The Shadow Fold is a stretch of Darkness that separates East Ravka from West Ravka. It is infested by winged, flesh eating creatures called the Volcra. The land that is covered by the Fold is completely barren and infertile, nothing grows there. It was created by the Black Heretic centuries ago. People have been crossing the fold for years but people are also killed because of the Volcra inside it. People still cross it because the only trading port they have is located in West Ravka.
𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘦?
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘦𝘯Leigh Bardugo
For centuries people have been waiting for the Sun Summoner to come and destroy the fold.
Now my rant begins
*Deep breath in*
Enter Alina Starkov, she is our main protagonist. She is also the Sun Summoner, here to destroy the fold and save all of Ravka. Well what can I say about her? I have a lot to say about her. I’ll start with a fact about me. Of all the books I’ve read, I’ve never disliked the main character of the book but here I am not liking Alina.
Firstly, I found her to be easily influenced. She can be manipulated very easily and she wouldn’t even know she’s being manipulated.
Secondly, her need to please everyone. This may be because of some kind of abandonment issues with her being orphaned at a very young age.
Thirdly, not once did she doubt anything that the Darkling said or did. She was awestruck (we all are awestruck by him) by him from the moment he protected her. So many people warned her to be careful around The Darkling, (I also tried to talk through the book to tell her to look around a bit to see what they aren’t telling her) but she didn’t. She immediately formed a connection with him. The idea of saving the world and making a change with The Darkling, finally not being invisible anymore was flooding through her. She once again found the need to please someone, and that was The Darkling.
“𝘑𝘶𝘴𝘵… 𝘣𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘶𝘭”
𝘐 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘦𝘳, 𝘣𝘢𝘧𝘧𝘭𝘦𝘥. “𝘖𝘧 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵?”
“𝘖𝘧 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘮𝘦𝘯”Leigh Bardugo
Fourthly, she definitely didn’t make a lot of decisions herself. They were made for her and she did them without uttering a single word.
Lastly, her confusion between two men. She loved Mal all her life, then Darkling comes and sweeps her off her feet. The whole time she was at the royal place she constantly thought about Mal then also she’s had a couple of nice makeout sessions with The Darkling (I can understand this, like who wouldn’t want to makeout with The Darkling, I definitely would, come on, that man is fine).
“𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦’𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘮𝘢𝘱𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘳.”
“𝘖𝘧 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵. 𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘭𝘪𝘻𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘦𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳. 𝘜𝘯𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘢 𝘩𝘢𝘸𝘬”Leigh Bardugo
After a few months of seperation, when Alina finally reunites with Mal, she immediately runs to him and hugs him and what does he do? He insults her for liking her new life, for doing something different. This even hurt me. I would hate it if someone I loved said something like that to me. But still she loves him. She was literally going back and forth between the two.
There were times when I was actually screaming at the book “what the hell are you doing Alina?!” “Oh My God make up your mind, come on!” “NO!”
She didn’t have a lot of growth throughout the book. The only growth I saw was her learning to fight and her control over her powers, this was actually really amazing. I really commend her for the control she showed in the last fight.
𝘓𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦Leigh Bardugo
The only characters I liked were The Darkling and Genya.
Genya is such a good character, she is so sweet and beautiful. Alina and Genya’s friendship was something I really enjoyed.
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘭𝘶𝘮𝘱𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘪𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘪𝘳 “𝘍𝘪𝘯𝘦” 𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘸𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘴𝘩𝘳𝘶𝘨. “𝘔𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘮𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘷𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘯”.Leigh Bardugo
Well, The Darkling was definitely something else. He is so powerful that can cut a person is half with one swipe of his hand. In the beginning he’s shown to be on the good side, he wants to get rid of the Shadow Fold and save Ravka. However, he does have plans for the Shadow Fold but they aren’t really good. Although, everything that he plans and wants to do comes from the need to change the system. The want for no more wars or deaths. It will be his Kingdom to rule, which is quite understandable untill the part where he would kill anyone who comes in his way or that he would extend the fold killing more people and the land itself. Then there is also the fact that he’s tremendously gorgeous and steamy. All of that plus this make him really an amazing character. He is so complex. If I hadn’t known that he’s the villain of the story I would’ve never guessed that he was. But being the villian suits him really nicely.
“𝘐’𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦, 𝘈𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘢” 𝘏𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥. “𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥”.Leigh Bardugo
Some things that I really liked about are the plot, the magic system, the world building and of course The Darkling.
The plot is simple as well as the writing, it is light and captivating. If someone want to start reading fantasy then they can start with this one.
The magic system, here is really intricate, with different classes each possessing a different power, from healing to fabricating to summoning an element like fire, air, light, darkness, etc
The world here is inspired by 19th century Russia. The description is really vivid. There were a lot of things there that were quite similar to Russian elements. It gave an imperial and centralised feel.
Even though I didn’t like most of the characters, I did like the plot and the world. The only reason why I’m continuing to read this series is because I want to see how Alina grows in the next books. She has so much room to grow. Fingers crossed, I start to like Alina by the end of the series.