Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.
Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.
I’ll just start of by saying that I absolutely loved this book! The premise of this book sounded like the perfect book to me. It takes place in one of my favourite fantasy worlds, follows a couple of my favourite characters and just sounds so kick ass. This book definitely did not disappoint, even with my super high expectations.
I’ll start my actual review of with the one small thing I didn’t really like about the book and that was that it was a bit slow in the middle, but now having read the whole book, I can totally see why the middle was slow. It was setting up for the incredible end of this book. But I’ll get to that later on.
Now that’s out of the way, so we can get to what I loved so much about this book. First of all these characters. I didn’t know it was possible for me to love Nikolai and Nina more than I already did, but I love them so much more now. I also started loving Zoya in this book. She already was a character that I really liked in the original trilogy, but this book made me really, really love her and most importantly made me understand her more.
I loved how the book told us so many backstories of the characters. We learned about Zoya’s and Nikolai’s childhood and also a little bit about Nina’s time at Ravka before the Six of Crows duology takes place. These sort of flashbacks were masked very well in the book. They didn’t bother me or didn’t feel unnatural at all. And I basically just loved learning about everyone’s past.
Also just one big appreciation for Genya and David’s relationship, they’re literally the cutest couple ever.
Plot wise I also really enjoyed the book. All of the action was nicely spread throughout the book, apart from a part in the middle of the book that felt a bit actionless. The book started with a bang and ended with an even bigger BANG. That ending might be one of the best endings I’ve ever read. It was the best possible set up for the next book and such an impossibly big plot twist. Like how does Ms. Bardugo writes an AMAZING plot twits in the last 20 pages? She’s an absolute queen.
I’ve always loved Bardugo’s writing style. I love how she sometimes throws random point of views in the book that are so much more important to the story than they seem. Her writing style is just so captivating and gripping. She makes me cry and laugh way too easily.
I am very sad that I have to wait for the sequel for SO LONG. But luckily I’ll have another Leigh Bardugo book to read in a couple of weeks.