Ravka, a once great nation, is torn by the Shadow Fold into two areas. Alina Starkov, living happily as a mapmaker, enters the Fold with her best friend Mal. Then everything changes.. She finds that she has a dormant power which can summon light and take away the darkness. This saves their life in the Fold. The Darkling, who is the leader of the Grisha, wants Alina all to himself. He takes Alina to the royal court so that she can be trained and molded to his liking. But Alina will have to learn to trust her instincts and confront the secrets of Grisha. The fate of Ravka rests on her shoulders.
This is one of the series that has lived up to its hype on Bookstagram for me. The only reason I read them is Bookstagram.
Leigh Bardugo is an excellent story teller. Her world building is just great. I was right inside Ravka with all those characters throughout the book. It is a very fast paced read which is perfect for someone like me. I loved the character of The Darkling. I was literally heartbroken to find that he has a negative role to play. I had my hopes high that he would turn around till the end of the second book. That should tell you how much I liked him. He is officially my favorite villain.
Nikolai was another person that I loved reading about. I was eagerly waiting for his witty and humorous solutions to any problems. Sometimes I did wish for Alina and Nikolai to get together (no offense to Mal). He is someone that I would love to read more about. I am eagerly looking forward to reading King of Scars.
The characters were all well-developed except for Nikolai and some of the Grishas. But then they do have a whole series for them which could be the reason. Even then I would have loved to know more about Nikolai’s background. (Not sure whether this comes in King of Scars)
My rating for the series is 4.5⭐. I would definitely recommend these books whether or not you like fantasy.