Hey all, Dani here.
Okay, I’ve been putting off this review since I finished reading this one, and I just can’t wait anymore. As per usual, I will avoid spoilers with my review, or if there are spoilers, I will give you warning. However, if you have not read both the Grisha trilogy and the Six of Crows duology, maybe stay away from this review. I can’t promise not to talk about what happens in those books.
Let’s just get started.
Face your demons…or feed them.
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.
Rating: 5 stars
So, there were a few reasons why I was really excited about this book, and most of those reasons were more Nikolai and more Nina. I will freely admit that I loved the Six of Crows duology a lot more than the Grisha trilogy, but I was intrigued to return to Ravka and see what all had happened since the Darkling was destroyed.
Oh, and I was definitely interested in seeing how Nina was doing after what happened at the end of the Six of Crows duology. My heart is still hurting for her. Seriously. And it is clear that she is still struggling to move on and find her way again. But I appreciated that she never stopped trying to move forward. I think Nina’s perseverance will take her far, and with all the people she met in this story, and all that she is currently facing, I think her plotline in this duology is going to be very interesting.
What I didn’t expect with this book, was that I would end up thinking that Zoya was my favorite character this time around. This is especially surprising to me considering just how much I love Nikolai. But I feel like I learned so much about Nikolai’s right-hand lady, and I can’t help but appreciate her so much more now. Also, come on, I now would rather like to have Zoya and Nikolai be a thing.
There is so much going on with this story and this world, and I continue to be impressed with Bardugo’s ability to write a 500+ page book that you fly through as if it is nothing…and then want to read it again, because you know that you probably missed some stuff.
Like right now, I can definitely say that I want to go read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom again. Of course, the atmosphere and mythos of these books also really makes me want to read Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan again.
So this was a very good read, and now begins the year-long wait for the conclusion to the duology. Honestly, how in the world is Bardugo going to wrap up all these plotlines? I have no clue, but I’m sure it will be an exciting read.