Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh BardugoSiege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #2
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on June 4, 2013
Pages: 435
Format: Hardcover
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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.

If you’re looking to create a list of books that suffer from Second Book Syndrome, then you need to look elsewhere because you’ll find none of that in Siege and Storm. If anything, Siege and Storm is even better than Shadow and Bone! The first chapter started off a little bit slow, but once the action began, it never let up. This sequel is incredible and intense, with amazing characters and epic plot twists – the stakes are high and the characters have so much more to lose.

Alina has changed SO MUCH since the beginning of Shadow and Bone! Her character growth was a bit stagnant throughout the beginning and middle of Siege and Storm, but then really picked up speed again during the last 100 pages. Honestly, I have a bit of a girl crush on Alina. She’s just completely epic and she’s come so far! Her revelations and plot twists at the end were insane! I’m BEYOND excited to see what happens next for her, especially after that EVIL cliffhanger!!!!

In Shadow and Bone, I didn’t ship Mal and Alina because he was a bit of a jerk to Alina. I also felt like he was completely in the friend zone. But in Siege and Storm, I just really couldn’t stand him at all. My deepest apologies to those who love him and who ship him and Alina, but he was SUCH a whiny brat, I seriously just wanted to slap him silly! He moped and got angry with Alina for not telling him things, but then when she tried to, he stalked off like a sullen kid. He had some okay moments in the beginning of the book, but the closer it got to the end, the more annoying he became. And then he did something that put him beyond redemption for me – though I’ve been told he DOES redeem himself in Ruin and Rising, so I guess I’ll see what happens…

I still don’t understand how anyone can ship the Darkling. He’s the villain! He’s evil! He’s the bad guy Alina has to defeat. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fallen hard for the bad guys who seem beyond redemption before (*Cough*Damon*Cough*) But… I just don’t see any redemption in the Darkling’s future. He’s done a lot of terrible, heartless things and he’s incredibly power hungry. He’s in so deep, I just can’t see him giving up all of that and changing his ways. I have to admit, though, I love the way his story ended in Siege and Storm and I’m very intrigued to see what happens next for him in Ruin and Rising!

And then there’s Sturmhond…. Major heart-eye emoji! He’s so cocky and full of himself and his big reveal was epic beyond words! He’s charming and hilarious and not only do I adore him, but I 100% ship him and Alina! But the way his story ended… My heart is breaking with worry for him and I’m desperate to see how things go for him in Ruin and Rising! (Sorry for the vagueness and shortness.. Trying to avoid spoilers here!).

At some point, roughly 150-pages from the end, I started to feel like the pace was slowing down. But then I started to wonder if I was just anxious to see how it ended and to get to Ruin and Rising. And almost as soon as I thought the pacing was slowing, things picked up speed and became so intense, my heart was in my throat! There were some character deaths that shocked and saddened me – some more than others – and some revelations and plot twists that left me reeling!

As I’ve mentioned, the cliffhanger at the end of this book was super evil and super intense! I can’t even imagine how the people who read this right when it originally released felt – They finished it and had to wait an entire year to read Ruin and Rising! I finished Siege and Storm last night and I’m starting Ruin and Rising later today and I’m like O___O – and I’m only going a few hours without reading! I can’t imagine having to wait a year to see what happens next!

Seriously, Leigh Bardugo is a goddess and officially on my auto-buy list. She took her incredible world and her beloved characters and made them even more incredible and beloved. I regret that it took me so long to read this series and I’m loving it so much! I’m super pumped for Ruin and Rising – though I’m conflicted because, while I desperately want to see how it ends, I DO NOT want it to end! I’m already anticipating a major bookish hangover after Ruin and Rising! But it will be SO WORTH IT to see how this epic series ends!

If you couldn’t tell from my all my fangirling, this book was BEYOND epic and a MUST-READ! I HIGHLY recommend this trilogy (and I’m not even finished reading it)!


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