Fantasy, High Fantasy, Young Adults
Shadow and Bone Trilogy, Book # 2
June 4th 2013
May 15, 2021 May 20, 2021
Beat the Backlist, The Backlist Reader
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
About the book
Second book in Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse trilogy, the first of which I reviewed last week. We still follow Alina’s adventures, escaped from the Darklink and his plans to conquer the world. Together with Mal, her childhood friend, she embarked on a ship bound for Novyi Zem where she wants to have a new life away from Ravka, but always aware that one day she must return to save her country and the population from the plan of the Darklin.
Meanwhile, the Darklin, survived the Fold, has acquired a new and terrifying power. And he’s always looking for Alina. Alina and Mal will find a very special ally who will help them in their mission to save Ravka. Or this is the intent. Will they succeed?
What I think
I liked the second book more than the first. The beginning is a bit boring since it looks like a photocopy of the first book (more or less) but almost immediately it recovers and I start to like the story. I hope that the third is also like the second and not like the first.
We get to know Alina better and what she can do with her power. The only flaw of the character is that she can’t make up her own mind. And I know that this is a Young Adult so there must be a triangle, quadrangle or worse a pentagon but it bothers me how it is presented and what Alina thinks she has to do.
Mal is more present. I don’t know whether to say he is the classic hero who sacrifices himself for the good of the damsel in distress (which I usually like if the hero has a certain end and a certain purpose) or to wait and see how he behaves in the next book, because it has already happened that a male character had these characteristics, but then changes and he loses all my respect.
Nikolai is a new character that is introduced and on one hand I like him, on the other, I also wait to express my opinion. However I like the thought of him, his philosophy and his inventions. Yes I think I like Nikolai.
Vasilj is hateful, but it was written on purpose like that, I’m sure and he’s so stupid that I haven’t even grown fond of him.
But can I ask why so many people like the Darklin? And please don’t compare him to Damon Salvatore, please don’t! There are evil ones who have such a great ascendant that you can only love them, even if they are evil, but I don’t see this ascendant with the Darklin. Especially since he isn’t present that much here and what he does is unbecoming and distasteful. We will see in the third, but I think he will be the classic villain to hate and just defeat, not the villain that you want to save.
I was a little vague so as not to spoil the surprise of who these characters are.