I felt that this book started off slowly. It took a while to get into the storyline, but after a few chapters I was completely involved in the story. I wasn’t sure that I was going to like the story, but I ended up falling in love with the concept and can’t wait to read the other books.
The world and character building was a little sparse considering that the reader is going into these novels without any idea about the world, the rulers and rules, or the Grisha. I do wish we were given a chapter or so to really explain the Grisha as they are the most fascinating part of the novel. There are these people with powers and you’re introduced to what they can do as you see them, but I feel like a reader would connect with the novel more if you understood the heirarchy of the Grisha, the way they categorize powers, and what those powers could entail before we are introduced to the multitude of abilities and fringe characters.
The novel progressed at a good pace until it came to the end and then it seems like a number of plot points were just jammed into the conclusion. It felt like the author wrote 87% of their novel and then said, “Shoot. We need the bad guy to accomplish x by the end of the novel, mess up the good guy’s life, and then have the good guy come up with a plan that allows them to segue into the next novel… and I’ve only got 13% of the book left to accomplish it.” It just seemed to jump around too much and I would have preferred it if the book was lengthened so that the storyline could be fully fleshed out.
Other than those concerns, I did really enjoy the book and look forward to reading the rest of the series. Definitely give it a chance if you like YA and unique magic series like Sword of Truth or Daughter of Smoke and Bone.