Friday, 11 November 2016

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Siege and Storm
Series: The Grisha #2
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher:  Orion Children's Books
Pages: 416
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Darkness never dies. Alina and Mal are on the run - but they can't run for ever...

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and he needs Alina to realise his dangerous plan. Somehow, she must choose between her country, her power, and her love - or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

I hate to say it but I think Siege and Storm suffers from second book syndrome. The plot felt a lot slower to me and there was a lot of angst and too many dull political conversations that just don't go anywhere. Don't get me wrong, I still really enjoyed this book, I just wasn't obsessed with it like the first book.

The monarchy of Ravka were introduced briefly during Shadow and Bone but certain members not met in the first book take centre stage in Siege and Storm. I am not a fan of the ruling family of Ravka. Their populace is starving, they are at war with their neighbours - the King, Queen and the heir, Vasily are petulant mouth-breathers and bizarrely obsessed with horses. Not to mention it is inferred that the King forces sexual favours from the servants. Dare I ask what is so bad about the Darkling wanting to do away with these people? Will there be a plot twist in Ruin and Rising where the Darkling is in fact the good guy after all? I cannot say at this point. Of course the only likeable royal is Nikolai, a rumoured bastard. Which brings me to my next point...

Nikolai or the Darkling? I am so torn! Who is my ship? How do I want this trilogy to end? I am so confused. As other reviewers have noted, Mal was very meh in this book. What else could I add? Poor Mal was a total fish out of water, I do feel some sympathy for him as he lives for his bestie and lover Alina but I think he is beyond sick of the drama and just wants Alina to be normal again. Their relationship certainly changed in this book but that's still no excuse for his behaviour in the barn...

Alina lacked personality but I really liked the new additions to the cast, Tamar and Tolya, they were cool. I hardly recognised Genya and couldn't believe what happened to her. THAT ENDING THOUGH. I feel like the plot was moving glacially until literally the last two chapters where everything just blew up. It was phenomenal. I just wish that Alina would stop reacting to everything and instead have everything react to Alina. If you get what I mean.

In summary, a solid second instalment but the plot is very slow, however, the crazy ending makes it worthwhile. I'm expecting fabulous, mind-blowing things from Ruin and Rising.

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