Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo


Goodreads blurb
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.

First line: “The boy and the girl had once dreamed of ships, long ago, before they’d ever seen the True Sea.”

Title: Siege and Storm
Series: Grisha, book 2
Author: Leigh Bardugo
My edition: Hardback published by Henry Holt in 2013, with 432 pages.
Age: 15+
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Magic

The reason I wanted to read it was the obvious one, I’d read Shadow and Bone (the first book, you can read the review here), and I just completely fell in love, so I had to read the rest.

What I liked about the plot in Shadow and Bone (Book 1), was that it always changed. It was so fast paced that I read through it in just a matter of days. It was a complete page-turner. In this book, which is the case in a lot of “sequels”, I feel kind of lost. Not because I don’t understand it, but because it’s very slow paced. Sequels are always build-ups for the big finale, and therefore, it felt like I was always waiting for something to happen.

That being said, there was a plot-twist at the beginning of the book that kind of set the mood for the rest of the plot. It felt like a logical plot-twist when read, and it kind of set the characters out on a new journey that I did not see coming at all. So, there was another plot-twist, which kind of blew my mind! So, in other words, the book is full of plot-twists, and as in the first book, I’m totally hooked. But it took some time getting there! I kind of want to compare Siege and Storm with Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (read the review here), because I had the exact same feeling when I started. I felt like it was too slow-paced and it took me some pages to actually feel the “same” vibe again, but when that happened I could not put the book down.

I love Bardugo’s writing, it’s the kind that just blows me away every time. Like for example Maggie Stiefvater, Bardugo can make a stone look beautiful just by describing it, and that is a unique quality when it comes to writing. But comparing Stiefvater with Bardugo isn’t right either, because while Stiefvater can give you ten lines describing an emotion (and it’s just amazing), Bardugo does it in three words (and it’s just as amazing). That’s why I just love her writing and the world she has created in the Grisha trilogy!

Alina is as usual a very strong female character that I liked in the first book, but I completely fell in love with her in this book. Mostly because she goes from being nearly perfect, to perfect in every way throughout this book. In Shadow and Bone she’s the orphan who has the Grisha abilities and is thrown into a life she feels like she can’t handle. In Siege and Storm she’s kind of thrown back out there as the orphan, but then she completely owns her Grisha abilities and I felt like she really grew in this book. I absolutely loved how she kind of embraced other sides to herself, and showed some flaws that were totally human!

The Darkling isn’t in this book a lot, which was a shame because I seriously LOVE the Darkling. He was my absolute favorite character in the first book, and then in this book he’s in it through parts, but mostly we just know that he’s there, but rarely mentioned. I think the mystery around him kind of evolved in this book, and his dark and scary persona became darker and scarier in this book. SPOILER! IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK; DON’T HIGHLIGHT THE NEXT COUPLE OF SENTENCES. In the end when Alina and the Darkling is standing there at the end of the book, I felt like he lost a part of him that I really liked in the second book, and that was the fact that in the first book he always felt so calculated, like nothing could stop him and he was so damn irritating in that way, which made him SO GOOD. But in this book I felt like he lost some part of him that I felt was necessary to make him the best villain ever. It was like he could be defeated, and that was one of the reasons why I loved him in the first book, and kind of lost him in this book. SPOILER FINISHED!

Mal to me, was not my favorite in the first book. I felt like he was just this irritating mosquito that kept on buzzing in my ear, and I could not fathom the fact that it was obvious that Alina and Mal would totally end up together. Then in this book, he actually grew on me. Little by little he became a more likable character and I suddenly felt myself rooting for him at times. All though he did do some stupid things in this book (which I won’t mention because well, it would totally spoil the book), it also made him feel more human. And that was a quality I liked about him, he was suddenly a character I could relate to and I was actually surprised.

We also have Sturmhond in this book, which was a character I REALLY liked when he was introduced. All though he’s just as calculating and mysterious as the Darkling himself, Sturmhond was more fun, he had humor and he had this savage way of life that I really liked. (I’ve always had a weak spot for pirates). I don’t want to spoil him for you, but Sturmhond was a really cool character and he kind of gave the plot a new turn and this spike that I kind of missed in the beginning of the book.

The ending was AMAZING! I did not see it coming at all, and I can’t wait to get home to Ruin and Rising!

All though I’m giving this book a lower score than the first one, it’s not far from being as perfect as book number 1. The reason why is because a part of me felt like it was another build up to an epic ending and I seriously felt like the plot was sometimes too slow and therefore, it took some effort to pick up the book from time to time. But once over that part, I could not put down the book!

Marked as to-read

Marked as currently reading

page 40/9% “Aaahhhh hello Darkling”

page 80 /18% “comeon reading slump…..”
page 152 / 34% “WHAAAAAT OMG”
page 200 / 45% “I guess I could have a piece of Mal every day too 😉 But I seriously wish that the Darkling appeared more in this book!”
page 234 / 53% “- ‘Mal, I put a hole in the ceiling.'”
– ‘A very dramatic hole.'”
page 273 / 62% “Well! At least things are really picking up!”

page 300 / 68%
page 398 / 91% “I KNEW IT”
Marked as read

Absolutely, and if you’ve read the first book in the Grisha trilogy, you seriously need to read the second one!

I would recommend the Grisha trilogy to anyone who likes fantasy with a kind of dark twist to it. If you like books where you don’t see the plot-twists coming your way, this is the series for you!

“The less you say, the more weight your words will carry.” – Page 187



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