OMG. I just LOVE the Darkling. Yes, I know he is the baddie, but hello. He is also hot as hell and I could see another side to him as well. I was delighted that he was getting a prequel graphic novella and of course I had to add it to my collection.
In this book we meet our Darkling when he is on the run again. Running from Grisha Hunters. From bad guys. From people who want his power. From people who fear his power. His new name is Eryk. And we see how it makes him feel as he thinks of all the names he has been through in his life. From his original name Aleksander to what he is called now. Eryk.
We see how they come across a camp and decide to stay. For a while. Probably the entire winter because it is just too dangerous and cold now to travel. We see all the people who live in the camp. We see how they are open to Eryk and his mother.. but also worried and sus. Because they have certain powers that most people don’t have. Powers different than the normal ones. Yes, even between Grisha there is distrust. As the story continues we see Eryk try to make the best of the camp. Explore. Meet new people. Maybe open up a bit. Show his powers. Tell some honest bits. The two girls he met, they were great characters. The little girl with her endless energy and hope. The older girl who was at first distrustful but then opened up. I loved how Eryk tried to help them out. Tried to be there for them.
Then there are also bad guys. Of course, again, even Grisha fight amongst themselves. Which I would think is stupid in a time like this, but hey who am I? I wasn’t a fan of the son of the chief and neither of the guy’s friends.
I have to say I am a bit confused. According to various sites our Darkling was 13 at the time he was at that Grisha camp. But I thought he was more like 16/17. Not just in the way he looked, but also how he acted. I guess given everything he has grown up faster than his peers. But still, a bit confusing. So for me he was 16/17 in this book. XD Screw the original lore. XD
The ending was shocking. Sad. Horrific. Terrible. Not just what happened to Eryk/Aleksander. But also what happened to other people. I can imagine that after all that happened to him already that this was just the final blow. The final thing to push him into the events that happened years later.
The art was absolutely stunning and I love how well it fits with the character, his powers, how he is. Dark, but also light. Shadow, but also not. And hello, the Darkling was just swoons.
All in all, I loved loved loved this book and I wouldn’t mind more Darkling books. I would also be happy with more prequels of other characters or events. Give it to me! I would highly recommend this book to all who love Grishaverse and need more in their lives.