book review

Siege and Storm (Grishaverse 2) by Leigh Bardugo


Summary:   Siege and Storm is a sequel to Shadow and Bone.

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.

Read Review for: Shadow and Bone (Grishaverse 1) by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm is an okay continuation of the Grishaverse trilogy.

The characters continue to involve and change as the plot moves forward and heroes face temptation as they struggle in their efforts to fight the Darkling.

It was interesting to see Alina become tempted by darkness I liked watching her throw off her shyness and hesitance and seize power and wield it. I especially enjoyed watching her succumb to some of her baser instincts and the Darkling.

However, it was kind of infuriating to watch both Alina and Mal act like total idiots who thought they were above reproach. Nikolai not just rescues them, he gets them to safety, offers Alina the crown and Mal a pardon from treason, and still they spit his kindness in his face, threaten him, and make conditions. It would be one thing if they had any leverage, or if he demanded and threatened they do as he says, but Nikolai is kind and generous and only ever asks. Plus, they’re both soldiers so you’d think they’d know to respect their prince? Especially one who is kind enough to excuse their rudeness?

Alina does get a bit better when the reality of their situation sinks in and she finally steps up to do what is right. I loved the banter and sass and the friendship that grew between Alina and Nikolai. The kiss that he forced on Alina was problematic, but thankfully Nikolai regretted it and never did it again.

However, Mal continues to be the Worst. In a way, I completely understand where he is coming from. He is frightened of all the changes, of being hunted, of being powerless. He doesn’t like to see his best friend and the girl he loves pulled into the world that would have her either used or dead. He can see better than anyone what power is doing to her and how much it costs her. But instead of being supportive, he whines and he sulks, and he makes Alina feel terrible about who she is and what she has to do. He tries to create distance between them by doing shitty things that hurt Alina, who needs her best friend more than ever. So their relationship becomes this toxic, constantly jealous and angsty mess that is hard to enjoy and I just couldn’t bring myself to enjoy.

The Darkling continues to be a manipulative and intriguing villain, to whom you can’t help but feel drawn to. It was fascinating to see Alina be drawn to him over and over again, no matter how much she tried to resist. They have such a strange connection and chemistry, that makes them a fantastic duo.

I’m still irritated by the Ravkan terminology and just the sprinkling of random Russian things that don’t really do much for the plot otherwise. It’s hardly inspiring or inspired. It’s strange that instead of listening the feedback of the Russian readers and changing certain things, Bardugo just pulled back on using any Russian at all.

Overall, this was a good continuation of the trilogy. A little slow moving at times, but overall, not bad.

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