Monday, July 7, 2014

The One Where I Review SIEGE AND STORM

Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2)
by Leigh Bardugo
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 432
Available Now

Goodreads Synopsis:

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. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. 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 review:

One word:


Well, that's my review! guys actually need more than that?

So, since I'm supposed to do a "real" book review, here it is.

This was part of my series re-read in preparation for the third and final book of this trilogy. And, just like the first book, I was blown away yet again. It's the mark of a strong series when reading the book again brings back the same strong emotions as when you first read them. All the heart-ache and emotions came flooding back to me and kept my heart racing. Kudos to you Bardugo.

Siege and Storm starts off a bit slow, but don't let that fool you. It doesn't take long for this book to kick into high gear yet again and take you on one heck of a ride. At the end of the last book you have Mal and Alina fleeing the Darkling after that craziness that was the ending of Shadow and Bone. Alina and Mal think time is on their side. HA! It isn't long before the Darkling shows up in all his evil gloriousness like "you thought you could DEFEAT ME?! PUNY HUMANS!" and all hell breaks loose yet again. And that's just the first couple chapters. Add in questing, political intrigue, fighting, courting, Sun Summoning, new Darkling psycho powers, and you have the plot line of Siege and Storm. While I thought the first part of their journey (questing) would be the entire book and become boring, I was easily proven wrong. This book doesn't contain just one part of their journey, but multiple parts, all flowing seamlessly together to create a story that is full of humor, heartache, blood, and magic. 

But the plot isn't the only part of this book that is phenomenal. Oh, no. The characters are definitely worthy of their own paragraphs of gushing praise.

Alina. Oh, honey. I feel for you. I really do because life is not easy. You always just wanted to blend in, but life threw you for a sucker punch and laughed in your face. But it's okay! Because you can do it! You've grown so much, through the first book and this book. I have faith in you! You're still sometimes insecure and even afraid, but that's okay because it's understandable. Though life isn't exactly on your side at the moment, you hold your own, and for that I salute you. You keep being you girl. Just remember, you're not alone. Some people may not be able to sympathize with you, there are those you can empathize with you and just want to help. Let them.

Mal. My dear, sweet Mal. Though the Darkling is my guilty pleasure, you should be the winner. You're a ridiculously sexy soldier who knows how to take care of himself and those you love. You're honorable, kind-hearted, sexy and truly care about Alina. I know that many people felt you were lacking in this book, but I completely understand you. You were a renowned soldier. You were good at what you did and, most importantly, enjoyed it. You liked what being a soldier entailed. But you gave it all up to save Alina. How can I fault you for that? And every day you continue to do so. But both of your paths are so different. And you gave up everything for her. Everything that made you who you were and it feels as if she isn't giving up anything for you. I totally feel your insecurities in having to be in a situation in which you are the odd ball out. Both of you are part of different worlds now. But never forget, you both also came from the same world. Though people hated the way your relationship was portrayed in this book, I applaud it's realism. Though your paths are different, and it makes staying together that much harder, I know you will prevail. I have faith in you. 

The Darkling. What more can I say about you? I know I shouldn't like you what with you being evil having different plans than our heroes, but I do. So dark and mysterious. You're alluring and delectable, delicious enticing. Though you are not in this book NEARLY as much as you should be, every scene with you in it made me fan myself. Job well done. 

But let's be honest here, the real reason this book is as phenomenal as it is is because of 


Oh, Sturmhond. You sexy beast you. How you made me swoon with your priceless wit, amazing charm, cocky swagger, and brilliant, strategic mind. I was so smitten by you that I chose you as my date for my first ever YA Prom. Your rakish demeanor and sarcastic nature won be over from the very beginning. I looked forward to every scene you were in and what witty rapport would be uttered from you glorious mouth next. Though Alina is clear in who she chooses take me instead, that doesn't stop you from swaggering into the scene to steal the show. And, though your sarcasm and wit make you absolutely swoon worthy, I must admit that I was smitten by your intelligence. Yes, I love a good 'ol intelligent man. While good looks and sarcasm are always pluses in my book, intelligence tips the balance from gloriously sexy to WOEIFJWOEFIJWIOEFJ. You just keep being the sexy, swoony, cunning pirate you are Sturmhond. Oh, sorry. I mean privateer ;)

And though these are the main characters, I can't forget about the secondary characters. New additions include fighting family duo consisting of the tough-as-nails Tamar and stoic, mountain of a boy, Tolya. Oblivious, yet sweet, David and sharp-tongued Zoya are just a few of the Grisha that return to this story. 

The world that Bardugo has created is phenomenal. So lush and beautiful and full of mythology. I found myself so interested in learning more about the Saints and the political systems of Ravka. Everything was just beautifully done and flowed smoothly together. But this book still sucker punches you in the gut. 

I wasn't ready for the ending when it came. You think everything is fine and dandy them BAM! CHAOS! And I'm over here screaming (in my head, of course) and saying NO NO NO! All sorts of crazy stuff just starts happening! And it's brilliant! Heart-breaking! INSANE! After finishing this book, I was so glad I had Ruin and Rising on hand because there was no way I couldn't know what happens next. 


Amazing. Though this is the 2nd time I've read it, it feels like the first time. The magic is still there. While it took a bit to get into it, it blew me away. I will warn you that some people didn't like Mal, and I understand where they are coming from, but I'm totally on Mal's side. His reactions and their development as a couple is realistic, which makes it readable. 
And Sturmhond. 
See gushing paragraph above. 


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