My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I tend to be super wary of YA fantasy books – actually I’m wary about fantasy in general. When it’s good, it’s good, but when it’s bad it’s poison to my soul.
No poison here – hooray!
Bardugo did good here. I mean, I always have something to nit pick but overall I really enjoyed this. I like the flavor of the setting. I’ve heard some criticism of the Russian/Not Russian of this and to all those people I lovingly flip the bird. This is fantasy, folks, and as much as you might disagree that means the author can do *~*~anything she wants*~*~ to her setting (so long as it’s consistent and works with plot and all of that, of course). It’s beautiful magic. If you’re going to moan about the improper use of Russian words, you should probably also be concerned with the fact that magic doesn’t exist in real life. Just sayin’.
Sorry for that side track – let me start over. I like the flavor of the setting. I love the back and forth between suspense and life. I like our main character and how we get deep but not too deep. I like the conflicting romance and, even more, I like what took me by surprise. Characters evolved in great ways. Bardugo had my hand quivering at a page turn because I didn’t want to see what would happen next because I was so sure it shouldn’t happen but everything was just going wrong… anyway, that’s enough of that before I have to hide this in a spoiler.
Like I said, I have some nit-picky. Teenage girls are annoying with their wallowing, sulking, and cattiness and I would rather not read about it, but so it is.
I have high hopes for this series moving forward. Once, just once I want to be totally satisfied with a YA series when I’m done with it. I’ve given a lot of them a chance (The Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent) and by the end they all sucked. Come on Bardugo. I am rooting for you here.