Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #2
Date: June 2013
Source: ARC from publisher
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Darkness never dies.
Alina and Mal are on the run. Hunted and haunted, but together at last, they can’t outrun Alina’s past or her destiny forever. The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and he needs Alina to realise his dangerous plan. There are others who would like to use Alina’s gift too. And as her power grows, somehow, she must choose between her country, her power, and her love – or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.
Siege and Storm is a fantastic sequel to last year’s debut Shadow and Bone. In fact, it was even better. It had everything I loved about the first book—the world-building, the incredible characters, the immersive writing—and more. My heart! This book is truly epic, filled with oodles of imagination and entertainment.
At the end of Shadow and Bone, Alina and Mal had barely escaped the Shadow Fold and ran away across the True Sea to live a simpler, peaceful life. Naturally this didn’t last as they are soon tracked down by The Darkling and forced to board a whaler back to Ravka. Story-wise, it was fast-paced and gripping—I couldn’t put it down. I loved the mythology of Morozova’s amplifiers and the history of Grisha science. This book definitely has something for everyone: fantasy, romance, humour, action and mythology, just to name a few.
Siege and Storm also has book boyfriend for everyone as Leigh Bardugo has seemingly done the impossible and given us not one, not two, but three amazing men to swoon about. This whole review was going to be a love letter to Sturmhond, but I thought I would share the love and ramble on about this fantastic cast of characters first.
Alina has made her transition from scared orphan to powerful Saint, and I liked it. She showed more backbone, more sarcasm, and a little more darkness as she finally embraced her true potential. It was tough for her to be everything to everyone at once, but she dealt with it while keeping her integrity and doing what she felt was best for Ravka. I liked seeing other characters like Genya, Zoya and David playing bigger roles in the book as well, although without giving too many spoilers away, their stories broke my heart. I also really enjoyed the new characters, twins Tolya and Tamar who were kick ass Grisha fighters and become part of Alina’s elite guard.
The Darkling really amped up his evil, his presence lingering throughout the book. I was both fascinated and scared by him in this, especially when he developed his frightening new ability and during his ‘moments’ with Alina. But Mal. Can I just say that I loved him so much more? He had the best quotes and that’s saying something from a book with incredible dialogue. He really came alive in this book. His love for Alina was so clear in everything he did, and I wanted to give him a big hug every time a new situation tore them apart. I’m now firmly on Team Mal.
But what about Sturmhond, you say? If I suddenly disappear while writing this review, it’s because the mere mention of him has caused me to melt into a puddle of goo. I’m on Team Mal for Alina; I want Sturmhond for me. The infamous Storm Hound, captain of the seas and free-spirited privateer was so much more (and what a brilliant twist this was). He’s charming with that well-placed arrogance and swagger that I instantly loved. He’s got the best attributes of Puck from The Iron Fey, Prince Arthur from Merlin, Peeta from The Hunger Games all rolled into one, which is just freaking irresistible. Sturmhond is the best thing about Siege and Storm, hands down. Really, because of him, the book overall was funnier, sweeter and more engaging. Thank you Leigh, for bringing him into my life.
Throughout the book, I couldn’t predict where the story would go next, and I was not disappointed by the absolute killer of an ending! Bardugo once again proves she’s a master storyteller. It’s going to be a tough wait for Ruin and Rising.