Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Sunday, September 28, 2014
Why I chose this book: 
After finishing Shadow and Bone, the audiobook narrated by Lauren Fortgang, there was absolutely no way I was not going to download the next installment. Fortgang’s narration is to die for, and the story… WOW. That’s it. Just speechless.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publish Date: June 4th, 2013
Format: Audiobook
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm. (Goodreads)
Bookish Likes:
New characters! With this second book, we were introduced to new characters, and because of that, my heart grew twice as big. Nicolai was my absolute favorite! I love his haughty way about him and even more his complex personality that comes with one of royal position. At first, I wasn’t too sure of him, but as soon as I figured out that he was one of the good guys, I quickly fell in love. I also loved Tolya and Tamar. They were fantastic additions to the main group of unforgettable characters.

Bookish Loves:
Alina. This girl, man! I loved her! With a new addition to her Grisha repertoire, she becomes infinitesimally more complicated as a character. You see this shadow within her and her taking to power. Most of the time, you want to see that as the reader, but then you also understand that it also comes with a price, as do most actions. Come the end, she is still Alina, but you understand how this mixture of dark and light has shaped her and the decisions she makes. 

I also absolutely completely adore Leigh Bardugo’s description. It’s elegant and entrancing and all around just fantastic writing. I remember multiple times while listening to the audiobook that I whispered, “Damn, that’s some good writing,” to myself.

Bookish Mehs:
I would actually call this somewhere between a ‘meh’ and a ‘like’. 
Mal. Let’s talk about him for a second. I like Mal’s character, I really do. I like they way Bardugo wrote him and his relationship with Alina. It was realistic and I understood it completely, but for some reason, I just wasn’t feeling it.

The rest of this paragraph is just me rambling about ships, so if you don’t want to know my opinions on that, read the next heading. As the Darkling said, Mal will never understand her and he will grow to fear her. As much as I hate that the Darkling is right, well, he is, and I think this is the book that Alina comes to fully understand that. It’s a tumultuous time for her. She’s figuring out her own identity with the new fetter and to throw in Mal’s fear of her makes her understably uncertain. Personally, I like the idea of her and Nicolai, and I wouldn’t mind seeing that one play out, but even still, I think Mal makes for a good guard and friend. But lover, not so much. Their friendship is distorted and complicated by Alina’s Grisha abilities, and I don’t think that Mal will ever be able to overcome that. Not as long as he is not Grisha.

Final Thoughts:
Fantastic. Utterly and completely fantastic! I can’t wait to start Ruin & Rising. I’ve heard only great things about it, and I’m so glad I didn’t have to wait between installments. I think the wait would have nearly killed me. 

I gave the book 5 stars on my Goodreads.

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