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 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.
The beginning and end is great but not much happens in the too-long middle.
The reader is good (and really great with female sarcasm) but some of her characterizations of men make them sound like pimply-faced 14-year-olds. Not her fault. She has a natural high pitch to her voice. Still it gets in the way when you want to see a man as a man. She would be best when most of the book is voiced by youngsters and/or monsters with an occasional adult male presence.
The story has interesting and strong characters. It was unfortunate that the men were emasculated a bit by the voice actor -- especially the mysterious privateer.
The middle of the story had too little action and too much angst instead of building the story to a fantastic climax. It has a great ending. It just takes a long and somewhat boring route to get there.
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 spent most of the time yelling at the main characters for being irrational brats. Even the villain made more sense. Mal yelled at everyone for no reason, I think he needed a hug. This book was thoroughly disappointing. The main characters where completely unlikable.
The villain is one of the most likable characters in the series...I was actively rooting for him.
This is not a bad story. It's just not my style. Had I known this was targeted at teen girls I wouldn't have wasted my time with it. It seems to be basically a story about a young girl's confusion with picking which boy she wants. The world was interesting and I think it really could have been a good story but there's very little going on outside of the main character's constant brooding over one boy or another. It gets pretty tiring by book two. So if you're looking for a teen romance novel in a fantasy world setting you'll not be disappointed otherwise in today's world of absolutely masterful epic fantasy writers move on to something else.
While I loved the first book, the second of the series was a little disappointing. While Alina spent the first book building herself up and training, this second book was spent wallowing in romantic drama split between two possible love interests. This is disappointing to me because the appeal of the first book was her focusing on her self and her own strengths. Still plan on finishing the series though...
I would likely recommend this to my niece, but probably not anyone else. I have introduced my sister to a few of these YA sci-fi series, but I don't think this one will translate for her.
I enjoyed the evil of the Darkling. You love him, you kind of have a crush on it, but you also hate him. It's a very mixed emotion, which clearly our heroine shares, and so it's very relatable.
Like the previous book in the series, the beginning and the end both make up for the middle. I felt the darkness of the start and finale made up for the meandering and pointless dragging on of the middle section of this book. I really want to give it a three, but good YA books are hard to come by and this is a creative series.
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