Siege and Stormby Leigh Bardugo (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Series: The Grisha #2
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on June 4th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Amazon • Goodreads
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, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But 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.
Pushy and Danny here and we want to talk about one of our most favorite series! *insert happy dance* Last year, book 1 of the series, Shadow & Bone, totally blew our minds and we were so incredibly and epically in love!!!
Now, with Siege and Storm, being a sequel, how afraid were you picking it up?
Danny: Oh .. holy cow.. I was scared shitless!!! As much as I loved Shadow and Bone I didn’t think I’d love Siege & Storm just as much. What if I would fall out of love with The Darkling…
Pushy: I. COULD. NOT. WAIT!!!!!! I had no fears of falling out of love with the Darkling. I mean, COME ON!!!! It’s the OMG-BAD-BOY-HOTNESS-LIKE-A-MILLION-SUNS (or lack thereof…) Darkling!!!!!!
Danny… arg, yes you are right, that as a ridiculous fear indeed!
Pushy: Oh, darling….don’t say that! It’s just that I was willing to rush in all crazysauce and let’s face it….my love for the Darkling did waver during this book!
So, shortly what does Alina have to face in Siege & Storm?
Pushy: Um….wow. Shortly? Certain death, impossible quest, insanely outnumbered in a fight where she can’t even fully be sure of her own team, the dark forces within her own heart oh and yeah, boy troubles. No big, when you’re living large as the Sun Summoner. 😉
Wow.. so that sounds pretty intense hu.. Let’s move to the amazing characters and let’s first talk about…
Pushy: The Darkling!!
Danny: No… not yet, let’s first talk about Alina. She’s the main character after all…
Pushy: Can’t we at least start with Sturmhound?!?!? Or Mal? Or ooh, oooh, *Pushy dances around like a court jester on crack* The Darkling???? *Danny gives Pushy the stink eye* *Pushy heaves an ENORMOUS sigh*
Danny: Coming back to Alina *Danny gives Pushy a very stern look* .. Alina had so much to face in this sequel! There was so much pressure being thrown at her and everyone wanted something from her. It was a wonder she didn’t break! But… that’s also the beautty about Alina, she showed an amazing amount of strength and character development in this book. She never broke and at some point she truly decided to give in to her role as a savior and powerful Greisha!
Pushy: I have to admit, I fell in love with Alina by the end of this book. In Shadow and Bone she was so locked up inside herself, never letting her power come to the forefront, she was just a miserable mess. But in Siege and Storm, Alina is forced to leave that girl behind and grow into a woman who is powerful! And by the end of the book….HOLY FREAKING MOLEY!!!! Girl grew a set of big brass ones for sure. The last 40 pages of the book?!?! *Pushy shakes head in disbelief* Tour de mother-effing force, folks!!!!!
Danny: But Alina’s not the only character who surprises us in this book.
Pushy: Heck no! So many things we learn and see happen to our favorites…..Genya, Bagra and then there’s Mal….
Ahh.. yes , Mal – the boy who would do anything for her! We did love him in Shadow and Bone, what was his role in Siege and Storm?
Danny: I must admit, that Mal was the most difficult character for me in this book, I’m feeling very ambivalent towards him… I love how devoted he is to Alina, and always was, but here? I felt like he couldn’t understand Alina determination to help and accept her role as a Greisha. He just wanted them to have a normal life, but didn’t understand how she would rather face these dangers instead of running away from it. I loved him and I felt kind of sad for him, but sometimes he totally broke my heart and irriated me!
Pushy: He COULDN’T understand her. And yet, I think it was this pain, the estrangement he felt from Alina so very keenly, that grew him SO MUCH as a character in my eyes. I’m not a sadist or anything but that boy has a lucky horseshoe shoved up his hiney sometimes (best tracker in the world, strong as an ox despite years as a poor orphan, good looking enough to turn any girl’s eye…) and he needed a sever dose of Alina’s-not-your-back-up-plan-pal. Still, it was sad to see his love so severely tested….
Now… we can talk about The Darkling!
Pushy: HE’S MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WILL MAKE THAT BAD BOY GOOD, OR GO DISNEY-EVIL-VILLAN-CRAZY TRYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, you mean you want to talk about him as a character and not my fictional boyfriend? *awkward…*
Danny: *Danny shakes her head and whispers, “Pull it together, woman,” before continuing* I was kind of sad that he didn’t had a bigger role in this book, he was kind of absent for a major part of this story. He’s the most amazing villain ever and even though I know he’s a bad boy, I love him!!!
Pushy: In all seriousness, you’re absolutely right. The Darkling is the menace that waits just beyond the next page in this book. I think Leigh Bardugo did a good job keeping the thought of him present despite his physical absence throughout the book, using him to ratchet up the tension in a variety of ways throughout the story.
Danny: *looks surprised* Very true! But, while The Darkling wasn’t 100% present, there was a character that totally and completely stole my love and made me so damn excited!!
Danny: YES! The pirate who ends up helping Alina and and Mal. He was such an incredible amazing character!!! I cannot express my love for him enough! Leigh Bardugo again showed us her incredible talent in creating such unqiue and aweome characters!!!
Pushy: I have to admit, If I wasn’t so damned in love with The Darkling, Sturmhound would have COMPLETELY melted my heart. He’s truly the best mix of naughty and nice and super de dooper hot. And with The Darkling not around and Mal not getting Alina and Sturmhound so very much around….. well…. Let’s just say, Alina has more men to pick from than Senorita Crabbypants truly deserves!
Danny: … and there is this super secret twist..
Pushy: *cries out and holds Danny’s mouth shut* Danny! You are not allowed to reveal this.. That is THE big secret and twist! Don’t spoil this!
Danny: *mumbles through Pushy’s fingers* .. uhm yes, you are right *blushes*
Pushy: Okay, if I’m the one making sure we’re behaving, you know this isn’t going to end well. *wink* So I think we should wrap this puppy up. What’s our rating, babe?
The magic rating of awesome!!!
(That’s a big 5+ stars, folks!)
With a story arc that flys the reader through the pages and characters that will make you cry out in love, fear and anguish over, Siege and Storm, is more than a worthy sequel to Shadow and Bone, it’s a damn fine book in it’s own right. Please BUY THIS BOOK TODAY! You seriously will thank us for nudging you along!
Alright, so did you love Shadow and Bone and are you also so excited about Siege and Storm??
What is your favorite character and.. how much do you love The Darkling?