Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #2
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co on June 4th 2013
Genre(s): Fantasy (YA)
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.
Siege and Storm is the second novel in the Grisha Trilogy and will contain spoilers for the first book.
Alina and Mal have escaped the Darkling but at the expense of innocent lives. They are hiding out across the sea trying to earn money to travel even further. Their freedom is short lived, the Darkling finds them easily.
After yet another fight against the Darkling, with help some help from a pirate name Sturmhond they manage to escape again and Alina makes the decision to go back and help save Ravka. The Darkling has acquired some scary new powers and Alina feels it’s her duty to stop him.
Alina has a lot to prove. She has to prove to the king that she’s not secretly on the Darkling’s side. She has to prove to the remaining Grisha that she’s capable of leading the Second Army (she’s not). She has to prove to herself that she can control all the power she’s harnessed for herself.
She also has to prove to Mal that she still loves him which is by far the most annoying thing about this book. Mal is such a whiny little brat and I can’t stand him. He’s constantly making her feel bad about being a Grisha, like it’s something she can just turn off. She’s the only person that can actually do something to prevent the Darkling from completely destroying the country and Mal’s always like “why can’t we just leave!” Yea okay dude, let some evil dude destroy your country because you don’t want to deal with it. Loser.
Anyway, I’m not too thrilled with Alina either, though I liked her a bit more this book. At least she takes some responsibility. She actually takes on more responsibility than she’s really ready for but I kind of admire her need to do more. She’s got an internal struggle going on, between wanting to be powerful enough to defeat the Darkling and just wanting power. There’s a fuzzy line there that she keeps crossing because I don’t think she fully understands the weight of what she’s attempting to do.
The book was a bit boring because it’s a lot of political maneuvering and set up for something that doesn’t happen until the last bit of the book. Basically, the book practically starts out with a big event and then ends with a big event, everything else in the middle is filler. Also, there are a few other things that bugs me about the book, Alina’s power that seems to have varying degrees and the elitist nature of the Grisha. From what I gathered, the Grisha test every person in the country for abilities so I have no idea why being a commoner would be an insult. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
But here’s what kept me interested, Sturmhond. He’s the character Mal should be. He’s smart and witty and capable and man, what a smart-ass. I loved every bit of the book with him in it and in my humble opinion he saved this book for me. Mal could get killed in the first paragraph of the next book and I’d probably do a happy dance but if Sturmhond died, that book would be flying across the room. I don’t want to give anything away about him but he’s the one that could and should be helping Alina against the Darkling. She doesn’t completely trust him, for good reasons, but he’s clever enough.
I still don’t love this series but I suppose it’s entertaining enough.