Title – Author: Siege and Storm – Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Series/Standalone: Series – The Grisha #2
Format – Source: Hardcover – Bought
Alina and Mal have fled across the True Sea, hiding from the Darkling and his Grisha in an unfamiliar land. Alina must keep her power a secret or risk discovery, but she weakens every day. She can’t hide from the Darkling forever, who managed to escape the Fold with a terrifying new power. Alina thought she would never see Ravka again, but she can’t fight her destiny. With the help of a mysterious privateer, Alina and Mal return to their homeland to fight the forces gathering against it. Alina will fall deeper into her power and grow farther away from Mal as she takes on new roles she never expected.
STURMHOND!!!! Ok, now that’s out of the way, let’s get down to reviewing. I’m pretty sure Leigh Bardugo has never heard of a sophomore slump, because Siege and Storm really ups the stakes. I was so happy to finally be back in Ravka swooning over the Darkling and shielding my eyes from all the sunbursts.
It would be hard to focus on the plot, because so much happens that I’m worried I’ll get too spoilery. So let’s discuss characters instead.
Sturmhond: A new character to the series, and by far the best character ever. Insufferable, brave, patriotic, clever, handsome…Sturmhond is all good things. He’s a privateer, which is badass, but he also has a mystery identity that I won’t spoil for you but that I totally saw coming and when it was revealed I was all BAM! He just doubled in awesomeness. I wanted Alina to spend all her time with him because their witty reparte was super amusing.
Mal: Oh, Mal. He was kind of a disappointment this time around. Like in Shadow and Bone, he was all, desert the army and have to run for the rest of his life for TRUE LOVE. Now, Mal is kind of a jerk. He’s insecure about his relationship with Alina and is constantly questioning her about her interactions with Sturmhond (to be fair, I would be worried too because who doesn’t want Sturmhond?). The part that bugs me the most about Mal in this book is that he’s so against Alina’s power. Yes, Alina is doing dangerous things, but her power has and always will be a part of her. How can he claim to love her if he can’t accept her power? She is her power, and it’s really lame of him to make her feel ashamed for wanting it. It seems to me that he loves the idea of Alina rather than the person Alina actually is, with light and dark inside of her.
The Darkling: I was mostly sadface about the fact that the Darkling isn’t in too much of this book. He’s gone full-on creepy now, with a new creepy superpower that is so scary that if I were Alina, I would run away and hide in a corner. Despite this, I’m still team Darkling. I just want him to redeem himself, goddamnit!
Alina: Alina is pretty badass in Siege and Storm. She’s exploring the darker side of her power and her connection with the Darkling. It’s all very exciting. I like that she really steps up and takes responsibility.
Siege and Storm is a riveting story, and a great addition to the series.