Blurb from Goodreads.com: "Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart."
Things I liked about this book: The world is interesting, the story wasn't predictable, the friendships, and I didn't know for sure who was good or who was bad. I appreciated the growth in Alina and how she stuck by her friend and he by her. I liked the romance - it wasn't yucky or over the top, but fitting for the intended age group of this novel. I also liked the magic and hope the next two books will go into the magic a bit more deeply.
I will read the next book in this trilogy.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.