I reviewed the first one in the series here, SHADOW AND BONES.
When I finished this book, I literally bolted off my chair, danced around (more like flailing wildly), and immediately went to the computer to see when the third book in the trilogy comes out. Through much googling, it looks like it will be out in the fall of 2014. I DON'T WANT TO WAIT THAT LONG. But I will, BECAUSE AWESOME.
So an amazon summary before I get too psyched out about this amazing book, "Darkness never dies.
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, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But 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." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
The book begins with a 'Before' section that nicely transitions where the first book left off to where the second book begins.
Mal and Alina have managed to escape the Darkling for a short while, but are captured at the beginning of the book. During their capture, it's revealed that the Darkling has a new power; he's able to summon the beasts from the Fold and one of the beasts manages to bite Alina with a wound that will never properly heal (allegedly). The Darkling and his minions whisk Mal and Alina away onto a ship where they meet Sturmhond and his interesting crew. It's soon revealed that they're looking for Rusalye with the intention of getting another amplifier for Alina. Mal manages to track it down, but as the Rusalye becomes captured, Sturmhond and his crew escape with Rusalye, Mal, and Alina before making off with them; far away from the Darkling. Sturmhond claims he works for the highest bidder, and the Darkling was essentially outbid; but Alina is wary. Sturmhond lets her kill the Rusalye and he has a Grisha on board that fastens scales from the beast onto Alina's wrist. Her power becomes even greater.
Sturmhond makes a bargain with Alina that he gets to take her to his true employer and hear him out; but if she wants to leave at any time, Sturmhond will take her away from it all to where she originally wanted to escape with Mal. Alina agrees and after one incredible flying adventure, Alina discovers that Sturmhond is actually the second prince to the Ravka throne.
That's about 30% of the book. It was a lot of summary, sparing a lot of the intricate details that really, the book needs to be read to get.
I loved the relationship between Mal and Alina because although they are in love, they face struggles that are well portrayed. The world was so well done, the same as in the first book, and the book was well paced.
I enjoyed Alina's character in that it was consistent, yet she was growing as she's struggling to come into her own as well as 'save the world' of sorts.
Really, if you loved the first book, you're going to love the second book just as much. It's a great follow up sequel, and I hope the trend continues into the third book.
The book is so intricate that I really feel like I can't say one thing without having to explain the back story of it and how it got to that point so that you can appreciate it too.
I just want to run around and dance a lot.
That's all I got.
I'm going to struggle not to read it again because of all the other waiting books, but the temptation is strong.