Friday, 4 December 2015

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Publication Date: June 17th 2014 (this edition)
Publisher: Square Fish
Length: 435 pages

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. 

So I read and loved the first book in the trilogy ‘Shadow and Bone’ – it was the perfect bit of escapism at a moment when I needed it the most. So as soon as I finished the first book I immediately picked up the second book and carried straight on with Alina’s story, which at the end of the first book was tinged with a little bit of hope in amongst all the darkness. It doesn’t last long. We’re barely thirty pages in when everything goes to hell in a handbasket and Alina and Mal are plunged straight back into terror and torture and bad things all round.But in amongst all the very bad things is one extraordinarily thing, or rather, person. Sturmhond. Be still my beating heart.

This book is a lot funnier than the first, the banter is on point, and it is pretty much all thanks to this wonderful guy. Seriously, virtually every word out of his mouth is a quote I highlighted, and I was frequently laughing out loud. There are also AWESOME TWISTS involving him which made me giggle with glee. 

Basically laughter, banter and a little bit of swooning. Whilst I would have enjoyed this book without him, the presence of Sturmhond truly lifted the book from one I enjoyed into one I adored. Which is a good thing because Mal was truly getting on my nerves in this book. I wanted to love him, so much love just waiting to give to Mal (except Sturmhond stole it all) but he was being a whiney child throughout the novel. I wanted to shake him. I couldn’t see the relationship between him and Alina, and almost every interaction with them left me frustrated. I feel like I’m being pointed at this ship and told to love it, yet not really getting any reason why I should.

The pacing is very different to the first. We’re chucked straight into the action for the first half and then there is a lot of politics and strategizing which was interesting, but definitely a change of pace. It’s a time to slow down, take stock, develop characters and relationships, and, you know, for Alina to think she’s going full on crazy. Despite the change of pace, or perhaps because of it, I really enjoyed this book, and I really settled down into loving this series. I loved getting lost in the magic, the world, the characters. Basically it was the perfect read for me in this frame of mind. If you’re after escapism, this is one to pick up.

Then it all kicks off and we have big battles and much death and it all feels rather bleak and desperate and I LOVED IT. Seriously, whilst I really enjoyed the first book, this book took everything to a whole new level, which was intriguing because often the second book in a series is the point where everything falters as pieces are moved into place for the grand finale in book three.

So if you’re worried that the second book won’t live up to you love of the first, HAVE NO FEAR, because it’s excellent. And you’ll meet Sturmhond, who is basically my latest fictional baby. Because, reasons.
And if you like me have put off reading this series (foolishly) then you need to get on it stat, because this is brilliant. Imaginative, brilliantly written, and thoroughly addictive, I love it.


  1. I still need to try Leigh Bardugo's books! They look so good!

    1. I definitely recommend them! They've taken me far to long to get around to, but I loved them!