This is a review for the second book in The Grisha Trilogy. Although there will be no spoilers about Siege and Storm there may be spoilers about the first book in the series.
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Release: 6th June 2013
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Adventure
Source: Received from the publishers in exchange for an honest review
"Darkness never dies. Alina and Mal are on the run. Hunted and haunted, but together at last, they can't outrun Alina's past or her destiny forever. The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and he needs Alina to realise his dangerous plan. There are others who would like to use Alina's gift too. And as her power grows, somehow, she must choose between her country, her power, and her love - or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm."
Shadow and Bone was hands down my favourite book of last year and so needless to say Siege and Storm was one of my most anticipated sequels of 2013. The Grisha trilogy reads like a classic fantasy adventure and in Siege and Storm we are thrown straight back into the action with a sea voyage, mythical creatures, secret Grisha, and an eccentric Captain to name a few! There isn’t really a re-cap so I’m going to put it out there that if you read Shadow and Bone a while ago and what happened is a bit foggy in your mind I’d recommend a re-read as Leigh Bardugo throws us straight back into the story with mere weeks having passed since Shadow and Bone.
The storyline in Siege and Storm follows Ravka preparing for war against The Darkling. The Darkling has emerged from the Fold stronger than ever with his new power the nichevo’ya – an army of shadow soldiers. Fans of The Darkling will be saddened to hear that there is less of him in this sequel but like the best villains his threat still lingers and is very much felt and present throughout the book.
Alina has amazing growth as a character in Siege and Storm as she steps up to the challenge of becoming the leader Ravka needs to take down The Darkling. But with great power comes great responsibility and Alina has to fight her thirst for power so as not to become power drunk like The Darkling. It was interesting to read her conflicting thoughts and feelings and at times you catch glimpses of the strong, yet fair, leader she is becoming.
Needless to say the huge changes in Alina’s life has a knock on effect with her relationship with Mal. Alina is in high demand and with her growing power Mal struggles to accept this new side to her and misses the girl he grew up with. One of the reasons I love Mal is because he doesn’t see the powerful sun summoner, or a saint, or Ravka’s saviour. He just see’s Alina – who she is behind all that. It made my heart ache to read about these new struggles in their relationship.
What I loved most about Siege and Storm was the wonderful new characters introduced Tolya, Tamar and Sturmhond. Sturmhond has quickly become my favourite character in this entire series – he’s the Grisha equivalent to Magnus Bane of The Mortal Instruments or the Weasley twins from Harry Potter. His witty anecdotes and comments never failed to make me laugh out loud! He’s everything you want in a strong secondary character. I’m completely enamoured with him!
I have to say that unlike Shadow and Bone I did find Siege and Storm a slower read at times especially in the middle. It was lacking some of the epic intensity of its predecessor and didn’t hold me quite as spellbound. The fantastic cast of characters pulled me through the slower parts of the book and the ending more than made up for it! Once again the ending was truly epic and has left me desperate for the third and final instalment. Overall Siege and Storm was a strong and satisfying sequel solidifying my belief that The Grisha Trilogy will go down as one of my favourite series of all time.