I really liked this book. The world building was exquisite and the plot is really interesting, so I can't wait to see where the author goes with the next two books.That being said, the reason it gets 4 stars instead of 5 is Alina in the last quarter of the book. I get that the reader is supposed to connect to her "vulnerability" when she can't kill the stag to save herself and Mal, but the way that she acts is just eye rolling-ly dumb. Her hand-wringing angst gets old toward the end, so I hope she grows a pair (figuratively) and there's a lot less of this personality trait in the sequels. Is it bad that I also kinda wanted The Darkling to be misunderstood and the guy she's supposed to be with? You know, not necessarily the hero, but not the villain either? The relationship with Mal just feels really cliche'.