Series: The Grisha #2
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on June 4, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Source: Publisher (Mail)
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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, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But 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.
Oh. My. People, Leigh Bardugo is my hero. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved Shadow and Bone. I thought for SURE there was no way to top it ever. BUT Siege and Storm is perfection! I was over the moon when I received my ARC, and I dropped everything to read it. Honestly, I have no idea how to even review this one. No idea. My brain wheels are spinning so fast, but then I type and nothing makes sense! I just loved it, and that’s that. I will do my best, but basically it all boils down to the fact that you just HAVE to read this even if you think Fantastical futuristic Russia, sexy male leads, a kick-butt heroine, and feeling is not for you. As always, my main points are bolded.
1. Everything I loved about Shadow and Bone showed up in Siege and Storm. I was flooded with feels, swoons, and gasps. OH MAN. It’s like I’m reliving it.
2. The World. We learn so much more, and we are introduced to new places! Like the OCEAN. And there’s a sea monster and privateers! Need I say more?
3. Alina is SO much stronger! I didn’t think it was possible, but she’s just crazy nuts now. She’s more powerful, and she knows it. And I love watching her struggle as she tries to keep this power in check without succumbing to the darkness. She’s beginning to identify more with The Darkling, which puts a bit of a rift between her and Mal. And I totally understand why she’s drawn to him, as he is still just as alluring in that dangerous bad-boy kind of way. But oh, is he scary. But then he’s not… because he can be so understanding towards Alina. He totally gets her, and this softens me a bit. It’s kind of romantic. He’s like a drug. I kinda love him, but he’s just not good. I’m so torn.
4. So, we have this new guy Sturmhond. I LOVE HIM. He’s one of those suave sailor guys who can’t say anything wrong, and he totally steals the show. He’s just so dashing and cocky that you can’t help but flutter your eyelashes. The things he comes up with had me laughing. He’s so dynamic, that even though he’s new to the scene he makes a place for himself and makes sure he’s not overlooked. He brings out a lot of great things in Alina, as he coaches her and sticks by her side. And he’s really mysterious and hard to figure out because he’s a privateer. Who is he looking out for? Which side is he on? Gah, the complexity. I’m already planning our winter wedding.
5. Mal… I feel like he’s fallen to the back of the pack a little. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s a soldier among Grisha and royalty, if he’s not supportive enough of Alina and her place in this world, or if he’s just got a lot on his mind. Whatever the case may be, I’m totally ok with this because we’ve got more room for action and craziness. Rather than focusing on him and Alina, Leigh has chosen to showcase other characters (like my future husband), as well as the ongoing battle between Alina and The Darkling. I love that this entire trilogy has SO much more going on than love triangles.
6. Leigh’s writing is still gorgeous. She can go from writing deep feelings to crazy battle scenes to detailed descriptions of Grisha powers. I mentioned it in my review of Shadow and Bone, and I’ll mention it again: if Leigh’s writing was not so amazing this book would be just another fantasy novel.
7. And… again… everything happens! There’s no mindless dialogue or details nobody cares about (I really hate needless details). Everything written on these pages is written for a purpose. Events are strung together so fast, but with transitions that do not cause whiplash. I was always on my toes wondering what was going to happen next, and I was completely engrossed. Siege and Storm really reads like a movie.
OH MAN. I want to go back and read S&B and S&S all over again for the first time! I just love this series. Leigh really has jumped to the top of my most beloved authors list. I will follow her and her books to the ends of the earth. Just read them.