SPOILER ALERT — I am going to be a douche bag and spoil bits of Shadow And Bone. If you haven’t read that yet, get off the internet and get to reading, genius.
I have the awful habit of putting off books that I am over the top anticipating until way after they have been published, biding my time with more mediocre fare.I mean, every now and then a book I am totally pumped for slips through my delayed gratification policy, but more often than not, I end up with scenarios like my reading of Siege And Storm by Leigh Bardugo, where I finally read the book MONTHS after it is released and MONTHS after I have received it, with lots of meh reads in between. Friends, I might as well thank Siege And Storm for this change in my reading and reviewing policy that will happen in 2014 — I plan on reading books I am the most excited about first, regardless of release date and when things show up in my mail. I don’t want to end up putting off one of the best reads of the year just because lots of things come in the mail that have earlier publishing dates. Enough about me, personally, let’s talk instead about the Grisha and the Sun Summoner and all of our new ships and how we are all joining the SIEGE AND STORM fan club.
Siege And Storm opens with Alina and Mal on the run from the Darkling and leaving Ravka. The two take a ship over the sea and end up in a foreign land working peasant jobs. They are poor, but happy away from Ravka. Well, Alina seems to be fading but that is because she can’t use her grisha power of light, otherwise the Ravkans will find her force her back. Speaking of which, Mal and Alina are ambushed by the Darkling and his agents and are forced aboard this ship captained by privateer Sturmhond aka your new boyfriend. On their journey back to Ravka, the Darkling reveals his plans to hit Rusalye, a sea dragon, for another amplifier. All hell breaks loose, but they get the amplifier and it is revealed that Strumhond will help Mal and Alina escape from the Darkling but someone wants to meet them. Only you guys, we find out that Sturmhond has a pretty damn big plot changing secret and we all throw our hands up in the air as we read the big reveals and realize that Leigh Bardugo is a total puppet-master.
Alina is going through some real shit you guys. She keeps getting pulled in so many directions. She’s like real hot to trot, so she’s getting marriage proposals and offers of being a queen right and left. Also, the Darkling is still finding ways to be annoying to her even though she is far, far beyond his reach. So hmm, all these people are calling Alina a saint because of her light summoning powers, but she is reluctant for that because most of the saints die horrific deaths. Oh, and she is craving even more power after a mysterious third amplifier has been discovered and I think book three, Rise And Ruin might have them going after the amplifier. Anyways, I am still rooting my face off for Alina Starkov because that girl has like the worst dating luck ever and also she don’t get no respect, if ya know what I mean.
Mal, Alina’s best friend and quasi boyfriend sort of changes in this book. I mean, he seemed so fricken devoted in Shadow And Bone but is apparently kind of fickle in Siege And Storm. Like, in the beginning of the book he is really great and wonderful and protective and just seems to really be into Alina. However, once they are back in Ravka and she is trying to lead an army, Mal gets all jealous boyfriend. Then he becomes self destructive. I don’t know, he was just harshing my mellow and I am not entirely sure I want to ship him and Alina anymore because he was kind of a terrible human being. Mal could take some lessons from the British, I say, because he is sorely lacking a stiff upper lip and I just would have liked it more if he had one and didn’t get so whiny. Like dude, you are the problem here. You are the one driving the wedge, but yes, please have the nerve to wonder why your relationship isn’t quite working out the way you want it to. Aghhhhh.
I hate to admit this, but Mal has been kicked out of my heart and has been replaced by Sturmhond. I don’t want to ruin the magical surprise and delight that this character brings by telling you all of his secrets that get revealed in a pretty fantastic way in the book. However if you think the Dread Pirate Roberts is your type, you are so going to be down for Sturmhond, they have a LOT in common let me tell you. Sturmhond is easy going, he is someone who comes across as brilliant and lighthearted. Also, he is a bit of an inventor. Really that Sturmhond is a renaissance man and definitely my new favorite. He doesn’t suck all the fun out of the room like Mal is what I am saying you guys.
I won’t even bother with the Darkling because after Mal, he is the worst.
There are a few kisses in Siege And Storm but it’s not like there are any epic make out sessions. Also, no sexytimes. And an almost kiss. And ughhhhhhhhh, lots and lots of romantic angst.I think I have turned against Mal because it’s like it is his fault that the romance between him and Alina is not going the way that I, the demanding reader, want it to go. I think the romance was stronger in Shadow And Bone, but that is cool because there are more important things to focus on.
Basically Ravka has gone to hell in a handbasket and they are only delaying the inevitible and the Darkling is off his rocker and has created these shadow monster things and seems to want to just create chaos and rule and be evil. Really, my anxiety level was kind of off the charts while reading this book. Like, I could not handle all the intense stressful things going down, like Alina having to impress royalty and then her having to deal with Zoya who is a dick. And then all this stuff about finding another amplifier and waiting for the Darkling to come. AND VASILY, the heir to the throne needs to be punted. But he gets his just desserts. What I am saying is I have all these emotions and this super huge reaction to Siege And Storm by Leigh Bardugo and I kind of think you need to read this book if you like things that don’t suck is what I am saying.
Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher
Other reviews of Siege And Storm by Leigh Bardugo:
The Book Barbies – “a fantastic blend of adventure, intrigue, and romance”
Foil The Plot -“full of intense action, magical adventures and engaging characters”
Emily’s Reading Room – “makes a great story even better”
Books by Leigh Bardugo: