As soon as Leigh Bardugo released her new novel, I ordered a copy for myself for obvious reasons. I want to be as overwhelmed as I was after Six of Crows and Shadow and Bone – and so far, she hasn’t let me down. Here are my first thoughts!
I am 70 pages in and this book is the perfect match for fall. With a mysterious atmosphere created through the secret societies and their magic, it’s the perfect seasonal read. I’ve heard Leigh Bardugo say that this book is neither YA nor happy but rather dark and mentally challenging and even though it addresses serious subjects, it’s nothing that couldn’t be handled.
In fact, I am enjoying this dark fantasy theme. The book starts off leaving you completely lost in the unknown world of Yale’s secret magic societies and the mystic Lethe House the protagonist Alex Stern has been selected to join. I was super overwhelmed at first because you’re thrown into this new world given no information and no time to adapt to the magic system as the book starts in the middle/end of the story. But as you read on, it slowly unravels and you start to understand more and more.
What I loved most about this book is the time difference. One plot is told after something grand happened and at a time where the protagonist has been member of Lethe House for some time and knows what she has to do, while the other one follows her around discovering her new home and world, which is the perfect combination.
Each page reveals something spectacular or mysterious about the magic system which is a great aspect alongside the characters, atmosphere and other plot.
I’m really loving the main character, Alex, because she is super overwhelmed by everything new being thrown in her way and that is totally relatable. Darlington, the student chosen to be her protégé is also awesome – for me, he seems to be a mixture of Captain Thorne and Kaz Brekker. I don’t know, I could be totally wrong here, but that’s my first impression of him.
Leigh Bardugo’s writing is phenomenal, but that’s no surprise for someone who’s read all of her books and loves her because she is able to move worlds with her words (one aspect amongst thousands why I love her). From Shadow and Bone to this book, I was really able to notice her process and development as a writer and that makes me super happy! Writing, she creates this special atmosphere that not every author is able to achieve and that makes this book super worth reading!
I’ll end here, I’m really excited to know how this book will turn out! I hope you enjoyed it and happy reading!