Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #2
Published by Henry Holt and Co.
Published on: June 4 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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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. 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 was Team Mal to the DEATH in Shadow and Bone.
Yeah, the Darkling was hot in a not-so-vaguely sinister way, but friends-to-lovers will win over Bad Boys every, single time.
You’d think that I’d have learned by now not to speak in absolutes . . . but you’d be wrong.
Siege and Storm, the second installment of the Grisha Trilogy, begins with Alina and Mal on the run after the big showdown with the Darkling at the end of Shadow and Bone.
The showdown in which the Darkling’s true nature was unquestionably revealed.
Sorry guys. If you insist, of course, I will listen to your arguments on behalf of the Darkling, but know in advance that in my head, all I’ll be hearing is, “NOPE. Nope, nope nope.”
But I’ll listen . . .
SO. Following the obvious (seriously obvious) trail of gold hairpins, the Darkling finds Alina and Mal, captures them, and predictably, uses them against each other to secure their cooperation on the way back to Ravka.
How are they getting back to Ravka?
On another boat. A whaler this time. A whaler sailed by . . . PIRATES. *oooohhhhh* And not just any pirates, no, Sturmhond and his crew. *aaaahhhhh*
Come on, guys. “Sturmhond” is almost as good a name as “Dread Pirate Roberts.”
Maybe better, b/c Sturmhond is a tinkerer. He likes to find ways to improve old things, and builds completely new things. He’s a . . . wait for it . . . steampunk pirate.
It’s pretty cool, actually. I think the term the author uses in regards to this series is “tsarpunk” Don’t know what that is? Well, neither do I really, but it looks like this:
I don’t know about you, but I LIKE it.
So we’ve got Mal, the childhood friend, the Darkling (pure EVIL), and now Sturmhond (a PIRATE).
There’s really not much I can say about this book without spoilers, but I can tell you that Mal . . . Mal is kind of hard to like in this book. He feels like he’s being left behind, like he no longer fits into Alina’s life, and while BOTH of them need their heads banged together REPEATEDLY, b/c all of the loneliness and longing could have been avoided if they would just TALK to each other. GAH. It’s been days, and just thinking about it has my blood pressure through the roof again.
All of these misunderstandings are helped along by none other than Sturmhond, who has a very mercenary interest in Alina.
At least it starts that way.
But after awhile, it seems to become something more, and Mal is acting like such a loser whiny-baby that you start to wonder . . . So, yes, I would definitely say there’s a love triangle this time. Even though there was arguably one in the last book as well, it never felt like one to me. This one . . . this one had me confused and bewildered, and while I like that, I know that MANY of you think that sort of thing is the opposite of fun. So. Prepare yourself for that.
There is also foreshadowing aplenty. I don’t know what any of it means, but I took note, and I have suspicions . . .
View Spoiler »I’m pretty sure that Ilya Whatshisface is going to turn out to be Daddy Darkling. AND Mal is somehow going to be the firebird. I mean seriously—why else would Alina get all spark-y when he “happens” to circle her (unfettered) wrist with his fingers. This is also why I still have hope for them. The biggest barrier they have to overcome is Alina’s magicalness, and while Mal is clearly no ordinary human, being a superior tracker is in no way equal to sun summoning. Unless . . . there’s something we don’t know. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* « Hide Spoiler
ALSO—the thing that happened last time that was a bit too convenient? This time Bardugo nailed it. It was sudden, and shocking, and COMPLETELY believable. Maybe the difference was that this time “it” wasn’t a loophole that allowed Alina and Mal to escape. This time “it” was what made it possible for all hell to break loose. Now that I’m thinking of it, there was also a loophole, and yes, it was still a bit of a stretch, but no where near as bad as last time.
Hooray for that!
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo skillfully navigates the typical second book challenges. There are new and interesting characters, PIRATES, lots-o-action, and a surplus of villainy. Bardugo delivers a second dose of dark and creepy that is too enthralling to allow for things like food or water . . . I read it in an afternoon. And hey, guess what? TODAY is the day. Ruin and Rising, the final chapter in the trilogy, is available right this very second. Well? What are you waiting for? Go on. *shoos away*
The Grisha Trilogy:
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