|Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Source: Personal Copy
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound
|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.
I don’t even know where to start the review you guys. It’s so perfect. Leigh Bardugo is perfect. THERE ARE PIRATES. Justifiable pirates that totally make sense in the storyline. And one pirate in particular, Sturmhond, is so perfect and Bardugo makes him so interesting and UGH. There truly are no words. I wish I could explain how and what my feelings were for this novel but I don’t know that I properly can. After the amazing ending that Bardugo gave us in Shadow and Bone, I was super nervous about Siege and Storm being able to bring the heat back but, if it’s possible, it was even more amazing than the first. I wish I could give this one six stars.
The story picks up not long after the first one leaves off, finding Alina and Mal hiding from the Darkling after Alina made her stand in the Shadowfold at the end of Shadow and Bone. They know that the Darkling is looking for them, but he doesn’t seem to be actively pursuing her. It’s a total conundrum. I don’t want to give anything away because Bardugo’s storytelling is something that you have to read firsthand, but I honestly was not expecting anything she threw Alina’s way. Who knew pirates could be so awesome? (Aside from Dread Pirate Roberts of course.) It was like Bardugo reached into my mind and took all these things that I thought I didn’t like and made them into these magical things that I absolutely loved. There are steampunk aspects. STEAMPUNK YOU GUYS. It’s not a lot but it’s there. (In case you’re wondering, I practically despise steampunk.)
To get to the point of it all, Bardugo takes Alina on an amazing journey that is sure to excite everyone who reads. There’s legitimately something for everything in these novels from magic, to dragons, to pirates and flying boats! And, believe me, you’re going to love every single page of it. Even all of the angst and double-crossing and espionage. I hate love triangles because I like to have a couple to root for and just know that they’ll be together. But Alina has so many love interests and even though I have a preference, I don’t mind all of the other love interests hanging about. THAT’S HOW GOOD BARDUGO IS. Usually the smallest things bother me but I can literally find no fault with this book. Her characters are perfect. Her plot is perfect. Her words at perfect.
I’m a high fantasy fan in general, but I believe that this series is truly the top of the top in YA fantasy. It’s one thing to create a great universe and an entirely other to create a great book and story. Bardugo was able to do both, which is what you need for a great fantasy novel. There are a lot of other YA fantasy novels that I love, but I feel like this series has mass appeal and can’t be denied. If you don’t read this series then I don’t know that I can be friends with you.