Was it just me, or did the characters actually get less mature in this book? Did the author really take a story with great potential and turn it into a- well it isn’t even a love triangle- a love tetrahedron?
Alina is a young woman with issues. Wanted by a psychotic, power hungry, down right ancient malcontent, she is on the run. But she is on the run with the man she is loved all her life: Mal. Alina has a wishy-washy character of alternate confusion and grabs at power. She seems to be letting herself become consumed by the power she controls. The more consumed she gets, the less she trusts those around her to include Mal.
Mal went from being a confident man to a whiny little punk. Be constantly seems to blame Alina for his decisions. It is okay when he is being the independent strong one of the duo, but when Alina is not allowed to hold her own. He seems to prefer her weak and dependent on him. When she makes her own decisions, he goes into drunken fits and condescending remarks.
The power twins I actually liked. But their motives were murky at best. I found myself wondering at their loyalty to the woman they swore to protect.
The privateer/princeling is a chameleon. His methods are self-serving and borderline amoral. His personality is a facade that changes depending on who he is talking to. It could be that he is interested in Alina. Or it could be that he recognizes the power having a bona fide saint as his bride would bring him.
The Darkling remains obsessed with power, Alina, and being super creepy. He is the one character that didn’t seem to change. His cruelty became more pronounced, as if his cloak of civilization was finally ripped away. But our few flashes of him throughout the tale were barely enough to hold the story together.
This one is tricky. Everyone is obviously fighting over Alina and her power. You’ve got the two princes, Mal, a priest, the Grisha, and the Darkling all chasing after this girl. For the life of me I can’t understand why. Besides a few light shows, Alina spent the whole book not doing anything more than trying to figure out Mal’s problem. She barely makes it out of two fights with the Darkling and yet is struggling to decide between her power and her man. What power? The power to run? What man? The drunken sot who is afraid of you and wants you to be defenseless while reading his mind?
Huh. A disappointing read. There was lots of potential after the first book. However the colossal nothing that happened for fifty chapters was not engaging. The next installment is not on my “must read”.