Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo [ARC REVIEW]

   
TITLE: Siege and Storm (Grisha #2)
AUTHOR: Leigh Bardugo
PUBLISHER: Henry Holt and Co.
PUB DATE: Jun 4 2013
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, 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."

Rating:

Shadow and Bone, the first book from the Grisha series, was one of the debut novels I underestimated in 2012. I really thought it was just a petty love story, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. My experience with reading Shadow and Bone was spectacular and I couldn’t help being eager to grab a copy of book two, Siege and Storm right after I finished it.

Lo and behold, when I got my hands on Siege and Storm I was whisked away to land of Ravka for a new adventure with Alina and Mal. Once again, Ms. Bardugo did not disappoint me. Oh, what a riveting tale this was!

Siege and Storm starts off where we find our protagonists on a ship sailing away from the land these two once called home. Alina and Mal are on the run, trying their best to escape from the Darkling’s hands. Alas, they have been found, and although the Darkling has been left in a dangerous position from their last meeting, he is back – and badder than ever. And he has plans for Alina, more treacherous than anyone could imagine…

If the Darkling was ever the scary, dangerous villain he was in Shadow and Bone, well he’s way more ruthless in book two. Wow… He sure is power-hungry.

And speaking of power-hungry, I never imagined Alina to become just as such. Although she is powerful, this great power comes with a price. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the discovery of other great sources of powers where still out there and my, was it a surprise to find how those are linked to Alina’s sun summoning gift. I’m sorry I’m vague but I’ll be spoiling so much if I give out details so let me just say – wow!!!

Mal’s character changed quite as well as Alina’s. He’s still the confident, amazing hunter that he is, but I never thought I’d find him insecure and wary of his future with Alina. And yet I get it. Still, I wished he had a little more faith in himself.

Although I love Mal and Alina, there is this awesome newcomer that I just came to adore all at once. He goes by the name Sturmhond. *giggles* Sturmhond, you dashing debonair, you! It felt like love at first sight (okay, not so much, but close enough) when I first laid eyes on his character. Traumatized with the awful experience I’ve had over falling for the Darkling at book one, I was begging to see that Sturmhond would not turn out a villain as well. Thank goodness! There are other exciting new additions to the characters in this story but Sturmhond ultimately stood out, considering his purpose to the story I guess that was essential.

It was definitely easier to settle into this story compared to Shadow and Bone, although I still had some struggles it’s not much of a big deal as it once was. Some words and names are still a mouthful though.

Intriguing characters, epic action scenes, an incredibly twisted plot that’s both exciting and infuriating at the same time, and the question of “how many freaking lives does this Darkling have and how the heck do we kill him once and for all?!” left to be figured out, Siege and Storm is one hell of a follow up novel.

*Thank you, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, Henry Holt and Co. and NetGalley for the copy of Siege and Storm.

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