Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Grisha Trilogy #2
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Macmillan on June 4th 2013
Also by this author: Shadow and Bone, Ruin and Rising, Six of Crows, Summer Days & Summer Nights
Format: Hardcover (435 pages) • Source: Library
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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.
Book Buddies is a discussion-style review that takes place with one of my two buddies. (Learn more and see past reviews here) We both read the book and then have a private discussion about it. We post our discussion as a review on the last Wednesday of each month. You’ll be able to see our similar/different opinions on the overall book, characters, writing style, etc. – just like a regular review. The first half our discussion will take place right here, and the second half will be on Kaitlin’s blog! (Link at the bottom)
View the first part of the discussion here.
Be warned that there are some spoilers included! You can probably tell which questions to avoid, like the one about the ending, if you haven’t read the book yet!
Did you start to feel different about any of the characters or did you like/dislike them the same?
Kaitlin: Honestly, this book I felt like Mal was getting really annoying and not someone I would always want to have around. I understand that he was trying to protect Alina from the Darkling but sometimes he would just be so over protective. He was always questioning Alina’s actions and trying to hold her back. Sometime’s you just got to stop running and fight what you’re avoiding. I still really like him but just not as much than in the first book. Then my admiration for the Darkling has grew! As much as I would not to like him, I can’t. He is so smart and just right about everything. Then my liking for Alina has grown so much. She has just gotten braver from the first book and she is making her own dissensions now and just going for it. Alina has grown so much since the first book and I admire her for that.
Lauren: I couldn’t believe how much my feelings about Mal changed. I’m usually a sucker for the childhood-best-friend-turned-romance trope, but he kind of killed it with this book. He was bitter about her powers (just like the Darkling predicted) and was simultaneously trying to protect her. It just seemed stupid in my opinion. The Darkling is still such a crazy, dark, and weird character… but I love him. As I said in the other question(s), I really liked Alina’s character development in this book because she got a lot darker and more powerful. I totally agree that she’s more brave and doesn’t second-guess herself anymore. Even if she MAY be changing for the worst (in terms of good vs. evil – I really can’t tell!), she’s growing a lot.
Last time we read the first book in the series and discussed the “love triangle.” Do you still consider it one? Do you lean towards either character (Darkling or Mal) at this point?
Kaitlin: This book has a small love triangle. Technically, it’s barely even there but to me MAN IT WAS MORE THAN JUST A TRIANGLE. I mean at one point I was shipping Alina with Sturmhond (I ship my self with him hahahahha) But most of the time I leaned it toward Mal because the Darkling is gone and well Strumhond and ALina were never going to happen. At one part of the book Alina was just getting messy with them because she was a Grisha and he was….a normal powerless human but with wicked fighting skills!
Lauren: HAHA I totally agree about Sturmhond!!!! I LOVE him for some reason. I was kind of worried the whole thing was going to look like a love square, but it seems like maybe that relationship is just a friendly one. I can’t help but wonder who she ends up with. A lot of signs obviously point to Mal because they have the history and he’s been around the whole time. BUT – I can’t help but wonder if the Darkling is right about everything and they’re too similar to be apart. Are they connected in some weird way? Is he really completely evil and dark? Does he have actual feeling for her or is it just some weird way of getting what he wants? I’m very torn. I honestly can’t even think of how this love triangle will end up. Someone will have to die or something to make the answer more clear.. HA.
Were you excited to sit down and read it or did you have trouble picking it up?
Kaitlin: I was just so excited to get started reading on it. After being away from this series for 2 months I was dying to pick it up. There was just so much curiosity in me before reading this book. You know that feeling when you finish a great book and you scramble to read the synopsis. Yeah, that was me with starting this book. I just didn’t know what to expect so at this point (the 2 months I had to wait just to read this book) so whatever I could get out of this story was just good enough for me. This trilogy seems to be working nicely and and I am ecstatic to see how Ruin and Rising is going to turn out.
Lauren: I agree! I wasn’t exactly in the mood for a fantasy book when I sat down to actually start reading it though. Once I got started, I was pretty hooked. This is surprisingly one of those books where I have trouble actually sitting and deciding to read it. I’m not sure why! I think it’s because I don’t remember how good it is until I’m actually reading it. The endings of the last two books made me fascinated and dying to learn what was going to happen next. I am really excited to see how the whole thing ends! I have noooo idea.
What did you think of the ending?
Kaitlin: The ending was just so surprising and I this is one of the things where I just don’t know how I can last 2 months without reading the next book. This ending was one when I finished the book I was emotionally drained and all I wanted was to take a nap. It was a great part of the book and I was just gasping in shock left and right. It’s just the ending was just written so descriptive and so dramatic. You know, that scene almost made me miss the Darkling and his awesome power, you know? It would be pretty cool to get a perspective of him in maybe a novella or an extra content chapter.
Lauren: I’m pretty sure that there is a novella from the Darkling’s perspective! If you click on the series on Goodreads it shows quite a few novellas between the books and I’ve heard that one of them is about the Darkling! And I completely agree about the ending. As I kind of already said, the endings always make me eager to see what’s going to happen next. I think when we decided to do series reads together we didn’t anticipate the fact that it would be VERY hard not to binge-read them all right away, haha.
What do you think could possibly happen in the final book, based on where it left off?
Kaitlin: The next book! Okay since it’s the third book I expect a lot to happen. It would be really awesome if it started back up a few months later from where we left off because since Alina is so weak and just in a bad state. The book could start off with her narrating what has happened in the past months and maybe she is trying to get her power back. I hope that they find the Firebird and get another amplifier or Alina is too weak to handle another amplifier. I feel like Alina and the Darkling will both be a little less power less than they were before. Throughout the whole book I think Alina and Co. will be searching for the firebird and hiding from the Darkling. During those pages we must find Nikolai. I don’t care if the Darkling is killed and Mal and Alina are happily married by the end, if we don’t find Nikolai don’t be surprised when I start a riot. I trust Leigh to write a great story and I also trust the fact that Nikolai will be found alive by the end of the book. Part of me also thinks that Mal will be on the verge of death. Based on what I’ve read in that past two books, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mal got hurt and was about to die. If he does I will try not to cry and be okay with the fact that Nikolai is still alive.(Can you see how much I love Nikolai?) Obviously there is going to be an all out war between Day and Night (See what I did there?) and a huge final battle with Alina and the Darkling. One thing I really hope in the last book is we know more stuff about the Darkling. LIKE HIS REAL NAME! OR HOW OLD THE GUY IS! Does anyone still get a little creeped out when you realize that he might be 78 years old? In the end I really want Nikolai get’s the crown of Ravka, since his idiot brother is dead and his jerk dad probably is too. Mal and Alina work something out and everyone lives happily ever after.
Lauren: DANG, I’m glad you have so many ideas because I feel clueless about what could happen. I think it’s funny because after I finished Siege and Storm, I went back and read the synopsis for it. It basically summarizes the VERY beginning of the book and doesn’t give any insight about what else is going to happen. I feel like the same thing is going to be the case with Ruin and Rising. I’m so intrigued by the summary for it! I agree that Nikolai better be in the book like CRAZY because he’s the best. I always get weirded out when books introduce random new characters after the series started already but he’s so perfect, it’s fine. I’m looking forward to a lot of action and questions being answered in this one. It seems like the other two books were so focused on world-building and saved the real action for the end. I want to know more about the Darkling too (we need to read that novella) because I need to know what is actually going on with that dude. I feel like there’s so much more going on there that could be explained. Nikolai’s brother is a HUGE DUMB IDIOT I am so glad he’s dead. (I don’t even care if that’s rude. Stupid prince is stupid.) I also want a happily ever after but am VERY concerned that there isn’t going to be one. It just strikes me as the kind of series that would leave you a little heartbroken but also a little hopeful for the characters.
What are your overall thoughts? Final rating and why?
Kaitlin: Overall I enjoyed this book. It got me a little while to get through but it was fun! This book was a roller coaster ride for me and it just brought back memories of Shadow and Bone when Alina wasn’t running from the Darkling for the entire book. This book would have gotten a better rating from me if I was actually unable to put the book down. It just didn’t meet my expectations too much compared to the Shadow and Bone. There just was a period of time in the book where it consisted of a series of meetings, arguments with Mal, and dealing with princes. There just wasn’t enough going on for me to actually not be able to out the book down.
Lauren: I really enjoyed this one too. I ended up giving it the same rating as Shadow and Bone but for different reasons, I think. It took me a while to get into as well but at the same time the writing was so engrossing. I think that’s my favorite thing, honestly – her writing style just captivates me. The story and characters themselves are also DEFINITELY interesting to read about, but they don’t grab me half as much as the way she writes about them… if that makes sense. I’m definitely with you on the fact there wasn’t much going on. A lot of the book kind of feels repetitive but it’s also still interesting? The world is fully developed and stuff, but that takes away from a lot of the action. The good thing is that it seems like a lot of the world and background information is out of the way now. The final book should essentially be non-stop action at this point. I would have given it a higher rating for the same reason, but I still did end up with giving it four stars.