Siege and Storm
by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Henry Holt and Company
Book 2 in the Shadow and Bone Trilogy
Book 2 in the Grishaverse Series
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, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But 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.
RATED: 14+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Violence Young Adult Meh.
Seige and Storm is the second book in the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, and second book in the Grishaverse Series by Leigh Bardugo. It centers around Alina, the sun summoner, who is the last book, escaped the clutches of the darkling, and escaped to an unfamiliar land with her best friend and now, boyfriend, Mal. Before they can embark on a new life together though, the past comes back for them. Now Alina must come to terms with her power, try to save her home country, and not lose herself in the process.
I wasn't overly impressed with this second book. It wasn't quite as bad as other second books in a series/trilogy, but I was unimpressed, which is disappointing for a series that is being adapted to the screen. A large portion of this book was very much filler, and back and forth war meetings. Not much happened until the end of the book. I will admit though, there were moments in this book that still made me emotional, so obviously, it isn't terrible. It's just not on the same level as the first book.
I think the main problem, is that there was very little growth with the characters. Alina seems to have come to terms with her power, but otherwise, I don't see how she has grown from her experiences from the last book. Mal hasn't really grown either, and they are the romantic couple in this book. I will say, I have listened to a few podcasts reviewing this book, and people don't like Mal, or how he acts in this book. And yeah, he doesn't make good choices. But, let me play devils advocate here. We know Alina feels insecure in their relationship. I think its very reasonable to say, that he does as well. I mean, there is now a handsome, intelligent prince who would like Alina to be queen. Mal was proud of his position in the First Army, and because he ultimately abandons the army to help Alina, he is dishonorably discharged. So here he is ... cast off from the army dishonorably, his best friend and the woman he loves is this highly regarded Grisha, considered a Saint by some. Powerful men seem interested in her. Mal, who was always popular, is at the bottom of the totem pole now, and in his desperation to hold onto something, he acts out. Alina doesn't make good choices either. It took her WAY too long to tell someone she was seeing the darkling, and she doesn't take any time for Mal and her to connect. And yeah, I know, she is trying to save the country, but there were lots of times she was talking to Nikolai where she could have spent some time with Mal.
I'm rambling. I know. It's what I do.
Speaking of Nikolai, I really enjoyed him. He was a fun addition to this series, and I hope to see more of him. I was holding out hope that the darkling would be able to redeem himself, but sadly I think his mother is right. He is beyond it now. He is turning out though to be a great "big bad", and making me question my taste in men, when with all the horrible shit he has done, I still find his character kinda sexy.
Siege and Storm wasn't my favorite book, but I do think its setting up for something big in the next book. Or at least I hope so. Excuse me while I go start that next one right now :)
Sturmhond and his crew staging a coup
Mal touching Alina's skin where the amplifier would cover it forever, almost as if he was saying goodbye to that small part of her
Mia punching Sturmhond
Mal and Alina's make out in the Duke's garden
Nikolai and Alina's heart to heart on the pier
Alina and the Darkling's weird connection
Where to Buy
Alina: "So what did Jes say?"
Mal: "He said I should take good care of you."
Alina: "That's all?"
Mal cleared his throat
Mal: "And ... he said he would pray to the God of Work to heal your affliction."
Alina: "My what?"
Mal: "I may have told him that you have a goiter."
Alina: "I beg your pardon?"
Mal: "Well, I had to explain why you were always clinging to that scarf."
Alina: "So you told him I had a goiter?"
Mal: "I had to say something. And it makes you quite a tragic figure. Pretty girl, giant growth, you know."
I punched him hard in the arm.
Mal: "Ow! Hey, in some countries, goiters are considered very fashionable."
Alina: "Do they like eunuchs, too? Because I can arrange that."
Mal: "So bloodthirsty!"
Alina: "My goiter makes me cranky."
Alina: Where's Mal?"
The Darkling didn't turn, but shook his head
Darkling: "You're predictable, at least."
Alina: "Sorry to bore you. Where is he?"
Darkling: "How do you know he isn't dead?"
Alina: "Because I know you."
Darkling: "And if he were? Would you throw yourself into the sea?"
Alina: "Not unless I could take you with me."
Alina: "Leave me alone."
Genya: "Sulking gives you wrinkles."
Alina: "Well, lying gives you warts."
Alina: "Baghra warned me. She said you were arrogant, blinded by ambition."
Darkling: "Did she now? And what other treason did she whisper in your ear?"
Alina: "That she loved you. That she believed you could be redeemed."
Alina: "Mal isn't weak."
Darkling: "He's gifted, I grant you, but no Grisha. He can never be your equal."
Alina: "He's my equal and more."
Mal: "You're humoring me."
Alina: "You require a lot of coddling."
Tamar: "I feel sorry for your friend."
Tamar: "My brother snores like a drunk bear."
Alina: "Mal snores, too."
Tamar: "Then they can perform a duet."
Sturmhond: "Evening, all. Perfect night for tearing a hole in the universe, no?"
Fabrikator: "Are you sure this is a good idea?"
Sturmhond: "Of course not. Anything worth doing always starts as a bad idea."
Tamar: "Your friend seems to be enjoying himself."
Alina: "Mal's always been like that. You could drop him in a camp full of Fjerdan assassins, and he's come out carried on their shoulders. He just blooms wherever he's planted."
Tamar: "And you?"
Alina: "I'm more like a weed."
Tamar: "I like weeds. They're survivors."
Alina: "Where did you come from?"
Sturmhond: "My mother was an oyster. And I'm the pearl."
Mal: "Were you always this much trouble?"
Alina: "I like to think of myself as delightfully complex.'
Nikolai: "Nikolai Lantsov, but please don't make me recite my titles again. It's no fun for anybody, and the only important one is 'prince.' "
Alina: "And what about Sturmhond?"
Nikolai: "I'm also Sturmhond, commander of the Volkvolny, scourge of the True Sea."
Nikolai: "Well, I'm vexing at the very least."
Alina: "Your highness -"
Nikolai: "Nikolai, but I've also been known to answer to 'sweetheart' or 'handsome.'"
Nikolai: "We're giving them hope. That's better than nothing."
Alina: "Spoken like a man who's never had nothing."
Alina: "Are you saying you want to be the captain of my personal guard?"
Mal: "Do I get to wear a fancy hat?"
Alina: "The fanciest. And possibly a cape."
Mal: "Will there be plumes?"
Alina: "Oh, yes. Several."
Mal: "Then I'm in."
Alina: "You're so sure of everything. Maybe I'll decide I want the throne and smother you in your sleep."
Nikolai just grinned
Nikolai: "Finally, you're thinking like a politician."
Mal: "So, no heart flutters or swooning, even in the arms of a royal prince?"
Alina: "I seem to be immune. And luckily, I know what a real kiss should feel like."
Mal: "What exactly is the point of teeny tiny fruit?"
Alina: "It's for people with teeny tiny hands. Makes them feel better about themselves."
Alina: "I wish people would stop asking me that. Don't I look ready?"
Mal: "You look like you did when I slipped a tadpole into your soup and you accidentally swallowed it."
Mal: "For someone who has no idea what she's doing, I'd say you're managing pretty well."
Alina: "Mal, I put a hole in the ceiling."
Mal: "A very dramatic hole."
He bowed stiffly to Nikolai and then to me.
Alina: "You don't have to do that."
Nikolai: "Yes he does."
Mal: "You heard Prince Perfect."
Nikolai: "I've had a lot of nicknames, but that one is easily the most accurate."
Mal: "All they see when they look at you is the Sun Summoner. They see a threat, another powerful Grisha like the Darkling. I want them to see a daughter or a sister or a friend. I want them to see Alina."
Alina: "Do you practice at being wonderful?"
Alina: "There's got to be something you can do."
Nikolai: "Like what?"
Alina: "Get one of his prize ponies to kick him in the head."
Mal: "You have a purpose. I don't even know what I'm doing here anymore."
Alina: "Don't say that. We do have a purpose. We came here for Ravka. We -"
Mal: "No, Alina. You came here for Ravka. For the firebird. To lead the Second Army."
He tapped the sun over his heart
Mal: "I came here for you. You're my flag. You're my nation."
Vasily: "I can't decide if you're a fearmonger or a coward."
Nikolai: "And I can't decide if you're an idiot or an idiot."
Alina: "Why won't you leave me alone?"
Long minutes passed. I didn't think he would answer. I even had time to hope he might have gone, until I felt his hand on my shoulder.
Darkling: "Then I'd be alone, too."
Nikolai: "There were rumors about me even before I was born. Its why my mother never calls me Sobachka. She says it makes me sound like a mongrel."
Alina: "I like mongrels. They have cute floppy ears."
Nikolai: "My ears are very dignified."
Nikolai: "I want to kiss you."
Alina: "You already kissed me."
A smile tugged at his lips
Nikolai: "I want to kiss you again."
Nikolai: "I want to kiss you. But I won't. Not until you're thinking of me instead of trying to forget him."
Nikolai: "I'll get them out and come back. I promise."
Alina: "On your word as a cutthroat and a pirate?"
He touched my cheek, once, briefly.
Alina: "I have loved you all my life, Mal. There is no end to our story."
Check out the rest of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy