Siege and Storm
by Leigh Bardugo
Published June, 2013
Goodreads: See here
Plot at a Glance:
Alina and Mal have secreted themselves away across the True Sea in the hopes that they can build a new life away from the terrifying influence of the Darkling. But Alina soon finds that she cannot outrun her past, and that the Darkling’s influence extends much farther than she’d first thought. When he emerges from the Shadow Fold, where Alina had left him for dead, he comes bearing a terrible new power that tests the boundaries of the natural world and places Alina in even greater danger.
With the help of a charming privateer and some new friends, Alina returns to Ravka and begins to put plans into motion to stop the Darkling once and for all – no matter the cost.
I hate to say this, but this might be the biggest personal let down of the year for me right now.
As good as the first book was, and as much as I was looking forward to the sequel, I just wasn’t feeling it. If you’ll forgive me for being a bit blunt, because I hate to say it, but a fair chunk of this aside from the beginning and end was straight up boring. Plot movement is almost totally sacrificed in favor of propping up events that are sure to come in book 3.
I read an interview with Leigh Bardugo, where she explains that certain events planned for this book were moved into book 3 and I have to think that’s probably what did in my enjoyment of this one. Much of the story felt repetitive and the charm began to wear thin. Lots of circular war strategizing makes for dull reading. Go figure.
But my biggest complaint has to be that there is a distinct lack of the Darkling, who we all know was the best part of Shadow and Bone. Seriously, he’s missing from like 80% of this book. There’s something extremely compelling about his character, and his connection with Alina. I fear that this book shuttled his character straight off into “iredeemable bad guy” territory permanently, when I’m hoping for something a bit more unconventional as an ending for his story.
Basically, I’d like Alina to pull a T-Swift and bring him back around in book three.
Oh and lastly, we have to talk about Mal. What happened to him? While I still considered him a non-entity in book 1, he’s been rendered totally annoying here. He’s whiny, petulant and acts almost as though he believes Alina owes him her devotion, when he doesn’t really do much to prove he deserves it. I was over him in a big way here.
Like I said though, I have a good feeling about book 3, so I’m going to keep my hopes up as Chelsea and I move into the final installment next week!
🌟🌟🌟✩✩= 3/5 stars
What did you think of this book? How did you feel about it comparison to the sequel and the first book? How much do you love the Darkling??