Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and StormSiege and Storm
by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #2
Published: 04 June 2013
Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 432 pages
Source: Library

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WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR SHADOW AND BONE.

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.

Rating: ★★★★★

I was so afraid that Siege and Storm would be one of those books with the much feared second-book syndrome, especially as I progressed towards the middle of the book. I personally felt that there was quite a bit of fillers, but I suppose it was necessary to help progress the story and to build up the intensity of it.

For those of you who intend to read it, fear not! This book is totally worth your time, especially with the amazing beginning and EPIC ending. And the FEELS! Oh gosh. My heart was ripped out and stuffed back into my chest so many times, and I couldn’t agree more with Alina at some parts!

*spoiler alert* Before I dive into the part which kicked my FEELS into overdrive, only highlight the following paragraph if you want to know what happened!

The part which got me all emotional (i.e. wanting to whip out a few knives and slash around wildly) was when Mal was sparring in the stables, and when he won the round and Zoya went up to him and kissed him. AND HE KISSED BACK. Leigh Bardugo did an excellent job of making me feel how Alina felt right then, especially the part about wanting to punch Mal in the ribs and worsening his injuries, yet wanting to get him to a Healer at the same time. And the epic ending, where Alina looked like she was offering herself up to the Devil himself, the Darkling! It was terrible, falling apart on the inside.

Also, it’s amazing how Alina grows so much, yet I didn’t really notice the changes until Mal pointed it out along the way. It’s rather scary, though, how a person can change so much and it being so subtle at the same time.

Oh, yes. Sturmhond is so annoyingly attractive, and it just makes loving/hating him so difficult. What’s more, he’s actually really intelligent. I always have to pause to take in how much meaning his words actually have when I want to wring his neck.

I thoroughly enjoyed how Leigh Bardugo was able to incorporate humour into the story all while keeping the tone consistent. I’ve read books which have humour coming in random and short bursts, which is pretty odd. Not in the case of Siege and Storm, though. Mal and Alina were able to make me smile through the way the interacted (they have such natural chemistry!), even in public. I probably looked crazy smiling at words on a book, but who cares when you’re reading a good one?

Ruin and Rising is sitting right in front of me, so I’ll be off reading that! And, as I quote Adel: “My survival is not guaranteed.”

Signature--JZ

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where we feature top ten books or book related stuff according to each week’s topic.

As we all know, this Friday, 14th of February, is Valentine’s Day! Not that I have a Valentine or anything but then again, who needs a Valentine when you’ve got books & ships? Just kidding. Anyway, this week’s list consists of the top 10 books that made me swoon. I’m a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic and I will shamefully admit I barely read any novels without romance now. That doesn’t mean I would settle for simply any romantic story, it’s got to be well-developed!

So here’s a list of books that either made me swoon, want a relationship like the one portrayed in it or wish desperately for a guy like the one in the story. ;)

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon:

All Our Yesterdays
1. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
I ship Em & Finn so much! They’re so different, yet perfect for each other; like magnets!

Anna and the French Kiss
2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Although this book was a teensy bit cheesy at times, it was still wonderfully romantic. It wasn’t just about romance, of course, but the romance was definitely my favourite part. Étienne was amazing, period.

Article-5-HC_final11
3. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
I just finished the last of this trilogy, Three, and I’m sure Chase and Ember are one of my favorite fictional couples ever. For further elaboration, read my reviews! Oh, Chase is also one heck of a boyfriend. Someone give him a medal!

Champion
4. Champion by Marie Lu
Day. June. Daniel Altan Wing. June Iparis. I don’t know how I can sanely express my love for them two. I won’t even try.

Dare You To
5. Dare You To by Katie McGarry
If there ever is a perfectly imperfect relationship in real life, it would be Beth and Ryan’s. Or maybe I’m biased because I can really relate to Beth sometimes (just that I’m more chipper) and I would love a boyfriend like Ryan.

Deity
6. Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I would list the whole Covenant series here if I could but I picked Deity because it was the book that made me realize how deeply Aiden and Alex loved each other. They literally stuck with each other through thick and thin. Their love can conquer everything. :’)

For Darkness Shows the Stars
7. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
THIS. THIS BOOK. It’s filled to the brim with crazy FEELS. It’ll twist your heart into an unrecognizable shape.

Scarlet
8. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Many of my friends have heard me say this before but now I shall announce it to the blogosphere and the internet: I WANT A WOLF. No kidding, I really do think a guy like Wolf is the perfect guy for me.

Siege and Storm
9. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
I do ship Malina like crazy but what really got this novel on this list is a particular privateer… Smart, witty, hilarious & FREAKING AMAZING, I’m just ripping out my heart & going, “TAKE IT. JUST TAKE IT; YOU CAN HAVE IT.”

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
10. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
I would be downright cray cray if I did not put TSPoLaFS on this list! It’s practically everything love at first sight should have! And for the record, I do believe in love at first sight.

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This list is in alphabetical order because I really couldn’t pick any one over another based on their level of swooniness. Unsurprisingly, coming up with this list made me want to smile forever, grab my Wolf (or Sturmhond), run into the sunset and live happily ever after.

Here’s an early happy Valentine’s Day from me to you (even if you don’t have a Valentine)! ♥

Adelena

Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where we feature top ten books or book related stuff according to each week’s topic.

This week’s list consists of books that made me weep, bawl my eyes out, become a snotty mess or all three. I’ve actually dedicated a shelf on Goodreads to such books and narrowing that list down to 10 was pretty fun. With the exception of the first 2 on the list, the rest are in no particular order.

Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry:

Clockwork Princess
1. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
This book has once again topped another one of my TTT. I cried for almost an hour after completing it & now still can’t read that epilogue without wanting to dig my heart out and throw it away.

Champion
2. Champion by Marie Lu
The ending was insanely bittersweet and utterly perfect. Same applies to this as CP2; I can’t read or think about the end without going more than a little insane.

Deity ELIXIR_cover
3. Deity & Elixir by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I decided to put these 2 together because Elixir is just a novella and to get the full sobby experience, you need to read Elixir straight after Deity. I actually skipped school in order to finish Elixir last year. Yeah, it was pretty crazy but shh…

Shades of Earth
4. Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
Surprise, surprise! It was the ending that made me bawl (again). Beth Revis just completely messes with your feels in the last few chapters. I died. But I survived.

Between Shades of Gray
5. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
A teenage girl who lived through Stalin’s Reign of Terror and experienced Hell on Earth. Don’t think further explanation’s needed.

All Our Yesterdays
6. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Plenty of things can go wrong with time-traveling resulting in severe heartbreak. Me at that scene: WHAT IS AIR.

Siege and Storm
7. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Leigh Bardugo is a Heartrender who tortures us readers to the brink of death but never releases us into the oblivion of the afterlife, hence prolonging our pain. ALINA. MAL. MY PRECIOUS NIKOLAI. I’m going to huddle in a corner now.

Sever
8. Sever by Lauren DeStefano
Rhine’s been through so darn much and lost an insane amount of people at such a young age. What’s not to cry about? Not to mention a particular extremely sudden death… Someone get me tissue, please.

boundless
9. Boundless by Cynthia Hand
Beautiful, beautiful ending. But of course Cynthia Hand had to attempt to rip our hearts out before giving us that glorious conclusion.

The Iron Knight
10. The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
This was the only book which I read before starting this blog that I decided to include because I don’t really trust my past judgement. But this was definitely heartbreaking. Sure, it did (sort of) end happily but did Julie Kagawa really have to put poor Ash through that final torment? Oh right, the torture was meant for readers.

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This list has dug up all the intense feels I received from the above mentioned books. I think I’m going to go somewhere private and make dying dinosaur noises now. Bye.

Adelena