I was so looking forward to this, and I am pleased to say it did not disappoint!! Yay!!
Also I apologize in advance for my enthusiastic use of caps and exclamation points.
Making six complex, interesting characters that don't sound all the same is hard work. And I think Bardugo accomplished that splendidly. Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Nina, Matthias, and Wylan are all so unique and special and lovable. Gah, I love them all. The problem, or at least it's my problem, with having a large group of main characters is that I end up shipping everybody with everybody and I DONT KNOW WHO TO SHIP MORE. There's so many options. I'm liking the pairing Kaz and Inej, and it's already hinted at. But I also kind of ship Inej and Nina. Then there's Nina and Matthias. And I also very much ship Wylan and Jesper. UGH I CANT DECIDE. I think my top two favorites are Kaz and Inej and Jesper and Wylan. The former one is already practically canon, and the latter is hinted at a little bit so I'm hoping it becomes a reality. PLEASE MAKE JESPER AND WYLAN A COUPLE.
Moving on from characters, I love the action! So exciting! And plot twists abound! And that cliffhanger ending! This was just damn good fun to read. Very entertaining.
Also, I really like the world building. I was afraid things would be confusing since I have not read The Grisha Trilogy, but nope things were fine. It's so interesting and it was fun to see the correlations between cultures in the book and real life cultures.
Tl;dr version- Excellent characters, lots of exciting action, and cool world building. Originally I rated this four stars but I reread my review and I used a lot of caps. This means it deserves five stars. Five stars it is. Now, I NEED THE SEQUEL.
PS. I'm going to fangirl again about Wylan and Jesper, because it's my review and I can! PLEASE MAKE THIS A THING. Please. Their banter is so cute and they have such a chemistry and OMG I NEED THIS TO BE CANON. I cannot stress enough how much I approve of this pairing. I VERY MUCH APPROVE.
PPS. I did warn you about those caps ;)