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.
Title: Siege and Storm
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Number of Pages: 435
Publishing Date: June 4th, 2013
After reading Shadow and Bone, I had no idea where Leigh Bardugo could take this story. There were so many different ways that the plot could play out and I didn’t have a solid theory as to where the plot of this book would go. Needless to say, I definitely didn’t expect this book to go the way it did and it left me breathless, excited, and very much in love with this trilogy.
While there were parts of this novel that were a bit slow, I think that those chapters actually really helped with the action-packed ending that was so gripping that I honestly couldn’t set the book down until I devoured it completely. I’ve grown so attached to the characters within this trilogy and I absolutely loved this book.
The rest of this review contains spoilers!
The! Plot! Of! This! Book! I honestly thought that the beginning was going to be immensely slow after the first few pages, but HAHA, I was very, very wrong. As soon as the Darkling entered into the story again I was immediately hooked back into the plot and the introduction of Nikolai’s character was so perfectly laid out. As I said previously, there were a couple of parts of the story that felt slow, but I think that those parts also helped the book feel less rushed than it could’ve been. There is so much action within certain sections of the plot, so I appreciate the slower parts because they really balanced the pacing of the book as a whole.
Mal’s character didn’t grow on me as much as I hoped it would. There’s just something about his relationship with Alina that didn’t enchant me as much as the Darkling’s interactions with Alina did. However, as much as I love the Darkling, I will say that I Nikolai now holds a special place in my heart. GAH, he’s just so adorable and I love him so much and, although it hurts my Darkling + Alina shipping heart a bit to admit, I definitely ship Nikolai + Alina, too.
“I want to kiss you,” Nikolai said. “But I won’t. Not until you’re thinking of me instead of trying to forget him.”
The ending of this book was so intense. The action scenes were beautifully detailed and I practically flew through the last few chapters of this novel. Leigh Bardugo writes amazing book endings that reel you in and then leave you in desperate need for more, and I seriously cannot wait to read Ruin and Rising.
Alina is one of my favorite female characters. She’s sassy and witty, but she’s also strong, courageous, and so selfless. I fell in love with her character even more as I read this novel and her character is so realistic; it’s as if she comes to life through Leigh Bardugo’s words. It was really powerful reading through Alina’s struggle between keeping her powers dimmed and wanting to amplify them even more.
As always, I found myself wishing for more appearances by the Darkling. His character is so complex because there’s obviously so much darkness that surrounds him, but there are certain parts of the book where you can see glimpses of whatever light is left inside of him. I really hope that his character gets some sort of revitalization.
“I’ve seen what you truly are,” said the Darkling, “and I’ve never turned away. I never will. Can he say the same?”
I fell in love with Nikolai’s character as soon as he was introduced! There are so many characteristics to him that I adore (his intelligence, his sarcasm, his humor, etc.) and I’m really hoping that his and Alina’s relationship is explored and grows within the next novel.
“When people say impossible, they usually mean improbable.”
Mal, again, didn’t grow on me much at all in this novel. I think his character was a bit underdeveloped to begin with and he honestly annoyed me at certain points. It felt like he was continually going back and forth between being understanding of Alina’s situation and then doing a complete turnaround and being very unsympathetic towards every decision that Alina makes. There was just so much drama between Mal and Alina and I grew weary of Mal fairly quickly towards the end of the novel.
Leigh Bardugo’s writing is magical. It’s so easy to read, it flows perfectly, it’s beautiful and descriptive, and I honestly could read anything that she writes because I love her style of writing so much.
“Why won’t you leave me alone?” I whispered one night as he hovered behind me while I tried to work at my desk.
Long minutes passed. I didn’t think he would answer. I even had time to hope he might have gone, until I felt his hand on my shoulder.
“Then I’d be alone, too,” he said, and he stayed the whole night through, till the lamps burned down to nothing.”
Overall, I really, really loved this book. I adore these characters and the Grisha world and I cannot wait to see how Leigh Bardugo concludes this epic trilogy in Ruin and Rising.
So, have you read Siege and Storm? What did you think about it? Comment below!