4.5 starsOnce I started I had to finish it. Another that felt more like an adult fantasy than some of the typical YA offerings. If you liked Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I think you will like this one too.The story is set in land reminiscent of a feudal tsarist Russia. Alina is a soldier secretly harboring feelings for her best friend Mal. Their regiment is about to make a dangerous crossing. Things go wrong, and to save her friend, Alina taps into a power she didn't know she had. This brings her to the attention of the Darkling, the leader of the Grisha or magic users. Suddenly she is in a whole new world as she learns how to use her powers.I "got" Alina and I thought that her reactions were realistic. I thought the supporting characters were well done too. The magic was different and I liked the world.There is some romance. Some people might cry "love triangle" but this did not feel like your typical triangle. For that to be the case, both love interests must be viable options at the same time (IMO). I liked the way the romance was handled.There is a conclusion, but the story is not over yet.