Series: The Grisha #2
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on June 4th, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy, 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. 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.
Since around June I had been met on all sides with a chorus of “YOU HAVE TO READ SIEGE AND STORM!” and “READ IT! READ IT NOWWWWWWW!” and “OH MY GOD BUT STURMHOND LIKE SRSLY READ NOW” … yeah. The Grisha fangirls are intense. Seriously. And I dislike hype. I mean, I get that you guys are excited about these books, but… you set the expectations way too high. It’s happened too often that the book lets me down because of that.
But that was not the case with Siege and Storm. I made the wise decision to start reading this and not tell anyone about it. In fact, I kept it entirely to myself until about halfway through, when I finally clued Judith in that I was reading it. She deserved to know. I guess. But by that point I was convinced about the awesomeness by myself already, so I felt open to that.
Anyway, enough of my odd reading habits. Siege and Storm grabs you from the very first page. There’s the beautiful combination of Leigh Bardugo’s engrossing writing style, the fascinating world, and before all too long… Sturmhond. Yes. Sturmhond. You may have heard his name mentioned
He is that guy. Yes. Entirely. If you get that reference, 10,000 bonus points.
Like most middle books, the plot doesn’t progress all too much in this installment, and there’s a heavier focus on character development. Particularly, Alina’s development. She goes through quite some transitions here. So although at the end I had some itching feelings like, “But not that much happened,” I quickly shrugged them off because the story was just so engrossing, the characters had such great dynamics, and I love being in the Grisha world. I was in love. That’s it. I said it.
My only real annoyance with this whole series at this point is Mal. Seriously. Stop shoving him in my face. Stop saying, “Everyone loves Mal,” because I can’t see it for a second. He’s so. damn. boring. Honestly, he just sucks the life out of the party. I want more Darkling or more Sturmhond, but for the love of god, get Mal out of my face. If they end up together, I will have majorly violent feelings because, Leigh, what are you thinking? Can I start a petition for Mal to die in book 3? Who would sign it? Be honest, now.
But seriously, this was one crazy and exciting ride. Though there were hints of a bit of a slow down in the plot department, I didn’t mind. The end came with a serious punch. I mean, whoa at the action there. And the ending, it was intense! For a minute there, I didn’t know where it was going. It was just seriously …woah. And when I thought it would end one way, it got me so excited. View Spoiler »When it looked like Alina was actually going to turn evil and join the Darkling, I was shocked, of course, but then I thought, how awesome would that be? That would be such an unexpected twist. Book three would be nothing like any other series like it. I mean, imagine it: the main character is actually seduced by the dark side and is convinced of it, but then shenanigans happen and Sturmhond saves her. I am not biased, what are you talking about? But seriously. That would have been awesome. « Hide Spoiler And then it didn’t go that way. … *sigh* I’m almost a bit disappointed, if only because my own imagination is so much more awesome. But um. Authors. Consider a turn like that. Because yeah. Awesome.