I never know to say in these things. I guess that says something about me. I read a lot, write stories, and like books. I like a good debate. Nothing else is to say. :-)
I like how this series ended.
It could have gone the usual way, with Alina saving the world and marrying the King, and she lived happily ever after as the most powerful Grisha in the world. But that was never realistic with the story that was being told, I think.
The story from the beginning was a tale about power, and what a destructive force it could be for those who chased it above all else. Too much power leads to corruption, and as our villain showed, in the end your Destruction. If you have all the power in the world to make it want you want it to be, regardless of your good intent, it corrupts you. Every power hungry monster thinks they have good justification for their acts. They think they are the hero in the tale. And in another life they could be, if not for their methods. The Darkling destroyed whole countries and murdered countless, because he was trying to make the world a better place for people like him; So that he no longer felt like and "other"...but along the way he lost himself. It became all about the end goal, and not about the lives that were affected by his quest.
So in the end, the fact that Alina ended up less powerful than she was, and basically lived out her life as a woman of no importance, living on the countryside, married to the boy she loved...nothing and a nobody to most of the world...felt fitting. Because ultimately that was all she wanted. She didn't want to be a Queen, or a Saint...she just wanted to be happy and free. And the only way she could be free, was to be something other than what she had been since book 1. I read some people did not like this ending...I guess they wanted fame and power for their heroine...but a reality of life is that usually fame and power usually doesn't equal happiness. The Darkling is a good example. Alina was happy in the end. So, after all she suffered, I was content with her end.
One thing I would say I loved about this book was that the villain, The Darkling, while he terrible and he committed horrific acts...the reader can't help but sympathize with him. He was just a little boy that had a lofty goal, and too much power, lack of support and love set him on the wrong path. I liked that we could see him for all he was...monster and a human. I love a good villain. But I hate a one dimensional villain. The Darkling was never that. Even to the end...you felt sad for him. He had to be defeated, but what a tragic figure he was.
All in all...a good end to the series. Sort of. I hear there is a new series set in the same world. I assume in the future. Hmm...might check it out.