This middle book in The Grisha Trilogy sees Alina and Mal continue their journey. When the story begins, Mal and Alina are on the run and fleeing the Darkling. Soon, though, they are recaptured and taken by the Darkling on a search for the second mystical creature who can provide an additional amplifier for Alina. They are on a pirate ship, though Sturmhond who is captain insists he is a privateer.When the creature is captured and killed, Alina has a second amplifier and gains new powers. Sturmhond steals her from the Darkling but can't kill him. Together they flee back to Ravka to prepare the country for the Darkling's return. Sturmhond is revealed as the second son of the king who is supposed to be away at school. I really like him as a character. He is a real smart ass who is quick with a quip, a chameleon, and a noteworthy liar. Alina likes him too—when she doesn't want to kill him. He does try to come between Alina and Mal when he asks her to be his queen. He has plans to take over the throne from his incompetent older brother and father. Both of whom want the perqs of being king without actually doing any of the work.One of the hardest parts of this story to read was that Mal and Alina are growing apart. By accepting two amplifiers Alina is changed. Her new powers separate her from Mal because she has to become part of the ruling party and command the army of Grisha who have remained loyal to the king. Mal receives a dishonorable discharge from the King's army which leaves him feeling out of place and leaves him as not much more than a palace guard. The story is filled with exciting adventures, strange new creatures, and growth for Alina. I can't wait to read the final book in this trilogy to find out if Alina can get the third amplifier, vanquish the Darkling, and still have a happy ending with Mal.