Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

June 10, 2013 4 stars, Book Review 9 ★★★★

Pabkins’ One Liner: ​​A world of magic and intrigue, where no one is what they seem.​

Siege and Storm

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 rushed ​me headlong into what? Boys boys boys! There is a short bit of downtime as Alina and Mal have escaped across the sea from the end of Shadow and Bone but of course the story can’t continue without The Darkling! Inevitably I think we all knew she would be captured again, doesn’t the woman ALWAYS get captured in the fantasy stories? *evil laughter* What I loved was their adventure on the high seas! – I find sea creatures fascinating, suffice to say they encounter an epic one! The first opening third of the book was my absolute favorite – it has the most action and things went quickly with a lot of tension and a few new characters.  I’m so an adrenaline junky type of girl.

I adore the new characters introduced, especially Sturmhond.  What is not to love, he’s honest without being honest! Ravishing, arrogant and vulnerable in moments that make my heart hurt.

This sums up Mal’s opinion of him nicely:

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Mal crossed his arms and considered the privateer. “I can’t decide if you’re crazy or stupid.”
“I have so many good qualities,” Sturmhond said cheerfully. “If can be hard to choose.”

I have to say things seriously slowed down after that and it was much like how I felt with the first book – it was slower for me because it was much of the same day after day sort of thing.  Building the tension between Alina and Mal, or Alina and Sturmhond.  I know that is necessary but I find myself wanting to rush through portions like that to get to something that will set me on edge.
Alina’s character development was excellent! She is so conflicted and though once or twice I wanted to punch her in the face for being so dense I couldn’t help but completely sympathize with the choices she makes. It seems like she always has people that are trying to sway her one way or another, or make her into what they want or need.

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The less you say, the more weight your words will carry.

Don’t argue. Never deign to deny.  when someone insults you, laugh.

Weakness is a guise.  Wear it when they need to know you’re human, but never when you feel it.

Don’t wish for bricks when you can build from stone. Use whatever or whoever is in front of you.

Being a leader means someone is always watching you.

All I have to say is BAH MEN – what the heck!? This is the second book I’ve read recently where a man has turned to sordid behavior to drown his sorrows over a woman.  It just freaking chaps my rear – and why are they always forgiven for it? Well I guess you would forgive the one you love…ok ok I concede.  Still it makes me angry. *laugh*  I think that is a sign of a really well written work when it can elicit really strong emotions from me but at the same time I can lean back and go – “Yeah that could/would really happen.” Leigh Bardugo writes relationships really well and its completely realistic how torn Alina would be if put in between these guys.  I would be just as torn.  Well wait I would be all “can I have my cake and eat it too?” So you can definitely expect more men for Alina to twist her heart around over.

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I tossed the book aside. I didn’t know what to say to Mal. I never did these days. But maybe I could just start with the truth, that I was lost and confused, and maybe losing my mind, that I scared myself sometimes, and that I missed him so much it was like physical pain.

Overall, this was an excellent second installment.

Siege and Storm

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• This advanced reader copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review. Quotes are taken from ARC and may not be the same in the published edition. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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9 Responses to “Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo”

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Totally true! I know one series I read back in the day – Terry Goodkind I think it was – that chick was ALWAYS freaking getting captured.

      I agree I don’t think Mal and Alina are a healthy couple but hey alot of couples aren’t. I think Sturmhond is my new favorite. Yes…definitely him. hehe you?

        • Tabitha the Pabkins

          Oh I agree! Sturmhond #drool – even when he had the ugly face hehe. I do think she really does belong with The Darkling. She totally has a dark side she just needs to indulge already!

          • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

            She could be good for him too. Light to balance out the darkness. Plus, he’s not scared of her power, unlike some people I could mention (coughMalcough). Yup, even with the ugly face, I was already in love with Sturmhond. His personality is made of awesome.

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I completely agree! I like it that he honestly admits he doesn’t know what he would be capable of doing to achieve his goals. And that it scared him to realize he didn’t know!

  1. Kristen

    I felt much the same way as you did about this installment, good but also with flaws and definitely a slower read. I can’t wait to see where the third book takes us.

    • pabkins

      I agree – I mean I know we can likely expect the firebird of course but I’m really wondering if she’ll end up with Mal I just don’t think thats a healthy relationship LOL