Actual rating: 4.5 Stars
This book was was just shy of the excellence of book one in the series. The only negative thing I can say about it is that the plot lagged abit around the middle. As far as the rest it was all well done, well written and filled with Ms. Bardugo's exquisite imagery and drama. One area that she excells in is writing blockbuster finishes for each book, rather than just for the final book in a series. This book was no exception. I can't even imagine the plot twists and turns she has woven into the 3rd and final book of this series and look forward to experiencing each and every one of them. I have to say I sure hope she manages to have Mal and Alina end up together by the end. Mal is just perfect, if he were real I fall for him in a heartbeat... but falling for fictional characters never ends well... so I guess I just have to hope he and Alina make it in the end. This second book was an enthralling, exciting and very very satisfying read!