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.
©2013 Leigh Bardugo (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I'm going to admit to a huge ambivalence about this second book in the Grisha series. On the one hand, I am still loving the world and the magic concepts. But then when it comes to the characters and the action sequences, I'm either bored or baffled. Seems like there would be an amazing story here with different people.
In Siege and Storm, Alina and Mal are trying to remain hidden from the Darkling. But double crosses (from both the Darkling and his allies) will force Alina and Mal back to the heart of Ravka. With a new (and interesting) ally, facing the Darkling in the open rather than in hiding may be their only option.
Book two suffers from a couple of sophomore symptoms: 'manufactured' conflict between the two romantic leads, emasculation of the male love interest, a dead dull, bloated middle arc, and recycled storylines from the first book. It was the same themes over again (Darkling capturing Alina and threatening someone she cares about, Alina trusting and getting romantically involved with a stranger, a large section of nothing but Alina moping/learns new responsibilities, then big action at the end) that made for a frustrating book.
But at the same time, there was an attempt at character growth for both Alina and Mal, though one moved forward and the other backward. Yes, every girl in the story wants Mal and every guy in the story seems to want Alina. That gets old and seems to only be there to create jealousy and uncertainty in the Mal-Alina relationship. As such, it made it hard to get into either character. Mal was an elusive character at best in the previous book - now he's practically inscrutable in his insecurity.
The action scenes were also very problematic for me. It seems that none of the Grisha were able to use their powers for anything other than collecting water or making a breeze. Alina can only do a sickle strike with her powers. Even knowing that an army of smoke like creatures are coming, no one seems to bother to create any kind of defense or train to defend/attack those creatures. We get one crazy invention and that's it. I admittedly became really annoyed that all the Grisha and soldiers were so amazingly ineffectual. As well, the Darkling's new power is supposedly life sucking but he seems to be able to summon an entire army just fine, other than looking a bit tired. It just didn't ring true.
There are consequences for those who side with the Darkling. And a few surprises (with hints that Mal is more than he seems) with a trail leading back to the birthplace of Mal and Alina. I'm excited, despite my lukewarm response of this book, to see where Bardugo ends the Trilogy.
The narrator did a good job and felt right for the part of Alina.
Just a book fool.
Is it just me?!
Siege and Storm is delightful story. I will be honest I find myself struggling with fantasies a lot of the time. Too many strange names and places to remember and pronounce. This book is an exception for me. It is no fluff ball but it never takes you too deep you get lost. The plot stays on course and the people and places stay to a minimum, which in my opinion is essential to a great fantasy.
Wild adventure, beautiful magic, good vs. evil, and a little bit of love sprinkled in. What else do you need?
The Sun Summoner will suck you in and leave you waiting for more!
Busy mom who loves to read but doesn't always have the time. I enjoy YA, Romance and the occasional Best Seller.
There is no "middle book syndrome" here. This one was amazing! I loved the new characters, the action and all the plot twists and turns along the way. I don't want to give away any spoilers here, so I will just simply say this sequel was awesome! The narration was brilliant as well.
This is a must listen and totally worth the credit. Just be sure to read Shadow and Bone first (you won't be disappointed)
5 *huge* stars!!
I have 3 kids that occupy all the TV's in the house...enough said...addicted to audiobook ....shhhh don't tell my husband ;-)
I am wowed and I want more! This series never lost my attention, while listening to the books I pictured a cross between Stardust and The Sorcerer's Apprentice. It's exciting, mysteries, heartache and paranormal ....all wrapped up in a perfect Russian Kulich, what's not to like? ;-) Very credit worthy looking forward to the next book, and Lauren Fortgang you did an awesome job narrating, I was never confused on who's character was speaking...bravo!
5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(
The start of this book wasn't bad, a lot of action and tracking. but then the middle of the book towards the end of it it was slow and fast... some events passed by quickly, and other events passed by slowly.
Honestly i think this series could be really really good. so many things could have been written in a different way, and so many events could have been executed in a difference way too, making this book way much better.
One of the things i mean is those Grishens, yes it was explained some how their powers in the first bok, but how it works and so on were not presented that clearly.
I was going to give this book a lesser rating, but the end of it was really good. and I hope that the 3rd book would be much better than this one.
If you read the first one, then give this one a shot, its not bad, but could have been better. And if you have no idea whats this book about, then go and buy the first one and give it a try.
I love to read and listen to books. I teach and share my love with my teenager and I'd like to share that love with you.
Layers. The best way to describe SIEGE & STORM is Layers. From the backdrop to the characters to their relationships. Layers. They are all so rich and complex. I was at war with myself, not knowing exactly what I wanted to happen. I had to resign myself to sitting back and seeing where LEIGH took me.
Being the second in the series, you are already familiar with LEIGH‘s world building. Regardless, I found myself whist off to some far away place where magic overlay-ed a Russian landscape and history that could be a character of its own.
Alina is waging a war within. She so desperately wants to be safely away from the Darkling living Happily Ever After with Mal. And I wanted that for her. Their relationship was warm and fuzzy or should I say comfortable. After growing up together and being on the run, they have this in-sync kind of banter and closeness. It was a big ol’ warm hug. But there is the power in her and it is demanding to be used. Alina feels so very guilty that she wants it. She wants to use it for good, but sometimes it just calls to her in a seductive kind of way. Just like the Darkling. Oh, Darkling. You are back and so mysterious. I still haven’t been able to figure out quite where you belong. Villianous? Swoony? Then there is Sturmhond. I think he almost stole the release of SIEGE & STORM. He is so alive. Witty and Sarcastic. Kind of a fun twist on Peter the Great. And so much more.
I’m liking that the trend lately in high quality 2nd books. This is by far another example. There is no letting up. It is so messy. From the relationships to the problems at hand. I am almost desperate for RISE & RUIN. I really need to know what is going to happen.
LAUREN FORTGANG was a delight. She portrayed Alina as young, with a touch of naivete, kind and playful. You could feel her joy all the way to her heavy heart. LAUREN‘s Mal was a little soft for me. I picture him as this overly large brute of a man, but when he is brooding and down-trodden she captured him pretty well. The Darkling was calm and resolute with a creepy evil. And there is no other way to capture Sturmhond, but larger than life. I could feel him take up the whole room when he entered a scene. I’ll likely continue the series in audio, because I especially enjoyed how the magical words and locations rolled off her tongue. Much more beautiful than I could imagine saying them in my head.
I totally would. I would recommend the series to a friend. It's interesting and strange and vaguely Russian. I like it.
For me, it was when Alina saw Mal in the psuedo-Fight Club. It was probably just as upsetting for me as it was for her. Stupid boy.
She's an excellent Sturmhand, or the younger prince.
I would have if I could have, but alas, I have a grown-up job that requires most of my attention. I listen most in the car.
I really can't wait for the next book. I mean, I also want Alina and the Darkling to just go at it, but I know that can't/won't happen. I hope they find the fire bird.
Strife, yearning, and uncertainty.
It builds from the first book; I can't think of another book to use for comparison. Same world, same evolving characters, additional capabilities and concerns.
My favorite scene was the last encounter between Alina and The Darkling - it was an unexpected twist. Additionally, that encounter caused Mal to finally realize what Alina had been experiencing during the book, and how Mal's actions had left the door open for the Darkling to move in.
It was interesting, but I broke the listening up into a couple of sessions.
The world of Ravka and the Grisha is mesmerizing...can't wait till the next book is released. There are so many shades of gray - people that do evil yet have some good in them as well and vice versa. What finally happens to Alina...the Darkling...Mal? Do her remaining friends survive? What happens to the country? Will the Prince reemerge?
It is hard for me to pin point what it is about this series that I just fell in love with. Perhaps it is the minor references to imperial Russia, in some of the words and names. Perhaps its the unique take on the war between the darkness and the light, and it is unique and yet the same war. Perhaps its the fact that it holds you in tension right on the edge of the knife to cut it and not letting it slice through and you listen hoping it will break and scared of what will happen if it does. Perhaps its the twist and turns of various love triangles that never pan out in any direction and the curiosity of who will win that love or if anyone will, and what it will mean if they do.
There is so much about this series as a whole that grabs you and draws you in, though its set in a fictional world, there are hints here and there that make you think of our world, and you ride the balance between the two. I can not wait until the third releases.
"Still as intriguing as the first book"
I can't really decide who is my favourite character in Siege and Storm. Alina is as sweet as ever but The Darkling is still so very fascinating. The more you know about him the more you wonder and also hope. And then there is new and very exciting pirate Stormhound. He is so very entertaining. So, I can't decide on favourite
I just love Lauren Fortgang's narration. She immediately draws you in. Also she is so easy to understand, which is important to everybody whose mother tongue is not English.
Though the story is quite captivating and moderately fast paced, I fast frustrated occasionally with Mal and Alina. Both seem to struggle overly much with each other and the situation and this felt a bit fabricated. Especially as this is the "middle" book and I felt as if some additional drama had to be produced. But there is plenty of actual drama already. Only a sleight thing but nevertheless.
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