Monday, 3 June 2013

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Indigo
Publication date: 6th June 2013.
My rating: 4 stars.


Darkness never dies. Alina and Mal are on the run. Hunted and haunted, but together at last, they can't outrun Alina's past or her destiny forever. The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and he needs Alina to realise his dangerous plan. There are others who would like to use Alina's gift too. And as her power grows, somehow, she must choose between her country, her power, and her love - or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

“Why won’t you leave me alone?” I’d 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”. 

Siege and Storm was such a tough book to get into. I remember when I started the first book Shadow and Bone I was completely swept away. But this time around it took me a while to get back into the tone and mood of the story and connected back with the characters. I hated having this feeling, as Siege and Storm was a book that I couldn’t wait to devour, the only explanation I can give is that it wasn’t through any fault of this book, because Siege and Storm started off brilliantly. But just the day before I had finished a 5 star read, so every time I tried to get into this I had the other book taking over my head space.

But I have to give credit to Leigh Bardugo as once more she provided a book which thoroughly delivered. After my initial bumpy start I was once more drawn into this mesmerising world. With the way things had ended in the first book, I truly didn’t know what to expect, would the Darkling, the one who I had grown to adore and become slightly obsessed with still reign supreme? Would Mal and Alina finally be given their chance of happiness? And who would call the shots at Ravka now?

We were given these answers in not the way I imagined at all. There were so many different aspects to consider with an introduction of new characters; Sturmhond, Toyla and Tamar (who I will come back to more detail), and Ravka in disarray. There was always an underlying suspicion of a person’s true intentions. I had a tough time not knowing who Alina could know and trust. But before I could even do those things were immediately thrown on their head early in the beginning. I was both elated and shocked by this turn of events (mostly elated with the return of the Darkling). Again it was a shame he wasn’t around as much as I wanted, but the small snippets we were given went on to show just how much of a powerful force he could be. His loud booms and claps of thunder sent chills down my spine, I never quite knew what his game was and that’s what has always appealed to me about his character, he’s calculating, cold, but most of all a shroud of enigma. Who knows what he has planned next? And I was always thrilled and excited to find out.

Things were a lot different from the first book, Grisha and people were at a loss of whose side they were on, people were scared of the Darkling returning and Alina had to work harder to gain control. In the process of doing so, she was also changing the person she was becoming. I didn’t have a problem with the character growth that she went through as I believed it was necessary in order for her to show that she had control. But I could see how this could affect other people close and important to her such as Mal. I like Mal’s character, (but the Darkling will always be a firm favourite) and I did truly feel for his  character in Siege and Storm, watching the person who you’ve grown up with and cared for go through incredible changes right before you and there’s nothing you can do would make me feel scared and useless too. In a lot of ways Mal’s character reminded me of Four from Insurgent, he really was lost and broken and I didn’t like seeing him this way at all.

Needless to say it wasn’t all sad and doom and gloom. Bardugo introduces a great set of characters in Sturmhond, Toyla and Tamar who were quick to bring a smile to my face especially in the scenes with Sturmhond. He was like a breath of fresh air with his witty words, clever insights which at times could come across as insulting but often had me snort laughing at the most inappropriate moments, over the course of the story he quickly became a firm favourite that I’d highly anticipated more scenes with him.

Siege and Storm was a solid follow up to Shadow and Bone. Bardugo once again creates an enthralling read with dark undertones and abundance of questions to be answered which leave you begging for book three right away.

And I couldn’t end this review without adding a quote from my new favourite character Sturmhond.

“Walk with me down to the lake?”
I hesitated. “I promise not to drop to one knee and start composing ballads to your beauty. I just want to show you something”.


22 comments:

  1. I love Sturmhond too! ;) I'm glad you were finally able to get into this one, Jasprit, and grew to enjoy it. I loved Mal's growth and the constant surprises of the Darkling kept m on the edge of my seat and guessing as well. Fantastic review, dear! I can't wait till R&R releases now!

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  2. I agree that although the Darkling wasn't as present in this book he did still make an impact. Oh, and I loved Sturmhond, too. What a charmer! ;) Brilliant review. :)

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  3. YAY! I'm thrilled that you loved it, Jasprit :) The new characters sound wonderful as well as the ever present question of "Who do you trust?" and the plot line sounds amazing. Everyone seems to be going gaga over Sturmhond so I can't wait for that either. I got tingles over the quote ;) Lovely review!

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  4. I ummm... haha. I won't be reading your review since I just got the first book and I've yet to read it, but I am so very glad you are a fan of this series and you adored the sequel. Btw, I just tried to read your review, but I have like no idea who these characters are so there's actually no point in reading it since I don't understand any of it *__* It seems so very complex. I'm so pumped up for this series though, you have no idea!!

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  5. GAHHHHH I cannot wait to read this book. I cannot even explain to you the depth of my love of the first book. I know, I'm utterly insane. However, I'm so pleased to see that this is a solid follow-up installment, and I really look forward to learning more about this incredible world the author has created! Great review, Jasprit! :)

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  6. Glad you loved it even though it wasn't as easy to get into as the first

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  7. So happy you loved this one too Jasprit! It definitely took me a little while to find my footing in this one as well, I just couldn't remember all the little details of this world and what had happened in book one, so I was a bit confused at times. Before long though I was engaged once again, and I loved all the new characters, Sturmhond in particular:) Beautiful review my friend!

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  8. Ohmygod I can't wait to read this! I lurved Shadow and Bone ;)

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  9. 4 stars, yay. I can't wait to read this one. I'll compare reviews afterwards :)

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  10. So I skimmed you review Jasprit because I'm planning on reading this series soon and just bought the first book, but I'm so glad that you are loving this series. Can't wait to start it now!

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  11. I am very much looking forward to continuning this series. The Darkling is just delicously dark and so captivating, It is a shame though that he doesn't have a bigger role. I know exactly what you mean about struggling to get into a book. I am going through that right now with Gameboard of the Gods.

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  12. Thanks for sharing a quote from your new favourite character Sturmhond. I haven't read the first book, so I just skimmed your review. This seems like a really multi-faceted story. I'll definitely be adding this to my read-list. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. What a gorgeous review, Jasprit! I love that Bardugo expanded her world and the relevant characters so successfully. I think I'll wait for the audio (love the narrator) or I'll just wait for the third book, but I know I'll love it and I'm already excited about it.
    As I said, wonderful review.

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  14. I LOVE that first quote you shared. I definitely need to jump on the bandwagon and start this series this summer! Sounds like I'm truly missing out. :)

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  15. I think I may be the only blogger I know who hasn't started this series! I admit, I am very curious about the characters and what I've heard is gorgeous writing, despite it not being my usual genre. I'm happy you enjoyed S&S.
    Great review, Jasprit!

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  16. I need this book in my life! Leigh's worldbuilding is so magical and I always immerse myself in her words.

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

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  17. I'm dying to read this book and I can't wait for it to hit the stores. I love the world-building! As always, thanks for another wonderful review, Jasprit.

    -Dannielle

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  18. I finished this book last night and although I didn't love it quiet as much as Shadow and Bone it was still a brilliant sequel! Sturmhond has quickly become my favourite character in this series! Brilliant review and you are so right about Mal being like Four in Insurgent with this book!

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  19. I cannot wait to meet Sturmhond and read this book! It's on its way right now, and I will need to set aside time to read it in one sitting because I know I won't be able to put it down. Your review has just made me even more excited! And I'm also a big fan of the Darkling! Great review! :D

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  20. I'm glad you ended up enjoying it, Jasprit, despite the bumpy start! I'm one of those people who read it until 3 am and was furious that I had to go to bed and break it up into two sessions, hah.

    Also, STURMHOND! <3

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  21. I have my book ordered and can't wait to read it! Just everything about it sounds wonderful, especially the fact that basically every reviewers thinks its even better than the first book. I am worried about getting off to a rocky start with it like you did, mostly because I am not sure I remember all the details from last year. I think I'll be reading a lot of Shadow and Bone reviews before starting S&S!

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