Sunday, 2 February 2014

Review: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)

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. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. 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.


Warning: Spoilers from Shadow and Bone.

Now as I'm writing this, I have no idea what to say about Siege and Storm. It's  too incredible. How am I supposed to describe this breath-taking book?

It's so impressive it's stupefying. Forgive me if I sound like a babbling idiot.

Okay, so, ahhh... Where do I start? *fumbles with paper* Um, yes, yes. *regains composure* Let's start.

After reading Shadow and Bone, I have been anticipating Siege and Storm ever since. It didn't help my impatience as I read ever-growing positive reviews on S&S. Before its release, I had been stalking the book. If you can even stalk a book. I looked up S&S on search engines at least once a month hoping for any news about it, and the day before the release, I was so happy simply because I could finally get my hands on it the next day. You may think I'm exaggerating and yes, just a wee bit I did. 

One fact about Siege and Storm you should keep in mind is that you will not be disappointed. If I had thought Shadow and Bone couldn't have been more amazing, I don't know what S&S will be. Fan-ta-ma-zing? Screw that, it's rubbish. You know what?

You know those folk tales you've heard when you were a child? Those ones you get to hear when you go to bed? Of many wondrous mythical creatures that existed between those pages as you imagined them? Well, Leigh does a great job in combining folk tales and magical elements that results in epic fantasy! Sea whips, the stag, flying ships, just to name a few.

Compared to S&B, S&S was just as good, if not better. S&S had just as many heart-pounding actions, unpredictable twists and so much more. There were a few lovable additions to the story. Especially... *winks* STURMHOND!

Meet the cocky privateer, full of witty dialogues and himself. I honestly couldn't have enough of him. He makes me laugh, snicker, and smash his head at times.
“Do you take anything seriously?”
“Not if I can help it. Makes life so tedious.” 
“I like to have powerful enemies. Makes me feel important.”  
“I can’t decide if you’re crazy or stupid.”“I have so many good qualities,” Sturmhond said. “It can be hard to choose.”
Convinced now?

Alina has grown from the not-so-likable girl in S&B to something much more this book. She's stronger now that she accepts the fact that she's the Sun Summoner. She is the one who makes decision, who leads and no longer the one to hide from her responsibilities. I love how Alina developed as a character.

On the other hand... Mal... Okay, let's clear up some stuff first. I never did like Mal. He was also known as the 'meh' character to me. Because he was perpetually 'meh' throughout the book even in S&B. I tried to like him because Alina seems to be very fond of him for some reasons I haven't figured out. 
However in this book, there seemed to be a personality swap between Alina and Mal. I'm pretty sure other book bloggers have brought up this matter so hang on with me for a while. Mal was possessive, whiny, and moody. What's this? Ma-al. Although you were never my favourite character, behaving like a jerk wouldn't help at all!

Moving on, the Darkling.

Face facts. There's this teeny weeny part of you that just fawns over him even though he's the antagonist. He's corrupted, consumed by power yet he's just wonderful, y'know? Ahhh... The Darkling. 

What? *looks around innocently*

For most part of the book, he's not present, yet saying that would not correct. I can't explain without giving away spoilers and admittedly, I don't even understand how it's supposed to work. 
Speaking of the Darkling... I hope Alina somehow ends up with him. It doesn't have to end in the typical happily ever after way in most fairy tales, maybe something bittersweet happens and though the main problem is resolved (Ravka), the 'secondary' problem (the not quite love square) ends on the not-so-pretty note Mal gets thrown into the lava and Alina end up with the Darkling or something no Mal please have mercy.  

Back to the point I was sayin' (I stray too easily, urgh), The Darkling was only present during the beginning and the ending. If that were the case, I would have broken down in tears (not quite but still) but Leigh mercifully gave us glimpses of him in between. However, saying that he was present throughout the book wouldn't be correct because... Naw, I wouldn't say. Spoilers.

I love a complex antagonist and Leigh has masterfully crafted one. The Darkling is indeed a rather complicated character because he isn't the I-want-to-take-over-the-world-mua-ha-ha sort. Fine, he is, but not that kind. Usually, you would question why an antagonist would do whatever horrible things he wants to do, and the answer you get is pretty much the same. However, what I learned about the Darkling was interestingly different. He's fueled by his greed and want for power which in return, has him corrupted. He wants to expand the Shadow Fold, use it as a weapon, rule Ravka etc. I'm impressed with the Darkling. One moment he's and and expertise liar and the other, doing something unpredictable. He's filled with surprises, astonishing tricks up his sleeves. Really, he's one antagonist that kept me at the edge of my seat.
To sum it up, Siege and Storm does not disappoint. Do I need to say anymore? Oh yes.

So. Go get your copy now.

Or else.

On the side note, sorry if my review seemed rather pointless and aimless. I really suck at writing positive reviews because THEY'RE JUST THAT GOOD I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY. You get me? Oh well. And hey, remember to get the book is you haven't got it, yeah? Write it down in a notebook or somewhere. I'll wait.

Rating: 6/5 Stars

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE THIS SERIES!!! I was never a fan of Darkling as a love interest but I do love him as the awesome antagonist! He could possibly become an antihero, if he tried just a little bit. But the writing, the setting, the characters...lovely. *sigh* *pulls book close to whisper sweet nothings* *another sigh* Love.


Bundles of thanks to all that comment!