“Weakness is a guise. Wear it when they need to know you’re human, but never when you feel it.”
Title: Siege and Storm
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha Trilogy # 2
Publication: June 4th 2013 by Henry Holt and Co.
Source: Christmas bookhaul
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Siege and Storm is a serious emotional whirlwind. It kicks off with a bang, drags you through resulting shenanigans kicking and screaming, and then leaves you gasping for breath after knocking the wind out of you. This book gets down into the nitty gritty of the inner workings of royalty and war – and it pulls it off with a golden, shimmering flourish.
“You two have a bad habit of acting like fools and calling it heroic.”
This book starts off weeks after the events of Siege and Storm, Mal and Alina have had some breathing room and a little time to readjust – despite the fact that they are still being vigorously hunted by The Darkling, his guards, and wayward Grisha. It doesn’t take long for their fragile illusion of safety and freedom to shatter and they soon find themselves in an even worse situation than before. And boy, let me tell you, Siege and Storm is one hell of a situation. The plot is action packed – though it can come off as a little bit slow unless you enjoy intellectual struggles like myself. Not only is this book a thrill ride of unmentionable proportions, it also weighs heavy themes with a gentle loving care that is pure evil genius. This book will make you feel all the feels and it is sooo going to hurt when you wake up in the morning.
Siege and Storm is much more structured when it comes to the contents. Well, maybe structured isn’t the right word here – it’s mature. Shadow and Bone is childsplay compared to this book – but that isn’t a bad thing. Shadow and Bone was testing the waters, putting the feelers out as it were – and Siege and Storm grabs you by the throat and flings you all around the room while laughing maniacally at your suffering. Wait, or is it the amazing sorceress Leigh Bardugo that rips your soul out? Either way, this is one of those rare cases where a sequel blows its predecessor out of the water while inconspicuously whistling. You don’t see anything coming, and trust me, Siege and Storm packs a serious punch.
“Vasily laughed. “I can’t decide if you’re a fearmonger or a coward.”
“And I can’t decide if you’re an idiot or an idiot.”
Aside from the amazing plot that I wish to continuously gush over, there are even more amazingly complex and wonderful characters thrown into the mixing pot of glorious people from Shadow and Bone. Nikolai… oh my precious, he is everything I never knew I needed and more. I have a serious soft spot for the sardonic, not so trust worthy ally that is Nikolai – a man of many names and nicknames which I shall not mention because: spoiler! Nikolai certainly knows how to make an entrance and then steal your heart away with the first words out of his mouth. Scootch your evil, attractive butt over Mr. Darkling – Nikolai is here to stay.
“I have loved you all my life, Mal,” I whispered through my tears. “There is no end to our story.”
On top of the amazingness that is Nikolai, we have lots of old faces going through torturous new trials. Alina and Mal… YOU’RE KILLING ME, SMALLS! Oh my gosh, I wanted to rip my hair out because of these two. Their relationship is so painful and yet I ship it so hard. The two of them together is a ticking time bomb so huge that when it explodes it’s going to make Yellow Stone look like an amateur. I do have to say, though, despite the relationship woes that will now plague me in my sleep, the growth – both good and bad (don’t ask unless you want all your hopes and dreams crushed) is astounding in its abundance. Alina is no longer the shell shocked, struggling to play along girl from book one. No, she is a badass ruler coming into her own power and she hates every second of it because it is destroying her. I love that about her, I really do. She feels real guilt, she isn’t blinded by her purpose to the point of disregarding the feelings of others as we so often see sugar coated in other novels. She feels their pain in a way that will make your eyes water like it’s allergy season – but the heartbreaking thing is her depth of understanding of her own hand in their suffering. It’s just cruel.
“He tapped the sun over his heart. “I came here for you. You’re my flag. You’re my nation.”
Siege and Storm could do no wrong by me. This book was pure perfection and it completely devoured every waking moment I could get with it. It is action packed, gut-wrenchingly painful, and a glorious stage for the conclusion to an amazing series. This is no filler story – this is an adventure within itself and it will never let you forget. This book will leave you shattered, breathless, and devoid of hope in the best possible way you can imagine. These books are something you truly have to experience for yourself in order to understand the remarkable craftsmanship that goes into these delicately weaving plots. Leigh Bardugo is an evil mastermind clearly hell bent on destroying my life, and I welcome her efforts with open arms. I cannot wait to see how this all comes to an end, I hope it’s a giant fire ball.
“I don’t care if you think I’m a Saint or a fool or the Darkling’s whore. If you want to remain at the Little Palace you will follow me. And if you don’t like it, you will be gone by tonight, or I will have you in chains. I am a solider. I am the Sun Summoners. And I’m the only chance you have.”