Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Book 2 in the Grisha trilogy
Genre: YA fantasy
Siege and Storm completely blew my mind. It exceeded the expectations I had set for it after reading Shadow and Bone.
Much like in the first book, the plot was really strong and totally unpredictable. While the very first chapter or two were fillers of sorts, everything intensified around the third. After that point, it was a whirlwind of surprises. I didn’t want to stop reading because I wanted badly to find out what happened next.
The characters I returned to evolved significantly and they were still intriguing, but I found them harder to connect with and form feelings for. Alina gets stronger and learns to really use her power to her advantage, but with these changes comes an unusual dark side and hunger for more. While I think this did make her more interesting, I also think it caused some problems. She was much colder toward Mal and threatened people more freely. However, I feel like she did redeem herself somewhat in the very end. But I didn’t like Mal. I could partially understand how he felt, but at the same time I couldn’t. He seemed really volatile, and I didn’t like how he was treating Alina or the behaviors he adopted. My feelings for the Darkling stayed the same, though. I still found him to be a power-hungry jerk, and I think the only thing that did change was the amount of power he wielded. He became slightly terrifying. I also met some new characters. Tamar and Tolya are brutal Grisha twins who eventually become Alina’s bodyguards, and I really liked them. They did keep a fairly large secret from Alina, but it wasn’t too serious and they did remain loyal so I didn’t have any issues. Then there’s Nikolai, the charming younger prince and Alina’s friend. I didn’t like him at first, but he eventually grew on me and I found him amusing. I also, for some reason, thought of him as a Ravkan prince version of Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles. Their attitudes were surprisingly similar, although I have to say I currently don’t like Nikolai quite as much as Thorne. XD
Ravka was just as beautifully-developed and intricate as it was in Shadow and Bone. I loved the new areas introduced, even though ¾ of the story was in Ravka. In the first ¼ though, it took place in a small village and also in various sections of the True Sea. They were all really interesting to explore and I look forward to diving back in when I eventually read Ruin and Rising.
In my opinion, all relationships and possible ones went down the drain in this book. I didn’t have a problem with that, though. I like when female leads aren’t in a relationship, and if I’m honest, I don’t think any of the three love interests suited Alina. Friendships also fell apart. I won’t name names because I don’t want to spoil anything, but one in particular kind of made me sad.
This book had plenty of surprises, even in the beginning. Again, I can’t be specific, but I will say that I was constantly anticipating more. The ending was brutal. I was shocked at the sacrifice Alina was willing to make, and I’m so glad she had an alternate plan. But I have to admit, her last line has me really anxious to get more.
Siege and Storm was an absolutely brilliant book and I loved every page. If Mal’s development hadn’t rubbed me the wrong way, I would definitely give this book a perfect rating. Nonetheless, I’m eager to get to Ruin and Rising and see how epic the finale is. 😀
my rating: 4¾ out of 5 stars
I’ll be starting Across The Universe by Beth Revis next! 🙂
Until next time- Olivia ❤