Siege and Storm
by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #2
Published: 04 June 2013
Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 432 pages
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.
My mind is not working. I’m so hungover Siege and Storm. Why, Leigh Bardugo, do you do this to us? I actually tweeted her that and well, the answer was that our tears keep her young. I never expected to love this second installment of The Grisha trilogy so much. It took the Second Book Syndrome, threw it on the ground, stomped on it, cut it into tiny pieces and burnt those pieces to ashes. It also stole my heart and chewed it up.
I simply cannot comprehend the greatness of Siege and Storm. The action picked up right from the start and it did not stop until the end. It’s like a 432-pages long emotional roller-coaster and by the time you get off, you’ll be a snotty wreck. Everything in the story was compelling, mysterious and nail-bitingly adventurous. As if that’s not enough, the romance just had to be perfectly heartbreaking too.
Remember how I said Alina was a little annoying in my Shadow and Bone review? Scrap it all. She’s utterly amazing in Siege and Storm. Her struggles were real and I love how she’s not all good and angelic simply because she’s the Sun Summoner. Alina’s battle against her power-hungry dark side created such a perfectly imperfect protagonist because well, don’t we all have an ugly side we want to banish but can’t?
As for Mal, I felt so bad for him. A relationship between a Grisha and otkazat’sya (human) would undoubtedly be turbulent but when Alina’s not only a Grisha, but the Sun Summoner too, it’s definitely not easy for Mal. I love that he’s patient with her but won’t put up with her when she’s being all power hungry. Sure, later on in the book they both did some unwise and hurtful things but they are after all still young adults. I can completely relate to them about making rash decisions at certain points of time, especially in their stressful situation.
Moving on to the Darkling… Sometimes I feel so alone when shipping Malina. After discovering the truth about the Darkling, I could never ever see him in a romantic way. Probably because of my repulsion to bad boys. Then again, the Darkling’s not just bad, he’s downright evil. Definitely not my cup of tea. Or well, not my sort of anything. However, I do agree he might be sorely misunderstood and hope that maybe, just maybe, he’s still salvageable. Because I got to admit, in the earlier parts of Shadow and Bone, he was downright charming.
Speaking of charming… There’s a brand new character in Siege and Storm who swept me off my feet immediately with his charm, honor, genius and yumminess. I shan’t say who because this is one of those things best experienced without warning but let me just reveal that this character, is by far my favorite in the trilogy. He’s one of the best male characters I’ve ever come across. Intelligent, witty, ambitious, confident and hilarious yet cunning, manipulative with a shady, ruthless side. All I ask for is that Leigh Bardugo don’t kill him of in Ruin and Rising, the final installment. Because my heart will be shattered and I might as well turn into a volcra and eat myself.
No, that wasn’t supposed to make sense. I’m a jumble of nonsense when it comes to pondering the maybe-death of that particular male character.
Now that I’ve got the character feels off my chest, lets get on to the story! I found myself shouting incredulously in shock numerous times throughout the book. It was completely unpredictable and so intriguing I wanted to scream at anyone or anything who dared interrupt me while reading it. Regarding the ending, everyone, just read that at home or somewhere private. I had to stop halfway through the end and continue on at home because sobbing on the subway would be pretty awkward.
That ending. THAT ENDING.
I feel as though Leigh Bardugo loves to play with our hearts. Maybe she’s secretly a Heartrender! I wouldn’t be surprised. Because what happened to Genya at the end… I can’t even think about it without my heart wrenching. And Alina… Oh, Alina. What she did and the result it had on her… I want to curl up in a corner and weep. The consequence of her actions made me wonder if Mal would still stay by her side. Even more woeful is the fact that Alina’s actions had good intentions. Someone hand me the tissues!
So what am I going to do now? Probably live a miserable life until Ruin and Rising comes out next summer. Or until there’s further news about the Shadow and Bone film. Yes, you read that right. There’s going to be a Grisha film! Thus far, I know they’ve hired a producer who also produced the Harry Potter films. Lets pray & hope that’s a good sign!
To wrap this up, I have 4 words for you. Read this trilogy now.