Book Summery (Via Goodreads): The capital has fallen.
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.
Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.
*Le sigh* I wanted to enjoy this more than I did. Really, truly.
What I was expecting: A fast-paced final journey in the Russian-like setting I've grown accustomed to. A solid connection to the characters, particularly, the two main characters Alina and Mal.
What I got: A whirlwind, action-packed story. However, the pace was so fast, I had a difficult time keeping up with what was actually happening. Also, I had a hard time understanding some of the language. I think it was because it had been so long since I read the previous book (which I remember loving). The biggest misgiving was the disconnection between the reader (me) and the characters, particularly Alina and Mal. The constant "we need to put our own desires aside for the greater good" grated on my nerves for some reason. I felt like Alina wanted her cake and the ability to eat it too. I felt like for such an epic ending to this story, more sacrifices should have been made. But that is just my humble opinion.
Cover Art Commentary:
I love the colors of this cover. I also really enjoy the design, especially the fire bird.