Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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

Release Date: June 4, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (Macmillan)
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
Sources: Purchased by Reviewer
Goodreads  Amazon

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.

Do you guys remember my Shadow and Bone review? Same thing. Loved it.

Alina never asked for this. She never asked to be the Sun Summoner. She never asked to be a Saint. She never asked to be hunted across the world by the most powerful Grisha to ever have lived. But she is. Alina must come to terms with the fact that she’ll never be free—that something, someone, will always be there to expect something from her.

The second installment of The Grisha Trilogy is less action-y and more political. Alina and Mal’s flight from the Darkling doesn’t last long, before they are drawn back into the fold (no, not the Fold) of Ravka. While they were fleeing, they learn that the Darkling staged a failed coup and that Ravka is on the brink of civil war.

Temporarily, they find themselves in the grasp of the Darkling as he hunts the northern seas for another legendary amplifier for Alina to wear. And guys, there are pirates! I’m serious. Pirates. I love pirates. Oh, I’m sorry, I think they prefer to be called privateers in this book (read it, you’ll get the joke).

Anyway, the captain of the ship, Sturmhond, is dreamy and just a tad-bit crazy. Not Darkling crazy—I’d like to think I have better taste in crazy than that. But for realz, he is everything a privateer-loving girl could dream of. And his sense of humor is after my heart. I think you guys will love him!

Fast forward: they’ve escaped the Darkling and now they’re forced to forge unlikely alliances as they head back to Os Alta.

This is where the book takes on more political tones. Everyone in Os Alta has a motive, even Alina. She must learn how to play the game of politics, so that she can have a chance to save Ravka. However, the deeper she gets drawn into court life, the more she is drawn to power and the further she gets pulled away from Mal.

Slowly, Mal and Alina realize that they are changing—that they are no longer the orphans from Kermazin. As the gap widens between them, they must fight for their survival and the survival of Ravka.

However, like always the Darkling is looming in the shadows: terrorizing Alina as he is gathering his forces for another attack.

I’m sorry; my summary doesn’t do the book justice. But trust me: this book is great! It’s still filled with Russian Folklore, and I love it. For those of you who have seen it/speak Russian, there is a part that straight-up made me think of Летучий Корабль (Letuchy Korabl: The Flying Ship). Watch the link, please.

That movie just makes me crack up, every time (specifically the merman part at 8:12). It’s so weird!
It doesn’t really pertain to the book, but you guys will get what part I’m talking about after you read it/watch the movie.

And there is so much intrigue and plot twists that I literally had to put the book down and scream into a pillow. That is not a lie. Ask my roommates; they’ll affirm it.

Actually, come to think of it, I put the book down a lot.

The only thing that bothers me about this book is Mal. I don’t know what it is about him, but I just really dislike him. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, and I understand where he’s coming from, but I just want to reach into the book and slap him out of his perpetual bad mood. Though, I guess the same goes for Alina, sometimes.

That’s the problem with books: the characters become your friends, but you can’t slap some sense into them when they desperately need it. It’s infuriating, but in a good way.

I don’t trust myself not to start writing spoilers, so I’m going to cut myself short.

I strongly recommend this book to you guys, after you read Shadow and Bone, of course. It will keep you on the edge of your seat/toes/bed/horse—wherever you’re reading this book. Alina is a wonderful character, and I love reading about her trials and tribulations! So this series is definitely taking a place of honor next to Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, for me!

Also, Ruin and Rising will be coming out in June TODAY! (JUNE 17TH!!!), and I await it with thinly veiled enthusiasm (THE ENTHUSIASM IS HERE)!

С любовью, мои дорогие!
With love, my darlings!

About the Author

Leigh Bardugo was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. These days, she lives in Hollywood, where she indulges her fondness for glamour, ghouls, and costuming in her other life as makeup artist L.B. Benson. Occasionally, she can be heard singing with her band, Captain Automatic.

She is the author of the New York Times Best Sellers, Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm (Holt Children’s/ Macmillan). The final book in the Grisha TrilogyRuin and Rising, will be published in 2014. She is represented by Joanna Stampfel-Volpe of New Leaf.

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