Saturday, February 1, 2014

Book Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Source: Library


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.

(Courtesy of Goodreads)

My Review

Siege and Storm, the second book in The Grisha Trilogy, by Leigh Bardugo, takes us right back into the story of Alina, the Darkling and the rest of Ravka. After escaping the Darkling at the end of Shadow and Bone we find Alina and Mal on the run. The action-packed beginning that you would expect leads to a slower middle section where we learn more about Alina and her struggles and how she deals with them. Finally we end on another thrilling encounter between the Darkling and Alina that sets up the last book perfectly.

(Minor spoilers under the cut)

The action of the story was weighted towards the beginning and end. Unfortunately, that means that the middle lacked substance which made it hard to plow through. A lot of the conflict in the middle part of the story was Alina's internal conflict and struggle. Her visions of the Darkling and the mysterious nature behind them serve to emphasize this internal conflict and the aftermath of the trauma she's gone though. However, I still feel like something was missing from the middle of the book and I spent a lot of time wanting to get to the action-packed ending.

Alina's character arc is a strong point in the series so far. It's great to look back to the beginning of the first book and see how far she's come. She's had moments of weakness and she's struggled a lot with coming to terms with her powers which makes her all the more realistic. Her relationships with the other characters have also changed alot. Some of the secondary characters have also had good character development, specifically Mal. We've seen how much he's changed and how much his relationship with Alina has developed throughout the book. One character I with we saw more of is the Darkling. He's such a great villain that it was a pity he didn't make much of an appearance for the majority of the book but the ending of Siege and Storm has set up what I hope is going to be a great battle between Alina and the Darkling.

Overall, it was a decent second book, but I liked the first book more and I hope that the third book is more similar in plot and action to the first one rather than the second. Siege and Storm had it's good moments, such as the character development of Alina, but the pacing felt a little off to me. Regardless, I am excited to see how this series ends with the final book, Ruin and Rising coming out later this year.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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