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.
Bardugo continues to build this world and develop the characters. Can't wait to start book 3. Great Series. Fortgang is amazing as usual.
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?
I am thoroughly enjoying this series.
The only minor issue is that the volume of the audio fluctuates (like movies and TV), and I can't hear the Darkling when I am connected to my car's speakers. My phone and car stereo system are at maximum volume, and I must pause my audio whenever the Darkling is talking while there is rain or rutted roads. Is there a setting that can be enabled/created to allow improve volume control for the listener? Thanks!
I belong to the people I love, and they belong to me - they form my identity far more than any word or group ever could.
The Good: Nikolai, Tolya and Tamar. The addition of these three characters provided a real boost to a story that had started to drag. I love to hate Vasily. He is such a ridiculous character and I think Bardugo did a really good job in the way she used him to further the plot.
The Bad: Nikolai kissing Alina. This drove me up the wall because it was completely non-consensual (a theme this book seems to carry to the end), and Bardugo continued to have Nikolai and Alina flirtatious with each other. The book would have been better if she had left the kiss out and just had them become friends. The Darkling kissing her was also pretty gross and I don't see why it was included as it did not further the plot in any way. So now we have three would-be lovers for Alina and two of them have touched her against her will. And this is a YA book, so what is this teaching young girls about bodily autonomy? I also felt like the imagery was sometimes lacking.
The Ugly: The prologue and the epilogue. The author uses these as an excuse to write what could be whole chapters in just mere paragraphs. It's lazy writing.
Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide)
SIEGE AND STORM was an interesting re-read but ultimately not as exciting as the first time around – don’t get me wrong, it was still amazing, but I was in total awe when I first read this book over a year ago. (WOW, over a year!?) It was really fun being able to discover everything all over again. Some things had lost their surprise, of course, since I already knew the big twists but the best thing about re-reading – like with my re-read of SHADOW AND BONE – was that I had forgotten so many of the little details. Hell, in SIEGE AND STORM, I had even forgotten some of the BIG details and big reveals. It had been so long since I had spent some time in the Grishaverse that I had forgotten a lot of the backstories, things like the tales in the book of Saints, and how specific events actually transpired. Especially re-reading, it’s even more apparent how much SIEGE AND STORM shows off Leigh Bardugo’s writing talent. SHADOW AND BONE was so enjoyable (both times) but SIEGE AND STORM really starts to take the plot to new places, open new doors, and put the characters in even more peril until they learn how to fight their way out of the situation. We learn that not all characters are forever safe. We learn that everyone will be put under much more pressure. I felt like there were so many twists and turns and secrets to discover in this book that even after knowing how it ends, I had forgotten how we even got there. The action was stupendous as well. SHADOW AND BONE had its action sequences, but SIEGE AND STORM really took it up a notch, allowing the characters to roam much more and really develop their strengths, giving them the freedom to find more trouble and conquer it that much better. I really appreciated the intricacy of each situation that much more. This book also offered a lot more in character development. I never felt like I was missing any in SHADOW AND BONE, but this was a natural layering of characters as the series progresses. I kind of felt like Alina was a bit of a brat in SHADOW AND BONE but she really does start to mature in this book. That doesn’t mean that she leaves her cheeky attitude or sarcasm behind, which I’m thankful for because I just love the banter that occurs between her and Mal and of course, her and Sturmhond. She just really comes into her own as a leader, as a Grisha, and even just as a young adult. Leigh Bardugo really stretches her repertoire of characters as well. We all know how much I love Sturmhond and his character addition makes me wonder how the series didn’t have him from the beginning. He’s such a fan-favorite and he really adds a wonderful presence to the story. I just love how he affects the series both in plot and his own effect on other characters.
My only issue with the re-read was a personal one and that was that I was reading as an audiobook. Since my audiobook time is literally ten minutes at a time to and from work now, it was a hard book to even re-read much less read in short pieces like that. I’m so glad that I really savored it the first time around so even though my re-read was patchy, I still knew how amazing it was and the re-read turned out to be much more of a refresher than a time to sit down and savor. If you need to read or even re-read SIEGE AND STORM, I highly recommend making sure you allot enough time to really enjoy it and soak it all in!
Say something about yourself!
If you have read book 1 you know you have to read book 2, and trust me when I say while this one may have hiccuped a bit with the plot, the third one will blow you away!
In this installment Ileana is trying to discover if she is the savior people think she is. Can she be the Sun Summoner and Ileana...or will she have to give over to the idea that she is a living Saint bound for martyrdom?
Many great characters were introduced in this book, and while it dragged on a bit it was still really great!
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