Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Release: June 4th
Source: ARC (provided by publisher for review)
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
Last year, I was desperate to get my hands on a copy of Shadow and Bone. Everyone raved about it, prior to its release, and the premise? It was fan-freakin'-tastic. And when I finally read Shadow and Bone, it surpassed my expectations. It also made me that much more desperate for Siege and Storm.
Now I'm here to tell you that I loved Siege and Storm, possibly more than the first book.
Siege and Storm picks up with Mal and Alina in hiding. They've managed to escape the Darkling, and have been trying to adjust to their new life. The threat of the Darkling is still ever present, and Alina fears he's still out there, hunting for her.
Honestly, my mind exploded from all the twists and turns. So much happens in the first few chapters: we meet the Darkling again, they take to the sea, and we meet another character named Captain Sturmond. Oh, my. He's such a fantastic addition to the series--full of suave and an awesome sense of humor.
Leigh Bardugo, why do you make me fall in love with all your characters? It's probably my favorite aspect of this trilogy: the characterization. In Shadow and Bone, Alina is such a timid girl, unsure of her blossoming powers. By the end of Siege and Storm, she's grown into someone so confident and strong. Then there's Mal. Dear Mal. One moment I'm hating you, and the next? I'm swooning. Mal and Alina's struggle is so palpable, and it pains me to see how certain things still manage to keep them distant. Lastly (but not least), there's the Darkling. For those who love the Darkling, it might be best to lower your expectations. The Darkling is still as awesome as ever, but he's largely absent from the middle of the book. When he does make an appearance, though, it's glorious. And fascinating.
Of course, I love the plot and I love the writing. Leigh just has a way with words, knowing just how much to describe and how much to leave to the imagination. The world of Ravka is so fascinating and unique, it almost makes me sad that I'll only get to the explore the world for one more book. A book that I am now even more desperate for.
So Leigh, here's to you! And your books! I love them so, and if you haven't read the first book--WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? It's out in paperback now.
ANNOUNCEMENT: I WILL BE MEETING LEIGH BARDUGO AT THE FIERCE READS TOUR STOP IN MEMPHIS JUNE 11TH. ALONG WITH JESSICA BRODY, EMMY LAYBOURNE, AND ANNA BANKS. I'M THE DESIGNATED BLOGGER. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS FOR THEM THAT YOU'D LIKE TO ASK, JUST COMMENT HERE OR SEND ME A TWEET (@CANNEFRYE).