[Review] Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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*This is a sequel and the review may contain spoilers*

Title: Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy #2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date: June 17, 2014

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.divider_line (1)
Review: This was such a delightfully dark sequel to Shadow and Bone! It leaves off where the first one ends with Alina and Mal escaping the Darkling and running (well, sailing) as far as they can from Ravka. They do pretty well for a while, living normal lives and just being with each other until they are caught and dragged back home.

Alina becomes caught up in the court again, torn between her duty, her power, and her emotions. As she tries to balance everything, the Darkling haunts her day and night. She knows he will come for her so she tries to prepare for his new army. This book definitely dug in deeper for Alina. She struggles a lot between wanting freedom with Mal and wanting to save Ravka. It probably doesn’t help that she’s practically addicted to her Grisha power and she has an army of worshippers. Her inner darkness and hunger for power are definitely front and center.

This was a lot darker than the first book and I’m willing to bet it gets even more so in the third book as well. The Darkling is more powerful and vengeful than ever and his new powers are terrifying! There are a few battle scenes in this book and they are total bloodbaths. Is it bad that I still ship him and Alina? Probably. I can’t help that they have such a twisty chemistry between them!

Nikolai was definitely my favourite character in this book. He’s just so smart and full of sarcastic remarks. It’s impossible not to swoon over him because he’s just so clever and charming. His chemistry with Alina is also undeniable and every time they’re together….* dreamy sigh*. I feel bad for poor Mal because he has so much competition, but at the same time he can be slightly annoying and whiny.

This was a beautiful second instalment where the third book goes. Leigh Bardugo is a master of fantasy and definitely knows how to keep you guessing. I’m also terrified because I don’t know who’s even going to survive by the end of the series.

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