Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt
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.
Siege and Storm is the second novel in the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. If you are unfamiliar with the series, then be sure to check out my recent Memory Lane Monday for the first novel, Shadow and Bone, here! I went into Siege and Storm with excitement and expectations and now that I've completed it, I will say that it really felt like a middle-in-a-series novel. Unlike with Shadow and Bone, it took me a little bit longer to complete this book because the plot was moving much more slowly. This did, however, make room for
Siege and Storm kicks off where the first novel ended. Alina and Mal are trying to build a new life for themselves while keeping Alina's identity hidden. Thankfully this doesn't last for long because The Darkling finds them--forcing Alina to return "home" and prepare for a fight against him. I think one of the most surprising things about Siege and Storm for me was how different Alina is when comparing her to both her character at the beginning of the novel and especially her character in the first installment. She gives off more confidence, and with that confidence comes this sense of authority, strength and power. Alina is most definitely not the same vulnerable girl we saw in Shadow and Bone!
I hate to say it, but I feel like the reason this novel had trouble holding my attention as much as the first is because of the absence of The Darkling's character for a majority of the novel. I talked about in my Memory Lane Monday for Shadow and Bone how much I really loved his character, and I was hoping for us to see more of his story in book two. I'm actually shocked there wasn't more of a focus on The Darkling because he's a very complicated character that I feel needs some time to be unraveled. I say this mostly because I refuse to believe that, although he is our villain, he has no good in him. It's hard to even explain how frustrating it is to know we got absolutely no insight into his past and so little of his presence when he was such an important character in Shadow and Bone! Not to mention that I absolutely love the chemistry he and Alina has. It's so much more intense and passionate than Alina's relationship with Mal (which who by the way, annoyed me in this book). I dislike Alina with Mal so much that although I am Team Darkling, I'd prefer Alina to be with Nikolai over Mal any day!
“Why won’t you leave me alone?” I whispered one night as he hovered behind me while I tried to work at my desk.
Long minutes passed. I didn’t think he would answer. I even had time to hope he might have gone, until I felt his hand on my shoulder.
“Then I’d be alone, too," he said, and he stayed the whole night through, till the lamps burned down to nothing.
“I've seen what you truly are," said the Darkling, "and I've never turned away. I never will. Can he say the same?”
“You know the problem with heroes and saints, Nikolai?" I asked as I closed the book's cover and headed for the door. "They always end up dead.”
Overall, Siege and Storm has slightly deflated my excitement for book three. I will be definitely reading it when it releases, but I'm just worried about how everything (meaning both plot and character relationships) will play out. I especially hope to see MUCH MORE Darkling in book three *fingers crossed*!!! Have you read Siege and Storm? What did you think about The Darkling's absence? Be sure to let me know in the comments below! Keep Reading!
Your Y.A. Bookworm,