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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    29
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    11

Performance

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Story

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    14
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Joki
  • Helsinki
  • 12-07-13

Kinda of Falls For the Sophomore Curse

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.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting! A Must Listen

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!!

21 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Annoying

Annoying characters. The narrator's S words were so sharp I couldn't listen with headphones. Overall, I'm just listening just to be done with it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The Dip in the Middle

Compared to my review of Shadow and Bone I am going to try and keep this one short. As a second novel goes I believe that Bardugo really does improve in her world building, characters, and plot (in some ways). First, she makes an effort to better explain how her magic system works, and we get a better picture of how everything falls into place. Second, we learn much more about the political and social landscapes of the kingdom of Ravka, which in their own way advances the plot.

The biggest improvement in this second novel has to be the characters though. Bardugo adds several new characters to the mix, which really make the story click better, and helps us as the reader get a better picture of the overarching plot. These new characters have well defined depth and show personalities rivaling some of the Six of Crows characters.

Now we come to the plot which in one way improves and in another way struggles very much in my opinion. At the beginning of the novel events kick off with a bang and continue the fast pace of the previous book, and the plot seems to be moving at a rapid pace. The same thing occurs in the last quarter of the book, where things really come to a head very nicely. However, the middle 50 percent of this novel is where Bardugo struggles. Her claim to fame is the fast pace constant action plot, which she maintains for the most part in Shadow and Bone and in the first and fourth quarters of this novel. However, it seems to me that the middle 6 hours of this book are nothing but conversations between characters that go nowhere. The plot slows to a crawl, and it feels like she could have easily cut out a good 50 pages. Also, it seems like she attempted a couple of plot twists in this part of the book that were very obvious and didn't help the story whatsoever.

In conclusion, I did like this book more than Shadow and Bone but still not nearly as much as either of the SIX of Crows books. That weak middle of the novel was the cause of my 3 star rating and I really struggled to get passed it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not as good as I had hoped

Liked the first book, was hoping in the second that the main character would grow a spine. For someone who supposedly has a lot of power she let's people push her around. Love triangle is getting old.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 01-28-17

I hate the main character

The book is fine, but the main character drove me up the wall. I spent too much time yelling at her to make up her mind, say something, use her power, stop being useless, etc. My husband was listening with me and quit half way through because he couldn't take it anymore.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

first one was good

the main character is so whiney and annoying in this one. not even Lauren fortgang, who I love, can salvage this awful character. I got to chapter 9 and hate that I wasted a credit.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good story but annoying main characters

Good story but gets a little slow in the middle. I want to keep listening to find out what happens. Problem is that I really can't relate to or really like the main characters. Alina is immature and tends to fall into the victim role too easily. Mal is insecure with a bad inferiority complex. I don't really feel any chemistry between them. Just naive teenage angst.

This series brings me to mind of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series in one aspect. Wheel of Time has a superbly written story with rich detail but cookie cutter characters (each woman was a tantrum throwing bitch and each guy was stoic and long suffering) Like that, this story has a narrative that you enjoy and would like to see to the end. Unfortunately the characters and their development is inferior.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bee
  • United States
  • 07-01-13

I WANT THE PRINCE!

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!

p.s. cliffhanger

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

It's All Right.

Any additional comments?

This book has a good beginning and good ending. It makes some good progress in the story, but some of it gets caught up in wasting time on ships and boring political talk through the entire middle. I'd say if you liked the first one to give it a chance so you can see the story furthered, but get ready for a bit of a slog through the middle.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nimue
  • 12-13-13

Still as intriguing as the first book

Who was your favorite character and why?

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

What does Lauren Fortgang bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

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.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • M.P.
  • 04-02-18

Couldn't finish

What would have made Siege and Storm better?

The story itself was fine, but I couldn't stomach the way the main character was written. Despite the fact that Alina is supposed to be saving the world, she spends all her time obsessing over the guy she's in love with. In the end I was so offended by this stereotypical character that I had to stop listening to the book.

What character would you cut from Siege and Storm?

Alina

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kindling Micky
  • 11-27-17

3.5 stars

My rating arises in part from having a 2 week break mid-book whilst on holiday and I then struggled to get back in the groove with this one. A lot went on with Seige and Storm and yet not at the same time. I enjoyed meeting Nikolai, I feel out of like with Mal and I moved to revile with the Darkling.

I am defintely carrying on with the series, but I'm going to have a little break before I continue. The narration continued to be great.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • R. Maines
  • 05-12-16

Preparing for the endgame.

If you've enjoyed the first book then this second won't disappoint even if it does suffer from being the middle book in the series. You know all the plans will come to nought, as things are setup for the third book.

Narration was good and understandable at x2 playback speed.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • xelfi
  • 06-09-18

Truely amazing!

This book transported me in the grisha world. I’ve read all the 3 books in 3 days. This is a must read!