Publisher-Henry Holt and Co.
Released- June 4th 2013
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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, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But 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.My Thoughts:
Siege and Storm takes us across the True Sea with Mal and Alina on the run after their near death escape from The Fold, Ravka and The Darkling, but one can only run so long before you get caught. The Darkling has powerful plans for this Sun Summoner, but with the help of an unlikely ally, Alina and Mal find themselves in familiar territory once more. As much as Alina wishes she could be enough, she can't deny the fix of power growing deep in her very skin and this power has it's own hunger and it's craving for more. Coupled with the The Darklings wicked will and influences, Alina must decide if she will crumble to temptation or calm the raging storm within herself.
I always thought that out of all the genres out there, fantasy was the most difficult to convey. You have all these kind of different elements to work with to make it standout. Magic and mystery, action and adventure, politics and power, strength and weakness, friendship and love. It has to be bold and bright, inventive, imaginative and creative enough to support the probabilities of an impossible-reality set to the backdrop of a possible-fantasy. This is what makes Leigh Bardugo a tremendously remarkable writer. She achieves this in her world and so much more. There is something to be said about walking straight into written magic. I did it when I read Shadow and Bone and again after reading Siege and Storm. This kind of magic has your eyes wide open marveling at all the wonder while holding on to these characters for dear life. I simply couldn't have loved a book more.
There is so much going on plot wise that I think readers should venture this journey for themselves, but I can say that I had such a blast trying to keep up in Bardugo's world. Vast ships, tortured creatures and soaring into the stars are only a touch of what's inside. This is beautiful, vivid and passionately written. The middle of the story was more to iron out the politics of it all, but it was still entertaining enough for me to keep up, but it was the ending that had me on the verge of my seat. It was heart-pounding and heart-crushing at the same time. Not a single dull moment in this world!
I loved all these character in the first book, but somehow they seemed to step it up a notch, making me love them even more.
~Alina's character has grown so much since the first book. Further developing her into a capable, intelligent girl who is good and kind. But she has a dark rain-cloud that follows her, testing at ever turn. The power calls to her like a warm embrace and she doesn't know how long she can resist it's open arms.
~Mal stays the forever faithful, devoted, loyal and protective man that has stood by Alina's side since they were orphaned children. This is my favorite kind of love story, the kind that is timeless and priceless, the kind of love that makes your entire being ache for their happiness. So while I loved some of their swoon-worthy moments, I also hated all the tension and distance they had to endure. Struggle and doubt may linger in this sequel, but I refuse to believe that their love story will end here.
~The Darkling has me conflicted in this one. There was something about him in the first book that I found alluring and haunting and even redeemable, but his power-drunk obsessed actions in this book tore out my heart. I mean, he's meant to play the sinister villain after all, so it shouldn't be a real surprise to me, and yet, I still reach for hope. Mal may own my beating heart, but there is something very undeniable about this mans twisted affections and intentions. Not a very romantic notion, but dark and daring enough to have my true feelings for him questioned.
~We also have few new characters to add to our growing list of awesome. Tolya and Tamar are a welcoming animated and loyal addition and Strumhond is a fair, odd and complicated character who compliments the story-line with charm, humor and wit that I find remarkably refreshing.
Bottom line. I loved this book. I can go on forever praising this, but my words would never bring it justice. If your looking for sensational writing, a fierce fantasy, an exhilarating adventure with cast of outstanding heart and soul characters look no further. The Grisha trilogy is the escape for you. I can't wait to get my hands on the last installment; Ruin and Rising. I need more!!