Series: The Grisha Book 2
Published by Macmillan on June 4th 2013
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, General, Monsters, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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. Siege and Storm is the second book in The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.
In the first installment of the Grisha Trilogy, Alina and Mal both believe that the other doesn’t love them. Now, after admitting their feelings for one another and escaping the Darkling, they are on the run and traveling through small villages in an attempt to hide their identities. When an illustrious privateer aids them in their travel, now with a goal to defeat the Darkling and save Ravka in mind, Alina’s powers begin to grow beyond any of their imagination. As her new power corrupts her and sinks her deeper into the Darkling’s plan, she grows strangely distant. The darkness is more impenetrable than she believed, and she has to choose what is most important to her—love, her country, or the newfound power—before the shadows envelope her completely.
Alina had already learned a plethora of things about herself, and when new things are thrown her way, she has a less difficult time accepting them and claiming them as her own. The Alina presented is more sure of herself in some ways and more focused on the larger picture—saving others rather than herself. I loved the relationship between Mal and Alina told towards the end of the first book, but as they become more distant, Mal becomes more insecure about their love. It was difficult for me not to get frustrated with Mal’s behavior, especially with Alina trying to save the world and keep them close.
While my feelings towards Mal soured, the new character, the privateer Sturmhond, Bardugo adds to the story intrigued me. This story is completely different than the first installment and adding new characters weaves the progressing story beautifully. I hope that Strumhond will have more involvement in the last book, and I am curious how his story will coincide with Alina’s.
“’You’re a spectacular actor,’ I said drily.
‘Do you think so…I’m doing ‘humble’ right now.’”
Whereas Shadow and Bone made me long for fur blankets and snow falling heavily outside, the mood of this novel was completely different. Siege and Storm focuses heavily on battle strategies, defeating the Darkling, and the backstory of Ravka. While there are some love aspects, it is not the main focus and would be enjoyable to anyone who loves a substantial story. The ending was shocking, and I can’t wait to start the last book in this Russian fantasy trilogy. Because of Shadow and Bone’s slow beginning, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the trilogy. Although, as I mentioned in my review of the first book, I was glad I continued. Bardugo’s wonderful way of throwing shocking characters and scenarios that happened halfway through the first novel, also happened in the second. She eloquently takes seemingly insignificant characters and makes them consequential to the adventure.
Alina’s choices continue to weight heavily on her and following her journey thus far has been breathtaking.
“’I can’t go back!…you can’t take this power out of me.’
‘And what if I could? Would you let it go? Would you give it up?’