Title: Siege and Storm
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Page Count: 435
Publication Date: 2013
Category/Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Magic, Young Adult, Romance
Good Reads Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.87)
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.0)
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, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But 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.
Despite my feelings that Shadow and Bone was medicore at best, I still went forward into reading the second book of the trilogy Siege and Storm and I’m glad that I did.
“When people say impossible, they usually mean improbable.”
Siege and Storm was much better and some of the issues I had from the first book (overdone ugly duckling trope, flat main characters) was resolved with the introduction of Nikolai and the golden-eyed twins. These characters were much more magnetic and interesting with a bit more richer complexity to them. Sadly, Mal is just as insufferable to read about. Poor guy.
I was also relieved to find that Bardugo had let go of the ‘looks’ focal point, though there was still traces of it, especially with Alina focusing on herself as plain. I’m not sure if the intent here is to send the message that you don’t have to be beautiful to be powerful, but it really falls short if so.
The pace was picked up a bit too which really helped as things began to move and shake much more. There was much more tension as the story progressed and a few times I found myself gripping the book and turning the pages quickly.
This book definitely felt a bit darker. Alina was clearly struggling with finding herself and almost enjoying her darker descent which created a fantastic internal struggle and example of our own acceptance of our darker sides.
I do wish that Bardugo would have gone a bit deeper into some of the emotions and explored the concept more.