So… this book exists… and pardon me if this review is less than eloquent as I’m basically just a mess of emotions where this book is concerned and I might be less than coherent. I may have had a minor breakdown at the end of this book, let me tell you why. So, evil boyfriends guys… All right, they’re kind of my thing. If you’ve been reading my reviews long enough you may have figured that out by yourself. They’re what I write, they’re what I love the most, and there is literally nothing in this world that can cause me more emotional turmoil and make me so incredibly happy than a well written evil boyfriend. (One day on my writing blog I’ll do a write up of my favourite books featuring said kinds of “boyfriends”, remind me to do that soon). I don’t even know guys, I’ve never read a book that has had literally everything I love and hold dear. All of it. Everything. I’ve also, in all my years reading, have never encountered a character who reminds me of my own evil boyfriend (his name is Torin… if you follow my tumblr I complain about him a lot, he’s not so secretly my favourite ever.)… until this book. (I don’t think you all understand I had a legitimate meltdown reading this book I can’t give an unbiased review this review is TOTALLY BIASED) This might be my favourite book? It hit the top three, easily. A high fantasy with some heavy Russian influences about an orphan, Alina, with a power that she didn’t even know she had - that could potentially save her world. But really, the magic system was great. It was just enough - not too complex, not too simple, just really well executed. Alina was so good. She was such a good protagonist (this book is in first person - which means I have found my favourite book written in first person) Her narration was amazing and she was so unsure of herself and I loved her for it. I don’t know if I should even discuss the Darkling with you all. Honestly, it might not be safe for me. It was difficult reading about him because I had a lot of feelings. I think he portrayed literally every one of my favourite mannerisms in a charismatic villain-esque character - even the way he talked it was all just so flawless and I had a hard time dealing to be honest. The romance was painful for me (in the most beautiful way. This book was pain - perfectly beautiful pain). Aside from evil!boyfriends, I have a soft spot for romantic relationships born from lifelong friends. Yes. Ok, I need not say more. I just. I just have a lot of emotional feelings about this book that you guys need to understand. I just adored everything about this book. Literally everything. And, it’s a little weird (and really thrilling, to me) as an aspiring writer to read a book that is so close to what I’m trying to write (not in, like, plot or anything, but in character dynamics really. Kind of. Sort of. Mostly the Darkling just reminded me a whole lot of my Torin and it was CRAZY and also THE GREATEST THING EVER and I just want to have tea with Leigh Bardugo and talk about villains because I feel like SHE UNDERSTANDS). Guys really. Guys. Guys. I just want to take this book everywhere with me and have it under my pillow when I sleep and just weep over it constantly because everything was so beautiful and painful and totally wonderful and all right I think I should leave now.