Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Reading Level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 448 Pages
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Narration: First Person: Alina
Genre: Fantasy/Magic
Challenge: Paranormal Challenge

The Grisha Series:
Book One: Shadow and Bone
Book Two: Siege and Storm
Book Three: Ruin and Rising (2014)

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

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Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

My Review:

Definition of Epic:
(courtesy of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

1. Of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an epic.
2. Extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope.

This novel was the very definition of Epic. (Well the second definition of epic, scratch the first one. xD) In fact, Siege and Storm was so phenomenally well written that the definition of epic doesn't even do the book justice. I've been wanting to rave about this novel to anyone who would listen for weeks, and even after this long period of time, I still can't even begin to contemplate what Leigh has brought to the table without having to fight the urge to fangirl obnoxiously. I really wish I got the chance to review this book immediately after I read it to blow your mind with all the fascinating details, but unfortunately, things came up, and I had to force myself away from the blogging world in order to study for my final exams. Ehh, better late than never, right?

To start with, I want to talk about the romance. I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed the relationship aspect of this book, considering the fact that I'm more of an action junkie than a romance one. I know some of you guys are a bit skeptical with all the reviews that talk in depth about yet another love interest, but don't freak out just yet. Trust me, I was hugely skeptical as well. After reading so many love triangle/angst fest stories, I've given up all hope of them ever amounting to something good. There's always a few exceptions, but for the most part, I'm sick of them. When I heard there was going to be a love square, I nearly facepalmed, but I still had faith that Leigh would be able to twist it in a way that would make it all work out in the end. She did! She's the first author I've ever encountered who was able to write a love square and have it go off without a single hitch! I really don't know how to describe it, everything just fell into place perfectly. You'll see what I mean once you read the book.

The Love Interests: 

First up we have Mal. Now don't get me wrong, I deeply respect him as a character.....just not so much as a love interest. Yeah, I know that Alina and Mal have known each other for practically their entire lives and can read each other without so much as a single word exchanged, but Mal doesn't really understand Alina, at least not in the Grisha sense. Their not compatible for each other, because they both experience different situations in different ways. Mal thrives in normal, day-to-day living and can charm anyone into liking him through his sparkly personality alone. Meanwhile, Alina slowly dies inside without the use of her power, living in the mundane part of the world where people can see her, but no one really gets her. And vice versa, minus the power part.

I'm not sure if The Darkling is still considered a love interest after this novel. After what he did to her, I don't understand how she could ever see him as anything but a cold-hearted monster. He has his moments where his humanity shines through, but those moments are few, and overpowered by the amounts of evil he's committed. On the other hand, I do see why Alina is drawn to him. There both considered anomalies in their world since there the only ones of their kind. No one better understands the heavy burden on Alina's shoulders than the Darkling himself. They both experience the same sort of soul-deep loneliness that no one else can even begin to fathom.

I will leave the last love interest, Stur, a mystery to you, because there is a sort of twist with him that I don't want to risk giving away. At the moment, I don't really have a team, but when push comes to shove, I'm edging towards Stur. We'll just have to see where the last installment takes us. :)

Now onto Alina, the protagonist of our story. I loved Alina even more than I loved her in the first novel! Although she was a strong and brave character, she still had her weaknesses, which made her all the more real to me. Thankfully, she still kept her hilarious wit, and I enjoyed reading up on the playful conversations she had with Mal. There were brief periods of time where she lost herself to the malicious feelings of greed and darkness that a certain amplifier induces, but instead of it being a turn-off for me, I felt that much more intrigued by her character, because it gave her a depth that I rarely see in YA heroines nowadays. She wasn't the perfect heroine who always did the right thing and would willingly sacrifice herself in a heartbeat, but instead a brave heroine who tried her hardest to take the right path, yet still had faults and often made mistakes along the way. What made her a truly great character was that she learned from those mistakes and became a stronger person because of them.

The action was fast-paced and felt even more involving than the first installment, which I didn't even think was possible.  Every page was chock full of action, mystery, and intrigue. Every answer only created more and more questions. Siege and Storm was literally the only book that was able to break my strict no-reading-until-the-exams-are-done rule. I started off telling myself that I would only read two itty bitty chapters. I mean, what harm can it do really? Yeah, it really didn't work out as I planned. I ended up finishing the book within 4 or 5 hours, which just helps support the fast-becoming fact that I have absolutely no restraint when it comes to anything pertaining to books, well good ones at least.

Overall, Siege and Storm is a definite MUST-READ. Even if you get a little squeamish with love triangles, or squares for that matter, I still strongly urge you to give this a try. The only advice that I have to give is to make sure you set enough time aside to read this novel in one sitting, because once you start, you won't be able to stop.

Cover- 5/5
Heroine- 5/5
Romance- 6/5
One of those rare cases where
a love triangle/square...actually works!
Action- 6/5
Comedy- 5/5 Loved the playful conversations between
Stur, Mal, and Alina.
Writing- 5/5
Overall- 6/5


  1. I can't wait to read this book! I absolutely loved shadow and bone. I am even more excited to read it after your review:)

    1. You should be! There's a heck of a lot to be excited about in this one. Wait until you meet Stur. *Wiggles eyebrows*

  2. Wow, I need to start reading! I bought this last week... I am so glad it earned a 6/5 in action and romance! Also, I am excited for Stur! Thanks for the review!

    1. Yup! It's super rare to find a book that has a good romance as well as great action, but Siege and Storm has it all. :)

  3. OH my gosh!! *squeals* A love square? I can't wait to see how this turns out! Although I really was rooting for the Darkling for a while, I guess he lost his chance, and I don't really see Mal as a love interest either. But this Stur person? Who IS he? His name is super weird, but I'm dying of curiosity here! :)

    1. I was rooting for him too! He's so dark and mysterious, but there's a point where enough is enough. I can't wait for you to meet Stur! He's like the perfect combination between the two. <3

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