2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection!
I will admit that I went into this book with very high hopes. I bought Shadow and Bone when out on a shopping spree with my mother. After begging her to buy it for me (since I'm a poor student and all) I will admit I felt guilty. I had seen this book a million times on my Goodreads to-read shelf and never really felt that drawn to it. I bought it on that day simply for...
Published 19 months ago by Jennifer Cooke
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Disappointing sequel to one of my favourite fantasy novels. Let’s hope book three is better!
I absolutely loved the first book in The Grisha series, Shadow and Bone, so I couldn’t wait to read the second instalment. However, I’m a bit disappointed to say that I didn’t enjoy Siege and Storm anywhere near as much. In fact, it took me just...
Published 7 months ago by Ashleigh Allsopp
Most Helpful First | Newest First
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection!,
I will admit that I went into this book with very high hopes. I bought Shadow and Bone when out on a shopping spree with my mother. After begging her to buy it for me (since I'm a poor student and all) I will admit I felt guilty. I had seen this book a million times on my Goodreads to-read shelf and never really felt that drawn to it. I bought it on that day simply for the sake of buying a book. I went home and thought I may as well start reading it straight away. I finished it in one sitting in two and a half hours. I wanted Siege and Storm immediately!! So, impatient as ever, I bought it for my kindle app on my iPad. I couldn't even wait until the next day to buy the paperback. I finished Siege and Storm within a few hours and went onto Goodreads to find out what the next book was called. I found out what it was called, Ruin and Rising, but I was in for quite a shock. Siege and Storm had only been out for a week or so and I had to wait another year for the next book! Oh the horror of that moment! I have seriously been rejoicing and despairing equally over my choice to impulse-buy Shadow and Bone that faithful day. While I may have had the unbelievable experience of entering Leigh Bardugo's world and meeting her characters, I now have one of the worst waits I have ever experienced for a book.
Each of the character's will tug on your heartstrings, make you fall in love with them (Ahem, the Darkling) or, in some cases, both. Some characters you love to hate, others are fabulously lovable and all of them realistically imperfect, especially in the choices they make. Each character has to make a choice in this novel: Alina or the Darkling. There are no evil characters in this (excepting of course the Darkling who has to be redeemed in the last novel. Right? Right?!?!), only characters that have to make a tough decision and are making the best of the situation at hand. Those who you would believe would be on one side are quite commonly on the other. The characters decisions are explainable and believable. They are fully fleshed out characters with their own reasoning.
My favourite character is of course Alina. She is one of the best heroines I have ever read about and she is such a strong female character. But that is another of this series' strong points: strong female characters. Not one of the females in this story is an archetype of femininity. Each of the characters may start out as such, the bitchy popular girl, the uncommon beauty, the tomboy. But their true characters are shown throughout the course of this series. Alina, the tomboy, is such a pillar of strength in this novel. She takes over as leader of the Grisha in the Darkling's absence and does a remarkable job for a relatively new member of the Grisha. As much as I adore the Darkling, Alina is what makes this series what it is. She is the rare character that can truly hold a series on her own, regardless of the many romances and political struggles around her.
As you have probably surmised I am firmly in the Darkling camp when it comes to Alinas heart. I truly believe that Leigh Bardugo will redeem him in the final book and explain his actions satisfactorily. He is such a complex character, and though he struggles to gain control over Alinas power I truly believe he cares for her. If Darklina is not a possibility then I would choose Nikolai as my second favourite. I love how brash and confident he is and how he truly cares about the welfare of his people. I will admit that I also loved his and Alinas chemistry.
Under no circumstances should she end up with Mal! For some inexplicable reason I could never take to Mal. Perhaps it is because he is a part of Alinas past while I wish her to strive toward her future as a leader. Or perhaps it is because he took so long to proclaim his feelings towards her. I mean come on; they've been friends since they were kids and he waits until she has a million and one other problems before telling her? I mean, really? I would rather she end up alone, an independent leader of the Grisha than live happily ever after with Mal.
I really and truly love this series and the characters in it. The plot is sublime and you are left wanting more after every page read. I haven't felt this eager to read an unpublished book in a series since I waited for each Harry Potter book to be published. If you haven't been lucky enough to read this series and think I am over exaggerating then don't take my word for it. Go to your nearest library or bookstore and get a copy of Shadow and Bone and experience what the fandom is experiencing. I promise you won't regret it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enthralling Sequel,
Last year when I read Shadow and Bone I was so eager and excited to see what would happen in the sequel. I requested a proof copy of Siege and Storm and received a special ARC that had one of my quotes in it. I read it straight away and it was just as amazing as the first. It was fast paced and introduced us to many new characters that would go on to play a big role in the novel, while also bringing back past characters and showing us how they have developed after the devastating events on the shadow fold. I loved the development of characters in this book and the change of the theme which just aided with the progress of the plot, and kept the novel as a whole, fast paced with the reader continuously engaged.
Siege and Storm begins with Alina and Mal sailing across the True Sea in an attempt to escape the Darkling. When they reach land they try and remain hidden while they earn some money to continue their journey. Alina is being hunted by the Darkling's army and it isn't long until trouble arises. With the help of captain Sturmhond, she sets sail again. But it isn't long until the Darkling finds Alina and a reunion reveals some horrifying things. The Darkling has managed to create a new type of monster, one that only he can summon. With this new revelation, it really hits Alina that she is the only one who can stop him; after all she may have been the cause of this new power.
One of my favourite things about this novel was Alina's character growth and development. I don't think I have ever felt closer to a character throughout the course of a novel as I did with this. From the first novel we knew that Alina was a very strong character and one who wasn't afraid to break a few rules now and again, while she also had an intelligent mind and would use this wisely. In Siege and Storm Alina is still as realistic as ever but now she is put through some internal conflict. We see her struggle with the extent and weight of her power and the realisation that people now see her as a god. This puts a lot of pressure on her and strains many of her relationships with others. Alina is forced to change so quickly in a short amount of time. At the beginning of Shadow and Bone she was a map maker, now she is the Sun Summoner and people are following her as if she is a god and their only salvation. That has to be both physically and mentally draining and we see how Alina copes with it all in Siege and Storm. She begins to develop her power in the hope to save her people but this only adds fear to her mind, as she find this power addictive and she knows the line between the light and shadows is very thin and she could easily fall. Sometimes it seems the best option would be for her to fall across this line and let things finish easily, but she knows that this isn't the right option and she will rise to conquer the darkling. She knows how the power has changed the darkling and therefore she is scared to use her power so much in fright that she may also fall from grace. Throughout the course of the novel we see her come to terms with how people are now following her and how with their help and uniting everyone there may be a chance to win. She still struggles with her power but we see her trying and adapting to using it in the right way. The development is amazing and so realistically done, Alina gets so confused with things that it becomes a strain she knows she must fight and conquer.
Now onto Mal and the Darkling. Mal first then, well I have to be honest I was not a Mal fan girl in Shadow and Bone and after reading Siege and Storm my dislike for him has grown so much. I just don't like the way he disrespects Alina all the damn time, and when she says no to him he goes and drowns himself in drink and fights. To me that does not show a strong man, instead it shows a pain in the ass who isn't worth Alina's time. Both of them have changed from when they were in the orphanage and I think it's time that they both move on. There isn't a place for Mal in Alina's new life, he knows it and she knows it but they just haven't acted upon it yet.
Now the Darkling, I love him and his darkly seductive ways. He is still power hungry but we see that the events on the Shadow fold have had an effect on him and also the rest of the Grisha. His hold on them has been slightly impacted. In Siege and Storm we see him more vulnerable, he is slightly weaker due to the events of the Shadow Fold but this has left him with a new power that is greater than what he had before and even more terrifying. The thing is this new power drains on him and is not to be used too often. But as the Darkling is addicted to power he does not see the extent of weakness that has begun to show due to overusing this new power.
I'm just going to talk a little about Sturmhond but not too much as I want you all to discover him and his secrets yourselves when you read the novel. All I have to say is that he is a great addition to the cast of characters and one that will leave an impression on the reader. Let's just say that an alliance with him would give Alina even more power.
The main part of this book is of course about Alina coming to terms with her power while the threat of the Darkling looms closer but what I also loved was the sub plot of the amplifiers and how they tie in to Alina's story. I honestly did not see this new connection and addition coming, I love the mystery and enchantment that comes with the tales of the amplifiers and I cannot wait to see what Bardugo does in the final book with them all. Also I loved the Ice Dragon, it's a shame there wasn't more focus and time spent on this but never mind I'm still a very happy reader and I am eager to see what happens next.
And with the plot there comes the development of the themes throughout the trilogy. Many trilogies get caught up and jump from themes without a smooth passage between but in the Grisha series it has been done so perfectly, that I can't help but admire the talent Leigh Bardugo has and how effectively she uses it. In Shadow and Bone we were introduced to the enchanting and epic world of the Grisha and some of its backstory. In Siege and Storm the main focus seems to be the growth of Alina's power and how it has had an effect on the whole of Ravka and its people. From the ending of Siege and Storm we can see that the theme will need to change again due to the final events of the novel. I have every faith that it will flow and work just as well as the previous two novels.
Ooh and the ending of the novel made me literally full of emotions, my heart was pounding and I was so excited but also curious to see what the hell would happen! All I will say is Alina you go girl! And also to the Darkling, I will hug you and comfort you! I won't say any more but the rest of the ending, oh my god, shows we still have a lot to come in Alina's story and I am so eager and excited to read it.
Well there you go, Leigh Bardugo, you sure know how to involve your readers and make them an emotional wreck. Siege and Storm is an enthralling sequel that seriously ups the game and expectations of the reader. It is written so beautifully that is flows flawlessly while keeping the magic alive in the readers mind. If you want to read a fantasy series that has a truly unique world then read this series. If you loved the first book then there is no doubt that Siege and Storm will reignite the magic that you found before while also leaving you crying out for the final instalment of the Grisha series. I loved everything about this novel, the strength of Alina and her development, the world building that is still superb, the progress and twists in the plot that will keep the reader enchanted and of course the Darkling who is still waiting for you. Don't make him wait any longer.
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than the first.,
This review is from: Siege and Storm (THE GRISHA Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
This is definitely not a book that suffers from second-in-the-series-syndrome.
This was leaps and bounds better than the first book.
You can really see that Bardugo's writing has improved and the pacing of the book was just right, which says a lot about how much she's come along seeing as the pacing was my biggest problem with the first book.
I don't know what it is, but, barring a few exceptions (Kate Daniels from Magic Bites, Anna from Anna and the French Kiss, and Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle), I haven't met many female protagonists that I like, and Alina is not one of those exceptions. I'm really struggling to get along with her. I just feel that if she just manned up and had a grown-up conversation with the people around her, she might actually save herself, and me, a lot of grief.
We meet a new character in this book - Sturmhond .
I won't say anymore, but he is now, officially, my favourite character. This book is worth reading for him alone.
And Mal! Poor Mal :(
Him and Alina just can't seem to catch a break, can they? I have to say, out of all the possible ships in this series, I'm definitely rooting for these two. I just think they're so perfect for each other and I will lose all faith in love and HEA's if they don't make it.
The Darkling is ... well ... he's there.
Seriously, Authors need to stop writing these hugely attractive bad guys that keep making me question my morals. I would totally destroy the world for a piece of that. Seriously, if Alina doesn't want him I will totally have him - and Sturmhond.
I spent the first half of the book feeling like the story could be moving faster than it actually was, and that nothing much was really happening barring a couple of incidents. And then BAM! All the things started happening, and I realised that, actually, things had been happening all along.
Overall, a brilliant read which more than makes up for the short-comings of the first. Just be warned: here be feels.
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing,
Disappointing sequel to one of my favourite fantasy novels. Let’s hope book three is better!
I absolutely loved the first book in The Grisha series, Shadow and Bone, so I couldn’t wait to read the second instalment. However, I’m a bit disappointed to say that I didn’t enjoy Siege and Storm anywhere near as much. In fact, it took me just a few hours to finish Shadow and Bone, but a few weeks for me to finish Siege and Storm.
I really struggled through the first half of the book, and it wasn’t until around page 200 that things picked up and I remembered why I loved Shadow and Bone. I’ve read many books with slow starts but I think 200 pages of slowness is far too much for me. It was all travelling and not much action.
Plus, I hated Alina’s relationship with Mal throughout the whole of this novel. I thought that Mal’s character was plain, and there was only one moment involving voluntary fighting, alcohol and women (I don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t read it, but if you have I think you’ll know what I mean) that I felt something for him.
The more I think about it, the more I realise that I didn’t care much for Alina in this book either. She’s our protagonist and I loved her in Shadow and Bone but I often found her frustrating in Siege and Storm. I’m wondering whether that’s the way we’re supposed to feel about her at some points, as it’s all about whether or not she can handle the new power she’s got, but when you don’t connect with the main character in a novel it can be tricky to get sucked into it.
That said, I think some of the other characters in Siege and Storm show off the character creation skills that I remember from Leigh Bardugo’s writing in the first book. Nikolai is intriguing and I hope that wasn’t the last we’re going to see of him. The Darkling, who made the first book for me, is still awesome, although I missed him throughout lots of this second novel as his appearances were brief.
Other notable characters that I loved in Shadow and Bone and continued to enjoy reading about in Siege and Storm are Genya, who I hope we get to find out more about in the third book, as well as David and Baghra.
Then there’s incredible world building, which I still think makes this series great and makes me want to read the third and final instalment, Ruin and Rising. The Grisha and their powers are so cool, and I wish we’d seen more from them earlier on in this novel.
It’s a real shame that Siege and Storm didn’t live up to its predecessor, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Ruin and Rising will make up for it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic read, ramping up the tension from Shadow and Bone,
This review is from: Siege and Storm (THE GRISHA Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I adored Shadow and Bone last summer (initially published in the UK as The Gathering Dark), and couldn't wait for book 2 to see how Alina's adventures would continue. If you haven't read the first book, I wouldn't recommend reading on, as I can't be sure to avoid spoilers for it here.
Siege and Storm jumps straight in with Alina and Mal on the run, helping us to recall all the reasons they should be together. But having reminded us of their connection, their love, the wicked Ms Bardugo throws all manner of stuff at them to complicate things. At different points in the novel I was frustrated with each of them - both being realistic characters (yes, despite the high fantasy world with tons of magic), they both acted badly (or at least ill-advisedly) at different points. It's a clear indicator that characterisation is a strength of the series that many of us as readers have shifted allegiances at different points and felt that characters 'should have' behaved differently, whilst also understanding why they did act as they did. When readers talk about characters as though they were real, you've cracked it as a writer.
As well as testing Mal and Alina and making it impossible for their relationship to progress naturally (to the point that we begin to question, at times, whether they can have a relationship beyond friendship), Leigh Bardugo has introduced some brilliant new characters to this instalment. Sturmhond the privateer (don't say pirate!) and his crew are a particular high point of this book. Sturmhond is unpredictable, unreliable and harbouring a secret (which I absolutely did not even begin to guess at) - but Alina and Mal may have no choice but to depend on him. I haven't yet mentioned the Darkling, but don't worry, he is not missing from the novel. Still dark, still alluring and still troubling Alina with his ability to say the most unsettling thing possible, he also has a new and dangerous power.
Siege and Storm continues in the truly epic vein of Shadow and Bone, ramping up the tension and the obstacles in Alina's way. As well as having to deal with her personal feelings, her uncertainties about what is right and her growing power, her life is now complicated by the fact that she has been elevated to the status of a saint in popular belief.
Overall, I would absolutely recommend this series. It's beautifully written to the point that you can luxuriate in the language; the plotting is first rate and the characterisation is powerful and skilled. Be warned, though - it's a good idea to have book 3 lined up ready as the ending of this novel may just leave you desperate. Leigh Bardugo is a superb writer, but she has no qualms about making her characters or her readers suffer!
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing series!,
I’m very late to this Grisha trilogy, but there’s something good about that… I don’t have to wait for the final instalment because it’s out NOW! I can’t pinpoint exactly why I love Leigh Bardugo’s writing so much. It’s just magical really. It pulls you in and completely engrosses you in what you’re reading. Siege and Storm is just as good as Shadow and Bone. It’s fast paced, introduces some exciting new characters that play a massive role in the story.
Siege and Storm begins not long after Shadow and Bone finishes. Alina and Mal are sailing across The True Sea to try and escape the Darkling. Alina is being hunted by the Darkling’s army and of course, it doesn’t take long for trouble to arise. Alina gets some help from the Captain Sturmhond. It doesn’t take long for the Darkling to find Alina. The Darkling unveils a new monster that only he can summon. Alina finds out that she is the only one that can stop the Darkling.
Alina is a fantastic character. I can’t believe how much she’s developed since Shadow and Bone. She’s so realistic. Alina is really tested in Siege and Storm. She has to come to terms with the extent of her power and also the knowledge that a lot of people are now relying on her. This puts huge amounts of pressure on her and begins to put strain on her relationships. I loved how she had this struggle with her power. Alina finds her power addictive. It worries her because she knew how much power changed the Darkling, but she was aware that she needed to control her power and use it wisely.
Now to the males in the books…I find Mal such an irritating character at times. His love for Alina is so obvious, yet he seems to act like a total idiot around her. There’s always that possibility that Alina and Mal will get together, but if she does…I’m really not sure what she sees in him, except perhaps a link to her childhood. The Darkling is such an amazing character. He’s so mysterious, I’m not sure what I make of him, or how his story is going to develop, but I can’t WAIT to find out. I think he’s slightly weaker in mind and spirit in Siege and Storm, despite the new power he has. The new power seems to be weakening him, but he’s addicted to using it, not realising that it his draining him completely. Sturmhond is a new addition to the plot, but a very welcome and interesting addiction. I don’t want to say too much about him because I don’t want to spoil the story, but it definitely gives the trilogy a bit of a shake up!
Leigh Bardugo is a fantastic writer. With Siege and Storm she cements how good a writer she is. All too often in middle books in a trilogy it doesn’t match the debut, this isn’t the case with Siege and Storm. It’s just as good, if not better than the debut. I am so excited about Ruin and Rising. I can’t wait to see where Leigh takes this story.
5.0 out of 5 stars Siege and Storm,
To everyone who told me I would love Sturmhond, I state unequivocally 'YOU WERE RIGHT'.
Now that the formalities are out of the way, I have to say that I am even more in love with this series after Siege and Storm than I was after Shadow and Bone - which I thought was pretty much impossible. Bardugo just proved me completely wrong.
The biggest drawcard for me in this series is the writing. It's magical, visual and just completely sucks me in. As with Shadow and Bone, I read Siege and Storm in a day because I just could not put it down. It's a huge testament to this series' success that readers push this book relentlessly, and for readers like me, it's the writing that keeps me coming back once the initial peer pressure wears off. Bardugo for the auto-buy!
The world building in Siege and Storm is just as genius as in Shadow and Bone - the imagery is fantastic and the feeling of darkness and tension just seeps through the pages. Despite the fact that fantasy isn't my cup of tea, I can completely buy into the world that Bardugo has created - with more than a splash of Russian it feels so well-rounded.
OK let's get to Sturmhond in a little more detail. My opinion? Just throw away all the other male characters in the book, and keep Sturmhond. That is all.
To be fair, I feel kinda sorry for Mal though. He's like the puppy dog that no one wants - and he is kinda sweet in his own way. However the Darkling holds absolutely NO appeal to me at all and just gives me the jeebies.
I'll keep this short and sweet - I think you've probably gotten the hint on how much I loved Siege and Storm and now, onto Ruin and Rising!
4.0 out of 5 stars Alina grows up,
Alina's story matures in this sequel, which I enjoyed considerably more than Shadow and Bone.
On the run from the Darkling, Alina and Mal take a ship across the True Sea and finally the series starts to feel more like a fantasy series with a lot of the vivid descriptions really bringing the settings to life. Of course, Alina can't outrun her fate for long and a confrontation introduces her too some new faces that that flesh out what began as a pretty bare cast in the first book.
The best thing about this book is that Alina finally finds her much needed agency and starts to make some decisions for herself as well as acknowledging that she is running away from both her capabilities and her country. She starts to take back some control and actually develops somewhat as a character by going back to Ravka and facing her enemies head on.
Sturmhond makes a brilliant addition to the novel and even before the twist (which is a bit less obvious than the last) he really shines as a complex and morally loose character. His own desire to protect his country acts as a catalyst for Alina and proves that he is a much better ally than Mal, despite her fervent and rather annoying protestations that he is bad bad bad. But Sturmhond proves that cunning and manipulation are not necessarily evil and a comparison between his character and Alina's allows the book to acknowledge just how naïve and immature she really is.
Tamar and Tolya are two other new characters introduced and add a bit of diversity to a very white cast. The twins are interesting and entertaining, if a little subservient, but I look forward to seeing them develop more in Ruin and Rising.
Unfortunately there was little Genya in this book but what we see of her is very true to character and utterly heartbreaking. That I feel more for her in the few pages she appears to Alina and Mal really speaks volumes to how much she stole every scene she appeared in Shadow and Bone.
Speaking of Mal, he is completely obtrusive to this story. He serves no purpose and spends most of the time making Alina feel guilty for wanting to protect her people. His jealousy becomes unbearable and he is so antagonistic to everyone that every time Alina talks about how in love she is with him I have to question her sanity and I wished she would just tell him to go away. She constantly plays up how wonderful he is but it's an example of some really bad telling when we can clearly see how spiteful and controlling he is. Not to mention he expects her to choose him over her country and I spent every one of his scenes gritting my teeth and wondering why people even tolerate him.
The Darkling isn't in this novel as much as the last and that's probably a good thing because as a villain he's just not threatening enough to really carry the weight of this story. Every scene he shows up in I find I just don't care enough about him. Its seeing what he's actually capable of that is much more threatening and I hope the third book moves in a different direction although that doesn't seem very likely.
Negativities aside, I love the technological advances in this story and the fact that magic can actually coexist with it which has always been a pet peeve of mine in other magical stories where for whatever reason they're not allowed to work together. I also loved the scenes in the war rooms with tactical planning and Sturmhond coaching Alina in how to lead. These are the kind of scenes that show how the series has grown from the magical academy setting of the first novel.
Unfortunately the ending feels like an ending for the sake of it because trilogies just seem to be in style these days. I'll be looking forward to Ruin and Rising to see how this series really ends and hopefully it will involve Mal at the bottom of a river.
5.0 out of 5 stars Sun summoner,
Second volume in the Grisha trilogy. A young adult series of fantasy novels set in a mythological kingdom not unlike ancient Russia. With primitive technology and magic.
It follows on from book one Shadow and Bone: The Grisha 1 and although this volume might work reasonably well as a jumping on point, new readers should start with that one as the whole thing will work better if you do.
This volume runs for three hundred and eleven pages, and is divided into twenty three chapters. Plus a prologue and an epilogue.
Recommended reading age would be thirteen and up, thanks to some violence and grim situations.
Book one ended with lead character Alina - who once again narrates the whole story in first person present tense - and her friend Mal sailing away from trouble and seemingly to start new lives. Some very vivid and superbly descriptive prose from the off really gives you a great sense of their shipboard lives and the scenery around them. Then of the place where they end up.
Where they can't stay away from their past. But fate intercedes in the shape of an interesting new character. And Alina is drawn back into the struggle for power.
Can she cope with all the respnsibility being thrust upon her? Will her relationship with Mal survive? And why does she see some very strange sights?
For the first third of the book it does at times feel as if Alina is a bit powerless and just being forced to react to what is going, which is something that they say you should never do when writing. But that's not ultimately a complaint because the story does know exactly where it is going. Said new character is a superb creation and a very three dimensional being.
There's little to no action for almost two thirds of the narrative after that, as Alina has to contend with responsibilities and what is expected of her and keeping so many people happy. Her relationship with Mal does continue to grip as it's a very realistic feeling of two people trying not to grow apart. And there is so much else going on with other characters that it never stops to be very readable.
All things do come together nicely in the final fifty pages, as a lot happens very quickly that may at points take your breath away. And leaves the characters very different to how they were at the start of the story.
A solid middle book of a series that sets it all up nicely for the impeding conclusion Ruin and Rising and one that is also a very good read.
4.0 out of 5 stars Grisha book 2,
Shadow and Bone was one of my favourite books of 2012 (and I loved it just as much when I re-read it last month!) so Siege and Storm was one of my most anticipated releases for 2013. When I have such high expectations for a story it can be incredibly hard for an author to live up to them so I always feel a little nervous picking up the sequel to a much loved book. Thankfully I had no need to worry in this case and Leigh Bardugo has delivered another captivating tale set in Ravka, it didn't quite match up to the first book but it was still a very strong instalment to one of my favourite series.
I don't want to say too much about the plot of the story because, as with the first book, I think you're better off going in not knowing what to expect. What I will say is that if you enjoyed Shadow and Bone then I'm sure you'll enjoy the sequel just as much. Alina has already been through a lot but she is going to find herself tested more than ever before, so many things are thrown at her in such a short space of time and she is struggling to come to terms with the changes in herself since she unlocked her powers. People look at her differently now and she is under a lot of pressure from all kinds of directions about how she should proceed. Most of Ravka believe she is a saint and is the only one who can save them from the Darkling but that is a lot for her to live up to. I have to admit I was sad to see her struggle to open up to the people around her and the strain that put on some of her personal relationships but it was completely understandable and just made her character feel even more real.
I loved Mal in the first book but I found myself getting a little irritated with his actions some of the time in this one. He is letting Alina's powers drive a wedge between them and while I can understand how out of place he feels around the Grisha because he lacks their abilities I expected him to be more supportive of her rather than someone else who was trying to put pressure on her. There are moments when I love them together but others where I want to shake the pair of them and tell them to grow up. I guess the fact that they can make me so angry just goes to show how much I care about them though and I'm still really hoping they'll be able to find a way to work things out. The Darkling is as intriguing as ever, in the first book he was a much more seductive character though and this time I found him much less appealing. His actions at the end of Shadow and Bone left me reeling and he continued to shock me with how power hungry he has become and the lengths he will go to to get what he wants.
Along with the characters we already know and love (or love to hate!) we are introduced to some fabulous and memorable new cast members. A particular favourite was the Privateer Sturmhond but I also really liked the twins Tolya and Tamar. Siege and Storm had everything I loved about the first book - the fantastic characters, fast paced action, fabulous world building and some brilliant plot twists. I am desperate to know what happens next so Ruin and Rising is already at the top of my wish list for 2014 (why oh why do we have to wait so long?? LOL). If you haven't started reading this series yet then you really are missing out and I can't recommend it highly enough!
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Siege and Storm (THE GRISHA Book 2) by Leigh Bardugo