[Book Review #34] Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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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.

Book Specifications:

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Format: Hardcover

Part of a Series: Yes. The Grisha Trilogy #2.

Release Date: June 4, 2013

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

No. of Pages: 435 pages

Price: 865.00Php

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Russian, Adventure, Dystopian, Paranorma

Book Review:

The Cover: Just like the first book in the series, the cover of Siege and Storm features a silhouette of a Russian place with a dragon-like figure placed on the top. The cover would seem relevant specially to the fans and readers of this book, since an Ice Dragon was a part of the story. It was Alina’s second amplifier. With just the cover alone, a bibliophile would definitely categorize this book as a cover buy! (5 out of 5 stars)

The Story: Following the life of Ravka’s very own Sun Summoner, Alina Starkov, this sequel starts off as a continuation to Shadow and Bone, where Alina and Mal, the tracker, fended off for themselves after surviving the battle in the Shadow Fold. The story also focused on Alina and her quest to find her second and third amplifiers with the help of Mal and Nikolai, a prince of Ravka. Constantly, this was a book where Alina struggled to stay as far away as possible from The Darkling. Below are some of this book’s great (and weak) points.

  • The world building, just like in Shadow and Bone, was absolutely breathtaking. Ravka became a world where I wanted to linger in and every page was filled with wonderful facts about the Grisha world. With all this intense and mind boggling world development, a reader may not want to live outside of the setting.
  • I liked the addition of another amplifier for Alina. I liked how she grew stronger and less afraid of the Darkling each time she wakes. But what I fear to happen is for her to fully give in to the darkness. Her drive and urge to greedily search for and acquire her third amplifier is taking a toll on her which may or may not bring out not only the strength in her, but also the darkness that she’s been trying to contain for so long. Hopefully, she keeps it together.
  • One thing I disliked about Alina through out this sequel is her complaints. There wasn’t a chapter where she had no complaints. She was demanding as fudge and there were instances where she really got on my nerve with all her trying to outsmart the Darkling and all. I don’t know.
  • One more negative comment I have was that I don’t know if it’s just me or this book was incredibly slow paced. It took me two weeks to read this book and I actually squeezed in Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma while I was reading this. Maybe it’s just me. But I really don’t know. I’m having mixed feelings about this book. Hmm.

Overall, I felt like something was missing from this sequel. I wanted to love this book but something about it just seemed off to me. But then again, maybe it’s just me. (2 out of 5 stars)

The Ending: *This part is filled with spoilers. I suggest you skip this part if you don’t want to cry later on.* The last few pages of this book was absolutely action-packed! I didn’t know what to expect because every page will really have a reader on the edge of their seats, waiting in anticipation as to what will happen next. And the part where Alina Starkov has finally come face to face with the Darkling was such an intense scene. I really didn’t know what was going to happen. I loved that about the ending! And as for the wait for the next book, I have to say that I need to read the conclusion to this series soon. (3 out of 5 stars)


The Verdict: Being the second book of this trilogy, I was expecting quite a lot from it since most of my favorite books in a trilogy  are usually the second book (Prodigy, Catching Fire, Insurgent), but with this one, I really don’t know. I have mixed feelings about this because I felt like it was so slow I actually had to read a different book to get me out of a slump. Hopefully, the third book in the series redeems it for me. (3.33 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

“The less you say, the more weight your words will carry.”

“When people say impossible, they usually mean improbable.”

“Anything worth doing always starts as a bad idea.”

“I have loved you all my life, Mal. There is no end to our story.”

“Oh, and the easiest way to make someone furious is to tell her to calm down.”

“Sturmhond had a way of talking that made me want to shoot someone. Preferably him.”

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