned to help her survive. Alina’s story is wonderful. She goes from being a weak character to this beautiful, strong person. This does not mean she always makes the right choices, but she follows her heart as well as uses her brain. While in the Little Palace, she is treated as a type of royalty but never truly looses herself in all that is going on. There is a love story, but it is done in such a way that it is not only sweet and innocent but has a beauty about it that makes you able to see yourself within them.
I also adore the characters in this story! They all are incredibly interesting in their own way, so it makes you want to know more about both the good and evil characters. I hope in the following books, we can learn more about each but especially, Mal. This book has so many pieces and when they come together they leave you wanting more. The only downfall is waiting for the next book to come out!!!