Books to the ceiling, books to the sky, my pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I'll have a long beard by the time I read them!
I loved this novel. It was so unexpected, and I felt like I'd only just started to read it and it was over. It's quite easy to see why other people are giving this one so many stars. I found the concept of Grisha's to be terribly interesting, though I did feel like the world building could have used a bit more filling out. I'm really enjoying all the new fantasy novels that have been released lately.
(Don't you just love that cover? Much better than the rather generic UK version!)
One issue I had was that Alina was described as thin, pale and plain throughout the entire novel until the Grisha's got a hold of her, and all of a sudden she has two love interests vying for her attention. I have read so many novels where girls either think they're less attractive than they are or they know they're attractive and it doesn't matter to them, and they fight their emotions for the main love interest for idiotic reasons. I would have preferred it if Alina remained plain, thin and pale and still had people interested in her anyway. How much more interesting would it have been if she'd been interesting because of her personality?
Still, it didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. I've read some fairly... discouraging reviews about the second in the trilogy so it has made me slightly apprehensive to read it, but I just have to know what happens.