Thursday, 20 June 2013

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy #2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release date: June 4th 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eBook
Pages: 448

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.

I'd been dying to read Siege and Storm since I finally read Shadow and Bone last month. I really enjoyed this one, but unfortunately not as much as Shadow and Bone. It's definitely incredible, though! I loved so many parts of it. My highlight? Sturmhond! The stakes are higher in this book, and the suspense is building up to what I know will be an epic finale.

Alina and Mal are on the run after the events of Shadow and Bone, and they find out that the Darkling has survived. When he finds them in almost no time, the two of them are hauled aboard a ship, where they meet the enigmatic captain Sturmhond. From that point on, everything changes. Alina and Mal face things they've never faced before, and find themselves in a whole bucket full of danger. People are not who they seem to be, and even Alina and Mal's relationship takes a turn for the worse.

Alina is definitely a lot more stronger in Siege and Storm, and she's changed quite a bit. She's not the meek little girl she used to be, and her power is growing. There's also a coldness to her later on that I never would have expected. Even though I liked the fact that she's more independent and a lot more tougher, I wish she retained something of who she was... She finds herself doing unthinkable things, and not knowing why. She starts to become power-hungry, but the old Alina is still in there. We see glimpses of her, especially at the end. I know she's going to get even more powerful in the final book, but I really don't want her to turn into someone like the Darkling!

Mal... I'm not entirely sure what to say. He's one of my favourite characters ever, and he still is in this book. It's impossible to not adore him! I really felt for him on account of how Alina was acting. It's pretty obvious how much she means to him, but she doesn't seem to realize that. Most of the scenes between them are spent with them arguing, and I really wanted them to patch things up. They grow distant, and it brought out a sort of desperation as well as indifference in Mal. I really missed the Mal from Shadow and Bone, and I hope he comes back in Ruin and Rising.

One character I definitely and fully loved is Sturmhond/Nokalai. I'm not sure what to call him... Obviously from the two names you can tell that he already has an identity secret in the beginning. And it's a pretty big one! But I won't give anything away. Anyway, Sturmhond (I guess I'll just call him that for now) is like a ray of sunshine in the bleak atmosphere that resides in this book. He's funny, witty, and charming. He has an easy-going attitude, but he can definitely be serious when he needs to be. I like how much he cares for the people of Ravka, and how much he's willing to do for them, and for the country. Also, this little scene between him and Alina made me wonder - is the sort-of love triangle in this  series going to turn into a sort-of love square? Whatever it is, I really hope to read more of him in the final book. Because he's awesome.

Thank goodness the Darkling wasn't in this book much. He was there in the beginning, in all his evil glory. And then there were little glimpses of him later, which made him seem all the more enigmatic. The Darkling is dealing with forces he has no idea about, and he's willing to do anything to control Alina and the power she possesses. One thing I really hope we find out in Ruin and Rising? His name. I find it weird having to refer to him as the Darkling all the time. I can only wonder how annoying it is for the people who are constantly with him. I know a lot of people like this guy, but I can't seem to figure out why! I don't think there are any qualities in him that would make him in any way likeable. And I also don't think he's redeemable. But oh well, here's to hope!

I can't write a review of a Grisha book without mentioning the amazing world building. I think it's even more incredible in Siege and Storm. I really felt like I was there in Ravka, with all the detailed descriptions and the awesome visual imagery (English Lit, woot woot!). There's a lot more in this book, too, since Leigh has developed and explored her masterpiece of a world a little more.

Seriously, if you haven't picked up this series yet, you REALLY need to. I know I was pretty late with it, but at least I got there! There's nothing like it, there really isn't. And Leigh's writing is just beautiful. No other word for it. I loved going into the Grisha world again, and I'm kind of dreading the last one now. I don't want the series to end! But with that end to Siege and Storm, I know Ruin and Rising is going to blow my mind. Even though the climax of this one is a little repetitive, I really enjoyed the book overall. 

Rating: 4/5

4 comments:

  1. Awesome review! I am hoping to read this one soon and your review has me super excited =]

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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    1. Thanks, Teresa! Hope you read it soon :)

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  2. Although I've seen this series everywhere in the blogging world, I've never actually picked them up and started them. Your review has definitely persuaded me to get a move on, though!

    It's great to hear that there was even better world-building in Siege & Storm than there was in Shane & Bone. And I am just dying to meet this Sturmhond. :)

    Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic review with us, Richa! :D

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    1. Thanks so much, Jessica! You'll love Sturmhond ;)

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