Book Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Posted December 9, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh BardugoSiege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #2
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on June 4th, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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.

4.5 Stars

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 once twice ten thousand times. The fangirls are rabid for this man and… they are not wrong. He is absolutely charming from the very first moment. And while he first seems like just a charming, hilarious side character, he gets so much depth within one book. But he struck a particularly deep chord with me because…

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 » 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.

Summing Up:

I’m not going to jump on the hype train and be one of the screaming fangirls that will pester you to no end until you read this book, because I know firsthand how intimidating that can be. But if you are a doubter, like I was, I can offer you some reassurance. This book… I can’t imagine anyone really disliking it (provided they liked Shadow and Bone). It’s just a crazy, exciting ride, and I want more more more of this world. Give me Ruin and Rising now and anything else that Leigh Bardugo is churning out.

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

Everyone. Honestly.

Tags: , , , ,


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

25 responses to “Book Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

    • Heyyy soul sister~ xD I’m so glad to know that you are also a FF fan. β™₯ And I am WITH YOU THERE. I never play video games anymore. It’s upsetting.

  1. I have yet to read Siege & Storm, but I LOVED Shadow & Bone. Of course I’m really excited to read Shadow & Bone soon, but yeah the hype is so big! And everyone’s talking about Sturmhond! I really want to know now who he is, if he’s a new (potential) love interest or just a new friend. Because really, another male character? How am I ever going to choose! Ha who am I kidding, I dislike the Darkling as a love interest for Alina (am I the only one?) and while I prefer Mal over him, I agree that he IS quite boring. Can I already ship Sturmhond & Alina??
    Now I’m just building the hype for myself xD

  2. OMG that ending!!! I like the idea of not telling anyone you’re reading something popular, especially if you’re worried you won’t like it as much as everyone else. I kind of had that feeling with The Thief since it’s a weak start to an apparently amazing series, haha. I must admit that I’m still rooting for Mal to figure his stuff out πŸ˜‰ I guess I’m just a glutton for disappointment, haha.

  3. YES. Mal dies and Alina joins the dark forces, that would be awesome and very unexpected. I don’t think I’ve seen a YA before where the good guy (in this case girl) turns into a bad guy (girl) πŸ˜€ And although I’m a huge Alina/Sturmhond shipper, I wouldn’t mind her and the Darkling together either! I’m very conflicted when it comes to them.

    • I know right? I don’t think it has been done before. Or just, to have a main character actually be evil from the start… that would be so refreshing!

  4. I’m glad you ended up loving Siege & Storm! It definitely made a strong impression on me, much more so than the first one. And Sturmhond is just the icing on top of the cake because he’s pretty amazing! I can’t wait to find out what happens in Ruin & Rising!

  5. I have to skim through your review since I am planning to read this next year. Glad that you really enjoyed it. I’ve just read Shadow and Bone months ago and it was meh for me. I think it has something to do with Alina. I never liked her as the heroine of this book. She’s too whiny. I’m just thankful that we have the Darkling. He’s one character I certainly love. πŸ˜€

  6. Meg

    OMG Sturmhond is totally that guy!! (Is it weird that this makes him even more attractive to me?) I should confess, I haven’t played the game though I want to because I don’t get too many video game breaks from life and the last time I had one, I chose Skyrim. (What I’m saying is, would I still be eligible for a portion of the bonus points?)

    Honestly, I would be totally cool if Mal and the Darkling both fell into the Unsea? I am so over both of them. I was cool with Mal in the first book but he’s gone so very far downhill (Why, Leigh Bardugo? Why?) And the Darkling has always given me mixed feelings.

    Your spoiler would have been AMAZING. Talk about a new twist. Oh well, hopefully part of it will still come true.

  7. BALTHIER!! Yay for FF. Best video game series. πŸ™‚ I never completed XII, so it I totally forgot about him and his name. But from what I do remember, I do see quite a number of parallels between him and Strumhond.
    I don’t know, though, I think a fair amount happened. There was some action and movement that set things up very nicely for all the conflicts and plot points to peak in the finale.
    I did feel bad for Mal. I mean, he doesn’t have much going on with himself, so maybe people overlook him because of that. But that’s the main reason why I didn’t mind him. How awful would that be to be constantly feeling like the odd one out? I’m curious to see where Bardugo goes with Mal’s character in the third installment. (Although I do agree that he’s certainly not my favorite character either.)

  8. I’m over Mal, though I loved him in the first book. But if he got killed Alina would probably go on a guilt trip and not be open for any other love interest and that would totally kill the mood… So I’m voting for Mal to live πŸ˜‰
    Also: YAY STURMHOND!!! πŸ˜€ SO MUCH LOVE! Aren’t you glad we made you read it? πŸ™‚
    And I agree with what you said in the spoiler, that would have been very interesting.

    • Meh I never could bring myself to care for Mal in the first place, so I just get more and more bored with him as time goes on. I guess I could see that she would guilt trip (which is a side of Alina I just hate too -.-) so *sigh* I dunno.

      HEY. I decided to read this on my own, kay? ‘Kay.

  9. Violette

    YES YES YES, I agree Mal is a boring character. Sturmhond is a galaxy way better, and the Darkling!
    Siege and Storm is all sorts of amazing. Glad you like it, I practically bow to it!

  10. Not that I wasn’t planning on reading it anyway, but geez, bring Balthier into it and now I HAVE to read it, just to see if the comparison is apt! (Definitely Balthier fan, me!)

  11. I’M SO HAPPY YOU LOVED IT BECAUSE JUST AHHHH. That gif just reminded me of how you sent me videos and I never watched them and you need to send them again because gchat didn’t save them and I still need to see them. Also, I told Tim that you loved FF and he basically thinks you’re awesome, lol.

    YES to Mal dying. Stupid little prat. Nobody needs him tbh. *signs petition*

    • Bahahaha. I may be blushing now that apparently you told your brother about me xD >.>

      I ship Balthier and Ashe so much and they’re so much like Nikolai and Alina I just asdfjkl;
      He’s a sky pirate. and he has this line about him being the leading man (while he totally isn’t in the game) and he’s awesome. and yeah. the youtube folks suck though at conveying his awesomeness well in one video.

      Thank you. I was starting to get scared from the lack of support for my petition >.>

      • Hahahaha. He basically wants me to watch FF 13 when he plays because he thinks I’ll love it and then I told him you did. And I can totally see the Sturmhond/Alina similarities!!

        • Boooo don’t go with FF13 because that one SUCKS. I mean, it was pretty to look at. But in terms of the story? Not Final Fantasy’s finest. I’m all for 7, 8, 10, and 12. Though admittedly I haven’t finished 12 >.> but I did watch the ending……. on youtube. *cough* I was separated from my PS2, I blame my father.

          Aww man, I’m torn after Cress though, because now I feel like Balthier is closer to Thorne than Sturmhond. (Though, basically, one could argue that those two characters are basically the same.) But I’m more in love with Thorne anyway.

  12. Oooh, I already read this one on GR. But YES Sturmhond. Other than him, this wasn’t particularly feelsy for me, but I have many feels about sturmhond. MANY.

    Anyway, I don’t blame you for going radio silent on this one. Sometimes I’m really tempted to do that myself. Hype can be a serious mood killer. I know it didn’t help me with TBS. Something that might merely have lowered a half star or a whole star can drop a book from really liked to hated if I know that the book’s been getting undue praise. It’s sort of like my brain wants to try to balance the scales. BUT YOU LOVED IT, YAY.