Hey everyone! I just finished Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo and so I decided to write up my review before I forgot everything. 🙂 You can buy Siege and Storm from here and check it out on Goodreads here! Here’s the cover:
This book was definitely better than Shadow and Bone, which I read last summer. Siege and Storm has literally been on my TBR every month since then, but I only got to it now because I was high on the Grisha world (and maybe still am) after reading Six of Crows.
Now just a heads up: if you haven’t yet read this book, please leave now! I gave this book 4.5 stars–I REALLY enjoyed it–so I hope you pick it up as well! SPOILERS BELOW.
Siege and Storm picks up when the Darkling has captured Mal and Alina and they are his captives. First of all, one of the main things that bugged me in the previous book was that Alina wasn’t a very strong character. But that’s not true in this book. Okay, she’s not a perfect character, but she didn’t annoy me. And she grew so much, it made up for her annoying-ness in the book before. The character development in this book was on point, and there were a lot of lines I loved in this book, especially near the end:
“So many men had tried to make her a queen. Now she understood that she was meant for something more. The Darkling had told her he was destined to rule. He had claimed his throne, and a part of her too. He was welcome to it. For the living and the dead, she would make herself a reckoning. She would rise.”
I LOVE it when characters are so broken that they decide they are going to become indestructible. And I feel like that’s what happened to Alina at the end of this book. I know it’s technically torment to the character, but I love it. (Okay. That sounds so evil. What I mean to say is that I feel like it makes the character so much more complex.)
So yes. I really grew to love Alina and I feel so bad for her because of what happened in the end, but I loved how she finally decided that she was not worth everything and risked her life for everyone else. The ending scene with the Darkling and her pulling his power and binding them together was so powerful, and it was the best scene in the book. That was the moment when I knew that Alina had grown up. That was the moment when I knew that she was finally awesome.
Another aspect of this book I loved more were the new characters. Or specifically, one new character by the name of Nikolai. I honestly don’t know who I ship with Alina: the Darkling has gone way too out of control, Mal is adorable and I love him but he was really annoying in this book (I’ll get to him later), but then there’s Nikolai. Beautiful, sarcastic, arrogant Nikolai whom I don’t know whether or not he’s ALIVE.
Please don’t be dead, please don’t be dead, please don’t be dead.
As I said, I really don’t know who to ship Alina with anymore. Because as much as I love Nikolai, I don’t know if he’s the best person for Alina and so…yea. I’m really not a die-hard shipper for this series, as much as I love the characters individually.
Going back to Nikolai, this dude is amazing. He’s the comedic relief in this book, and I also adored so many of his lines too.
“Watch yourself, Nikolai,” Mal said softly. “Princes bleed just like other men.”
Nikolai plucked an invisible piece of dust from his sleeve. “Yes,” he said. “They just do it in better clothes.”
Ahh…now let’s get to Mal. Okay, I’m honestly not one of those people who despise Mal. Even though he annoyed me, since I was never really a die-hard fan of him, I wasn’t surprised with his actions. I kind of saw them coming, because these types of relationships with love triangles ALWAYS happen in YA books. That’s why I won’t really mind if he doesn’t end up with Alina. At this point I honestly can’t tell at all who Alina is going to end up with, and I don’t particularly care. Any of them will be fine with me. 😀
And finally, from the guys, the Darkling. He rarely even showed up in this book, so I don’t really know what to say about him. I think he’s an intriguing villain, to say the least, but I would REALLY like to know why he’s doing what he’s doing. Every villain has their own story, yeah? But we never really got to learn why the Darkling is so evil. I get that he wants power and the power has driven him crazy, but what started it all? I want a backstory on him, because I can’t be emotionally attached to characters whose motives I don’t know about clearly.
Oh oh–and Genya. Ohmygoodness. Poor, beautiful Genya. My heart broke. Even though she was a traitor, I loved Genya’s character. I can’t believe what the Darkling did to her. She was my favorite character in the first book, and even though she barely showed up, I really wish she had. I hope someone heals her…oh gosh. I can’t believe the Darkling would be so cruel. And taking his mother’s eyes out? NO. Just no. How can you do such a thing?
Before I wrap this review up, because it’s getting really long, I just really want to say that this was definitely an improvement compared to the first book. Even though I rated that one 4.5 stars as well, my rating scale has changed since the summer and so I actually enjoyed this one much more. Everything had developed, including the plot, the writing, and the characters. Although this can’t reach the awesomeness level that Six of Crows did, I still really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to read more of Bardugo’s books.
As I said in a status update before, there are two types of fantasy books for me: fantasy books I fall head over heels with, and they are usually longer, more complex, and darker (like SoC) and fantasy books like this: fun-fantasy. It doesn’t make them less amazing, it’s just that these are easier to read but leave less of an emotional impact on me. I hope that in the last book my questions about the Darkling will be cleared up. I’m very much interested to see where this series goes!
Let’s end this review with a Nikolai quote. (I believe Nikolai said it, right?)
“Weakness is a guise. Wear it when they need to know you’re human, but never when you feel it.”
How did you like this book? Please let me know in the comments!