Irene Kim
Irene Kim asked:

Do you think the Darkling ever loved Alina or even his own mother? Or, do you think he's like Sebastian from Mortal Instruments and only wanted Alina because he believed that out of everyone she's the most like him?

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Mathew Syfu SPOILER ALERT

Of course The Darking loved his mother. You hear him talk about how he has lived to long and grieved to long that his tears have long gone. IF he didnt care for his mother then he would have killed her during Shadow and Bone nonetheless do more than simply take her eyes out. During the read through Ruin and Rising after the events happen on Karamzin you hear him tell Alina " She was the closest thing you had to a mother right ? " suggesting that it was revenge for what had happened to Bahgra during the events of the skiff. Throughout the series you see that he plays games with Alina's heart and while believing that it is real, after looking back at it from later on in the series you see that he simply using her for her abilities. But what makes me think there may have been a connection other than the tether was the conversation he had with Alina. " You and I are the same, Like calls to like ." The Darkling said many times that there had been no one like him ( disregarding Bahgra ) and Alina seemed to put hope into him. YOu could argue that this hope fueled him into developing feelings for Alina or you could say that he purely wanted to use her as a means to an end. After reading and finishing Ruin and Rising I find that in the end The Darkling may not of have had a romantic feeling for Alina but a feeling of connection as in he finally had someone that he could relate too, not in means of power but as in being different. Taking into consideration that The Darkling has been alone with no other like him for decades, you find that he is very lonely, no matter how good he is at hiding it.I think that Alina sparked a feeling in The Darkling that lead him to chase after her through countless battles but I do not think it was an act of love. I think it was an longing for someone to be with, for someone to relate or compare to. To finally not be alone for once in his life.
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by Leigh Bardugo (Goodreads Author)
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