June 20, 2013

Siege and Storm - Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm - Leigh Bardugo
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #2
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Source/Format: Bought || Hardcover

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. 

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. (from Goodreads)

I’ve read my fair share of fantasies, but I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a novel quite like one of The Grisha novels. While the concept of light and dark has certainly been done before, the way Bardugo manages to make it her own is quite admirable. The way she tackles it in Shadow and Bone is fascinating, but the way that it’s developed in Siege and Storm was incredible. This novel took elements introduced in book one, and wove them into a story that was definitely more interesting and a whole lot stronger than its predecessor. I enjoyed it tremendously, if you can’t tell.

Alina may have experienced growing pains in the previous book upon discovering that she was Grisha. But that’s nothing compared to how she battles with herself in this novel. She mentally debates about everything - her magic, her feelings, her loyalties, her plans. While it’s certainly trying to witness her argue with herself repeatedly, I appreciated that it felt authentic for her to do so instead of just accepting everything or being led in one direction or another. In the end, her strength and her sense of right and wrong prevailed, and I admired her for that. 

Mal has a much stronger presence in this story, which I absolutely loved. His relationship with Alina is sweet, in spite of the trials they face. His bravery and his strength come into play during this story, and his quiet resolve often felt like a good foil for Alina’s confusion. This is not to say that he didn’t have his own share of insecurity, because that was certainly present too. I loved that he felt more well-rounded to me in this one, with good traits and bad. And seriously, it was just hard not to swoon over him.

As for the Darkling, if I thought I loved him at all in the first book, that’s been (nearly) destroyed. It’s hard to fight the attraction to his commanding presence and his mysterious looks, however. Reading about him felt like a delicious, forbidden thrill, even though he doesn’t appear all that often in this book.

My new favorite is Sturmhond, a new character. He’s easygoing and funny, but strong and intelligent too. I enjoyed seeing him demonstrate his abilities in handling politics, and seeing him tease his friends. He added a lighthearted atmosphere and a sense of humor to the novel, and I really wish he existed in real life because we would totally be friends. 

This book ran the gamut story-wise, going from really intense highs to surprisingly average moments. I mostly enjoyed the combination, though there were certainly times that I felt my attention would waver as I read. Still, the exciting, action-packed scenes really got my attention whenever they happened! Bardugo was able to craftily make it so that there was a balance of sorts between the action-heavy and dialogue-heavy scenes, though my favorite part has got to be the latter third. I adore that she was able to shock and delight me at many turns, and I totally did not expect how things would play out.

There are many questions left unanswered for me in this novel, and that leaves me eager for the next book. Bardugo’s development of this novel, and all the intricate, tenuous relationships in it, is very well-done. I won’t be able to tell you what will happen next, but I do know that whatever it is, it’s going to be a grand adventure. Bardugo has yet another strong novel under her belt; Siege and Storm has certainly proven that this series is unique, interesting and one that’s definitely worth taking the time to read.


  1. What an incredible review, Alexa! It's true that the Darkling is a lot more evil this time around, but I couldn't find myself to dislike him. But Sturmhund is the one I absolutely loved. And to think there will be a fourth male in the third book!

  2. Great minds think alike (we both posted our reviews today). I just have immense love for this series. I am glad we can chat over this one too. Sturmhond seems to be everyone's new favorite dammit! I want him all to myself!! :D I never felt my attention waiver but I do know what your talking about, the pace did slow in the middle. The first 100 pages were crazy packed and it didn't really pick back up again until the last 100 or so. But I just love this series and its characters so much that I was still transfixed. Great review Alexa :D

  3. Yes!! The series is just incredible... Leigh Bardugo has done some amazing world building, her characters grew even more, and I LOVED the addition of Sturmhond <333
    I can't wait to continue... But I'll be sad when it ends! I just love reading people's review + love for this book!

  4. Glad you enjoyed this one! Also, Sturmhond!!! Charming, hilarious, smart - it's hard not to love his character ;)

    Great review :)

  5. Seriously this has made its spot as one of my favorites series! I love the Grisha world and umm seriously, Sturmhond. He has just the right amount of ego and humor. Love him!

  6. yay so glad you liked! LOVE Leigh and her books so much, they just get better! I liked that we saw more of Mal in this book too. can't wait for Ruin and Rising.

  7. I am so happy to read reviews where the reviewer thinks Bardugo has gotten even better in the second book. That makes me relieved, and also eager to read it myself. And not gonna lie: I adore books where the protagonist really has to struggle with identity and powers/potential. No matter how many times that struggle is written about in books, it never fails to intrigue me. Wonderful review!

  8. Yay! So happy this one is even better than the 1st. And double YAY for seeing more of Mal, because I adore him. But, oh no, the Darkling is barely in this book? Boo! Lol. I seriously need to read this asap. Great review!

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  9. Great review! I loved this one, but I'll admit it wasn't the same kind of love that I felt for Shadow and Bone. I think because this one delved deeper into everything and stuff got real here. It was hard at some points to deal with! But, loved the direction it took and all the stuff that we were introduced to. And yes for Sturmhond! He was such a great character; can't wait to see more of him!

  10. I really missed reading about the Darkling-I mostly fell for him in book one and still wanted more. Luckily Sturmhond was an excellent addition with a lot of pizzazz to entertain me throughout.

  11. Oh The Darkling, it was sad he wasn't in this one much. Great review! ~Kristina

  12. I loved this book and I can't wait to read the next one! This book was amazing! Wow! It is totally packed with adventure And I highly recommend reading it.
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