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.
Siege and Storm is the second book in The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.
The fascinating Siege and Storm by the incredibly talented Leigh Bardugo picks up where Shadow and Bone left off, Alina and Mal are on the run from the Darkling, seeking to escape his terrifying power and consuming need to have Alina has his. And can we just say wow! I wasn't sure how this one would compare to the first book, but it was equally as thrilling and fascinating, if not a little better!
Alina and Mal have thought themselves safe for the past few weeks having escaped the Darkling, but he finds them again all too quickly. And the group finds themselves on a ship surrounded by pirates seeking to find yet another amplifier; a dragon with scales that will only add to Alina's powers.
Things take an interesting twist when the pirates and their captain help Alina and Mal escape and we learn exactly who these pirates are and what their game plan is, one that involves Alina, naturally. They are to return home to make a stand against the Darkling once and for all with Alina running as the leader of the Second Army.
Things were pretty intense in this one. There's a lot of planning for all sorts of things going around Alina. The ultimate goal of course is to vanquish the Darkling. And yet, I still can't help but wonder at this guy's character. Why were we made to care for him in the first book, for awhile at least? Or I did for that matter. I grew to like him more than Mal even. But then he showed a darker side to himself, ironic no?
During all this turmoil, Alina and Mal find themselves growing further and further apart. Alina is coming into her powers more and more and Mal distances himself from it all. Then in comes a new character, Nikolai who makes it clear that he wouldn't mind having Alina as his queen! So we're looking at a further love complication. I couldn't tell if his feelings for Alina were true or not. I think there's admiration for her, but was there love? Well, not in the beginning at least, who's to really say at the end either? The Darkling was absent for most of the book expect for when Alina sees him in her dreams, which feel incredibly real. Needless to say, I don't mind not being in Alina's tremulous position!
I still find myself struggling at times to grasp what the overall mission or plan is. For everyone at this point. The Fold, the part of the world where darkness reigns and monsters live, is still a key role in it as well. It's grown since last time as we learned. I think everything kind of comes down to power and ruling. Which goes back to government and politics, which has never been my strong put, but I feel like it's one of those things I can follow along easily enough but come time to explain to someone else, I draw a blank! Oh the woes of a reader, when one just gets so sucked into the book the real world becomes lost to me. And trying to rehash what I read to these outsiders is a puzzle to me as well!
Things definitely got intense at the end. More epic battling with losses left and right! It was exhilarating and a bit heart-wrenching as well. The works of a Heartrender maybe?! (har-har! couldn't resist a little dorky humor!) I feel like a simple course is set for the next book so far, finding a third and final amplifier for Alina to make her even more powerful, perhaps powerful enough to take on the Darkling again. Because like all villains--or possible, maybe villains--he just won't go away yet! I really have no clue where I stand on this Darkling, a part of me still wants him to be the hero that I thought he was in book 1, but his current actions keep leading me to think otherwise, and then there are those little moments that make you think there's something else to him!
Naturally, this leaves me all confounded on it all! I'll be starting the next and final book shortly and will hopefully receive all the answers that are brewing. I can only hope they are happy answers!
Siege and Storm was yet another thrilling edition to the Grisha trilogy and has me wondering why I never picked this series up before! Well, as they say, "better late then never" and the added readers' input: better when the whole series is out for a binge read!
Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars