I kept hearing how wonderful this story was and I was wanting to read it. However, I was able to find the audio by Lauren Fortgang whom I've never hear narrate but I have been told she was wonderful. That was correct. Lauren's voice is perfect as Alina and I loved her pronunciation of all the Russian words. It helped me to easily slip into this world. One I was reluctant to leave by the end of the story.
I do warn those that hate love triangles... there is one brewing within these pages. However, it isn't one that makes your eyes roll, but makes sense. There is a clear winner and one that will make you swoon. However, the other one won't leave you willingly so you know there is more to that story. You will also love the villain in the story. His characterization is such that you are never certain of his motivations even when you feel that he is totally figured out. I love that in a villain and it makes the tension in the story so much better.
Oh there is so much I want to talk about with the book. It was one that was hard to put down (or turn off in this case) but I don't want to spoil it for anyone. If you are looking for a fantasy book that isn't too heavy handed with great worldbuilding, this one would be great to start. I recommend the audio especially for this book because you can hear the words as they were intended and not mangle them in your head (I know I do that! LOL). I give this audio 5 stars. I really enjoyed my time here and I can't wait to listen to the next one. In fact, I do hope the Lauren voices all 3 books in the trilogy.