Book 36 is the second book in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy. Now I read the first book last year and it took me some time to get up the courage to read the second book. Not because it was a bad book or I thought it would be a bad book, I just didn’t now what would happen to the characters and I was scared to see. It didn’t help that I went to a book signing with Leigh Bardugo and a fan had asked about a death in the book. Granted Ms. Bardugo was swift to shut the person down on saying anything more so that more spoilers weren’t given, but the damage was done. I know that someone is going to die and I am scared to know whom it is. Ms. Bardugo is really good at making your feel about the characters, and her characters are not two-dimensional at all. You actual see the struggle the characters go through as they as going through the story.
So since this is the second story, you have to understand where the first story ended. When we last saw Alina and Mal, they had escaped the Darkling and his Grisha in the Fold. The Fold is this huge area that is nothing but darkness with these evil and malicious creatures that feed on humans. Alina is a Sun Summoner, she can summon light and harness it. This is the direct opposite to the Darkling, who can summon darkness. So what does that mean for our heros in the second book.
So Alina and Mal are trying to disappear, but almost immediately they are captured by the Darkling and taken to sea. Seems there is something the Darkling wants, and it has to deal with power. Each summoner has an amplifier; something that helps to amplifies their natural abilities. But summoners can only have one amplifier. The Darkling has found out that there are 3 magical creatures that work together to create one powerful amplifier (though the characters see it as 3 separate amplifiers, I think it is really 1 really powerful amplifier, just makes sense). So when the Darkling found out where to find the second creature, he set out with Alina to kill the creature and claim the power. Unfortunately he didn’t know that the pirate he hired to get him to the creature was actually the second prince of the country and had enough Grisha to help him steal back Mal and Alina and take the creature for the second piece of the amplifier. This sets in motion a divide for Mal and Alina. Alina is learning that she isn’t normal and will never be like anyone else. She can’t have what she wants and Mal doesn’t like it either. He wants to accept Alina for who she is but he can’t. That is something that is really interesting in the book; you see the struggle for both of them.
So that being said, I really do love Bardugo’s world building. She adds information a little at a time, so you don’t feel bogged down with to much information about the world and not enough story. That is something that author’s has to be careful with, especially when making their own world. If an author doesn’t build the world correctly, leaves plot holes but if they build too much, they can lose the reader in the information.
The only problem I had with this book is that Bardugo pulls her inspiration for her world from Russia, and that means there are words and such that I can’t pronounce. That was really the only problem I had. I do hate it when that happens, because I don’t know that if what is in my head is the correct way of pronouncing it. But, it isn’t so heavy that it takes away from the story, just enough that it makes you wonder.
All in all, great book. I would always suggest Leigh Bardugo to friends and family that would like a good fantasy book. Especially if they like a villain that they can like. The Darkling is what I have always thought a villain should be. He is so tempting to follow and it makes it so much easier for the reader to understand the struggle of this world in villianizing this character. He reminds me of Loki from the Avengers. The bad guy that you want to love. Well I have decided I really want to know how this will end so I am going to read the last book and finish the trilogy. I actually have 2 more trilogies that are ending this year that I will be reading. Seems that this year I will be finishing more than one story. Well I will see you next book.
Let's enjoy the many worlds there are to enjoy, in just our own heads.