Series: The Grisha, #2
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release Date: June 4th, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Source: Bought it
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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.
This review is spoiler-free for the series.
Siege and Storm is everything I wanted from Shadow and Bone. Though I enjoyed the first book in the Grisha series, I couldn’t help but be slightly disappointed, because I didn’t seem to feel the love everyone else did. I couldn’t connect to the characters, and it just all felt a little bit flat for me. But Siege and Storm… Whoa. This was so much better.
One of my main problems with Shadow and Bone was Alina. I just couldn’t get a feel for her character, and she fell flat for me. Bardugo, however, does some tremendous developing of character during Siege and Storm. Alina grows so much, and I loved how incredibly flawed she was. She is not immune to power, and it changes her slowly and in a realistic way. The way her character develops was just so magnificently done, and I love how Bardugo doesn’t shy away from giving her heroine just a few possibly villainous traits.
The other characters, though, I didn’t feel as much for. Though I know many people dislike Mal in Siege and Storm, my opinion of him didn’t change much. That means I don’t hate him, but don’t really feel for him either. I know he’s important to Alina, but I don’t really care about him. Basically, he just exists and I don’t have any opinion on him besides that 😛 The problem with this is that I didn’t really feel Mal and Alina’s “love” for each other. There are a few scenes where one of them is being treathened to affect the other, and because I just didn’t feel that love those felt a little unrealistic to me. In the beginning, especially, they reminded me a bit of Edward and Bella (*gasp*, yes, I did just go there) because of their “don’t hurt him/her, I’ll do what you want!” I’m happy to report it doesn’t stay like that in the rest of the novel. Their relationship certainly goes through some trouble and while I still don’t care about the Mal/Alina ship, I am glad that their relationship developed and evolved.
I’m afraid to report that my feelings on the Darkling haven’t changed either. I still fail to see that dark seductivness that makes me want to swoon. I know many people love him, but I just can’t. How I wish I could, though. However, the Darkling as a villain as opposed to a love interest doesn’t disappoint. He can be scary; he’s absolutely powerful and determined to get what he wants.
We’re introduced to some new characters in Siege and Storm, and I’m so happy we met them. Sturmhond is absolutely hilarious and I loved him from his first appearance in the book. His snark won me over from the start and I’m happy he stayed around for a while. We’re also introduced to the kickass twins Tolya and Tamar, and they’re tougher than nails and also awesome.
The romance in general I had some problems with. I think my main problem is I don’t ship Alina with anyone. I don’t like Mal enough, I don’t really get the Darkling, and the third possible love interest we’re introduced to, though delightful, doesn’t fit with Alina in my opinion. I also don’t really like how everyone seems to want Alina. Mal I can get – they’ve been together since they were little kids – and the Darkling too – Alina’s power attracts him – but I didn’t really think it was necessary to introduce a third love interest.
Siege and Storm mostly felt like a journey, though with plenty of action, to the third book of the series. Though it’s a complete story on its own, I do feel like it mainly served as a build-up to the undoubtedly climactic Ruin and Rising. However, it was a build-up I thoroughly enjoyed and that surprised me time and again with how much I liked it. Though I admit I could have dropped the series after Shadow and Bone without a lot of thought, I now need Ruin and Rising like burning. Good thing it’s already in my possession. I’m off to read now!
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