Series: The Grisha #2
Published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers on June 4th 2013
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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.
Leigh Bardugo has outdone herself and given us a hell of a sequel in Siege and Storm! I ordered this sequel about 36 page into Shadow and Bone (no lie, it was that good!) and I cannot tell you how incredibly amazing this series is!
Once again I was blown away by such a magical world. We are taken aboard a ship to sail the sea, looking for a mythical creature once again. We have flying ships and even more terrifying creatures, courtesy of the Darkling. Alina grows with her power with great cost, a distance that develops between her and Mal. And if all that wasn’t enough, it seems our love triangle has evolved into a… love quadrangle?
My love for how deliciously evil the Darkling is written aside, by the end of Shadow and Bone it is quite clear how made for each other Alina and Mal seem to be. They have a past, a strong friendship and of course a romantic spark. But then we are introduced to the witty privateer Sturmhond in Siege and Storm and I’m amazed once again! The author continues to create such interesting and captivating characters with so much depth and charisma. I immediately fell in love with Sturmhond. So confident and not afraid to show it, he steps on the scene and I’m drawn right to him, much like everyone else.
“The Darkling will hunt you for the rest of your days.”
“Then you and I will have something in common, won’t we? Besides, I like to have powerful enemies. Makes me feel important.”
Mal crossed his arms and considered the privateer. “I can’t decide if you’re crazy or stupid.”
“I have so many good qualities,” Sturmhond said. “It can be hard to choose.”
He holds a secret that threw me for a loop but was a great twist to the story. There is so much more I could say about him but it’s a bit spoilerish to the twist so I’ll just leave it to you to enjoy discovering yourselves.
The mysterious Darkling continues to remain as such and is regrettably absent for a lot of the book, though he manages to haunt our Alina and weasel his way into her mind and fears. I still don’t know what to make of him but I think it may be too soon to count him out as a love interest. He is evil in all the best ways but also seems lonely and sad and that breaks my heart.
“Why won’t you leave me alone?” I whispered one night as he hovered behind me while I tried to work at my desk.
Long minutes passed. I didn’t think he would answer. I even had time to hope he might have gone, until I felt his hand on my shoulder.
“Then I’d be alone, too,” he said, and he stayed the whole night through, till the lamps burned down to nothing.
Like I mentioned above, as Alina grows into her powers, so does the distance between her and Mal. Their lives are heading on two very different paths and Mal is having difficulties coming to terms with that. This broke my heart too because there is so much love and history there, but as for the future? I’m not sure, but I feel like this is the strongest relationship of them all.
“I have loved you all my life, Mal,” I whispered through my tears. “There is no end to our story.”
What the future hold in this war of power and love, I do not know. It has been an amazing ride of ups and downs and this sequel solidified the series as one of my favorites. There’s action, excitement, adventure, tears and so much heart. I could not recommend this series enough. Let the countdown to Ruin and Rising begin!