Saturday, September 14, 2013 13:56

Review 196. Leigh Bardugo - Siege and storm.

14061955Title: Siege and storm.
Author: Leigh Bardugo.
Pages: 435.
Published:  June 4th 2013 by Henry Holt and Co.
Sort: Part two of The Geisha.
Part one: Shadow and bone.

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.
Rating:

This book is amazing. Excuse me for fangirling, but it has been a while since I’ve read such a fantastic YA fantasy series. There is absolutely nothing to criticize and I highly recommend this. I tried to read this book as slowly as possible, because I didn’t want it to end. It was hard.

“Anything worth doing always starts with a bad idea.”
Alina and Mal are on the run for The Darkling, but they are captured and transported on Sturmhond’s ship. Sturmhond has a plan on his own and Alina ends up in the Royal Palace where she can lead the Second Army – at least, what’s left of them. The Darkling doesn’t give up though and he is even more dangerous with his new founded power. Alina has one more amplifier to find if they want to stand a chance against his army. I love this plot and the world-building. It’s creative and well-written. It’s not hard to get swept away and the writing-style is easy and detailed. The whole Geisha business is still fascinating.

”I have so many good qualities,” Sturmhond said. “It can be hard to choose.” 
One of my favorite aspects of this book are the characters. Let me start with a new character, because he is freaking amazing. Sturmhond is mysterious and sarcastic. I love his quick and witty replies. His dialogues with Alina made me laugh out loud and you have to fall in love with him. I liked the twists around his character and his multiple faces.

“The deal was only for kicking. It did not prohibit slapping, punching, biting or cutting you in half.”
Alina was already a fantastic character, but it’s possible that she got even more spunk than in Shadow and bone. She is starting to grow into her role as the Sun Summoner and she is tough. I like how she stands up for herself and how she leads the Second Army despite her fear. She is still intelligent and I liked her soft side. It makes her realistic and likable.

"You know, for two people with a love eternal, you're awfully insecure."
The quote above is the perfect way to describe Mal. I honestly didn’t care for him in this story. While I saw him as a potential lover in the first book, I wanted him to leave the stage here. He holds Alina back and he hurts her with his actions. How can he be so blind? He cares more about their relationship than for their country and it’s time he starts to understand that Alina is important. She is the one to free Ravka. He is distrustful and ignorant.

The Darkling plays a small, but intriguing role. His character is a constant treat and I liked the suspension it gives. His new army is terrifying and I start to see him as a villain now. Some of his actions are horrible. The ending is good, but there is a slight cliff-hanger, so:

I NEED RUIN AND RISING.
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Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

65 comments:

  1. I had to skim your review because I haven't read the first one but I've heard that the characters and romance are a strong point! 4 stars is saying something >.<

    Great review! <33

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  2. LET US FANGIRL TOGETHER, MEL. *squeals* Those five stars are well deserved, for sure! I love how you started off every paragraph with a quote, and I can't believe anyone not liking Sturmhond, haha. Since Shadow & Bone has already been optioned for a movie, they HAVE to get the casting right for Sturmhond. Otherwise I'd flip. I agree about Alina too! It was so good to see some more character development here, and Leigh did a good job showing to us that despite the fact that she's the heroine of the book, she's still human, and she still makes mistakes (like getting too caught up with all her newfound power).

    Love that GIF! Great review, Mel! :D

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    1. Yeaaaaaaay *high five* I'm so excited about a moie!

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  3. Aline has definitely grown. Ooh, Sturmhond was a sure fave of mine, too! And that ending! Ahh, that GIF perfectly describes my feelings, haha!

    Great review. ^^

    PS. I'm probably a bit late, but I love the new layout!

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  4. I am so with you! I LOVED this one, loved Sturmhond (favorite character introduced in a second book ever, might even be an all-time favorite character), and I really like Alina. Mal drove me nuts. He doesn't really love Alina for who she is - won't accept what she can do even though it slowly kills her if she doesn't use her magic and he makes it so that she has no one to talk to about what is happening to her and when she sees The Darkling. Ugh! Can. Not. Wait for the third book! =D

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    1. Sturmhond is definitely in my top 10 favorite male characters :D

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  5. I really need to read this one! It sounds so good!

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  6. Honestly, I only skimmed this review because I just got the first book on audio a few weeks ago hoping to get to it soon. I've heard this series is amazing, so I know it's one I don't want to miss out on. You gave it 5 stars - so yay! I'm glad you loved it! :)

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    1. I can't wait to see what you think about the series :)

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  7. Yay, so glad you enjoyed this book! I am yet to get cracking on the series, but I do have them on top of my TBR, so hopefully soon! And fangirling is totally OK in this situation, how can you not if it was so amazing?! :) Can't wait to read it, too!
    Great review, love the quotes! :)

    Evie @Bookish

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  8. ERMAHGERD *fangirls*
    I LOVE STURMHOND!! He is seriously the best. Even though he was a character that just complicated the romance even further, I didn't really mind! On the other hand, the twists and turns in Alina and Mal's relationship in this book really annoyed me for some reason. It was like JUST TALK IT OUT DAMNIT!
    And yes. Grabby hands for the 3rd book :D

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    1. I didn't mind him and the even more complicated romance. He can make an appearance in every book if it's up to me, haha.

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  9. Oh yeah, I can definitely join you on the fangirling! I adored this one! This series made me remember how much I love fantasy! And Sturmhond, omg. Cracked me up and I just loved him. Mal was an idiot in this one but I just.. love him so that I'm trying and hoping that he and Alina can just TALK and figure it out! And you're right -- ruin and rising can't come soon enough!!

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    1. I'm willing to give him a chance, but he better start talking :p

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  10. I wasn't such a fan of this book because I wanted more romance between her and the Darkling *shipping them here* lol.. But I'm glad you were able to enjoy it waaay more than I did! Great review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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    1. Haha, I can understand that your shipping :p The Darkling still has something attractive.

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  11. I am so tempted to read your review that I have to force myself to scroll nonstop until I get to the comments box. I just bought Shadow and Bone & Siege and Storm around 3 weeks ago. And I am desperate to find some time to start reading the first book.

    I hope that the series will work for me, Mel.

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  12. YEEEEESSSS!!! STURMHOND! Welcome to the fanclub ;) I totally love him!!
    And oh man, the wait for Ruin and Rising is KILLING ME! This series is so awesome and I'll be so sad when it's over, but I NEED TO KNOW how it ends!!
    Mal definitely took a fall for me, I really loved him in Shadow and Bone, but he did this thing that pissed me off so much and now I can't really look at him anymore...
    But Alina is awesome :)

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    1. Agreed. I want to find out, but then it's over and I don't want that either.

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  13. YES! I loved this book, though not quite so much as S&B.
    I loved the introduction of Sturmhond, and by the end, I was begging Alina to be with him (since he seems pretty decent).
    I was sort of disappointed with Aline in this novel, for a few reasons. I read this a while ago, so I cannot remember exactly, but I remember thinning: oh :(
    MAL IS SO ANNOYING in this book, anyway. The kissing, and the hurting Alina, and the being jealous thing. I mean, please. Shouldn't you be supportive and loving? I definitely want him to grow up, or move out of the way in the last book, haha.
    I wish there had been more of the Darkling in this book, but I think I am a bit bias, since he is my favourite character :P
    This was a great review, Mel! I loved the use of quotes, especially :)
    Chiara @ Books For A Delicate Eternity

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  14. Great review! I had exactly the same thoughts about this book as you. I loved Stormhund and Alina, but Mal irritated me a lot. I need Ruin and Ruining too, now!

    Eveline's Books

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  15. Well, sobs. I'm sorry you feel that way about Mal :( I don't agree at all, but yeah. You are allowed to look at it the way you want to :D I just don't think Alina cared much for Mal. She's the one who hurt him. She didn't care enough to talk to him about anything or spend time with him. So I don't blame Mal for being hurt. He gave up EVERYTHING for her in book one. I don't blame him for wanting her to care about him just as much. But anyway. Awesome review, and I'm glad you loved the book, still :D

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    1. Haha, funny how you look it at the other way. For me, Mal was a bit too self-centered. It was all about him and the fact that Alina's world wasn't about him. I just wished he accepted her power and responsibility :)

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  16. I skimmed your review since I haven't read Shadow & Bone (shame on me), but I think it's kinda obvious that you loved this book :P I take it I really should start this series then?

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  17. I need this book so bad! I read the first one and it's one of my favorite books ever:) Thanks for the review!
    -Danna

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  18. I skimmed your review because I haven't read the first book yet, but man, I really need to read this. My sis gave away a twist from Shadow and Bone, so I haven't started it yet bc of that, but if the sequel is fantastic as a whole, then I'll probably read the first one anyway! And I love your grabby hands! :D

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    1. These books are still worth reading it even if you know the twist!

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  19. I agree that I kind of want Mal to back off. Alina has more important things to care about. I wouldn't mind if Sturmhond was there for her though. ;)

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  20. Yes, yes, and yes! You are so right about Mal, my thoughts were the same. He seemed like such a drama-queen sissy boy in this book, he really needs to cool his jets. I knew you would like Sturmhond ;) The Darkling is definitely more frightening in this book, I think because he is so obviously against Alina, rather than portrayed as a love interest like the first book.

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  21. hahah love the gif. That's how I feel about Ruin and Rising too. I agree with like everything you said. This series is fantastic. The characters are fantastic. Just all around love! Really glad you liked this. Welcome to the club :)

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  22. I NEED RUIN AND RISING, TOO. This book was amazing--I'm so glad you loved it--and Strumhond! Sooo dreamy. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  23. Wow, and I haven't read it yet... AHH! Your review makes me want to drop everything and spent the night reading Siege and Storm. Love it!

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  24. I agree! Such a fantastic series and I can't wait to see how it concludes. I liked this format for your review, too - the quotes fit well with what you then discussed about the book. :)
    I do wish there was more Darkling in this, but Sturmhond is pretty awesome.
    I actually wasn't that annoyed with Mal, however. I mean, he's so far out of his element and risked any future he had to be with Alina, so I can understand why he wants her to do/feel the same. Selfish? Yes. But also kind of understandable. And it must be hard to watch her go places and become someone he never can be. Still, though, I do prefer the two other leading men myself.

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    1. Thanks! I had to include those quotes :) I can understand Mal, but it still annoyed me, haha.

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  25. Ahaaaaaaaa! Sturmhond IS freaking amazing, isn't he?! He was one of the reasons I loved the book! And now that you mention it, a lot of people (including me) didn't enjoy Mal in this book; he actually reminded me a little of the usual main female leads in books - their relationships are more important than anything. *cough* Now we see who wears the pants in the relationship :D

    I wished for a little more of the Darkling in the book, but he was still awesome! And yes(!), CAN WE PLEASE HAVE RUIN AND RISING RIGHT NOW??? The wait is going to be a killer :( But so worth it!

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    1. I hope we get more of The darkling in the last one!

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  26. WOW! THE COMMENTS ON THIS REVIEW O.O :) I can't wait to get my copy woohoo!

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  27. Nothing to criticize? Whaaat? So why isn't it on your special shelf :P?

    Yes.yes.yes. to the world-building being some of the best I've read. Love the creativity and love how it got so expanded on in this book and love how you're using quotes to guide your review!

    I love Sturmhond's wittiness but I'm still not fully on board with his character because I'm waiting on how he'll be presented in the third book. He didn't quite feel real to me in this one o.O.

    Yesssss Alina's growth into the formidable leader. I'm eager to see where the next book will take that strength. Will she lose herself in the pursuit of the third amplifier?

    Mal. Yes. I still think he's probably the best of the love interests for Alina, but it's true that he was quite insecure in this one. I'm thinking that with what happened at the end, he'll have to help Alina quite a bit. Also given the fairy tale beginning of S&B, I have a feeling Malina is going to happen.

    :( The Darkling as villain now. And smaller role. *sigh* I really liked how he toed the line between anti-hero and villain in the first book and am so sad to have lost that....

    I'LL BE WAITING WITH YOU ON RUIN & RISING.

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    1. Because it wasn't as good as Shadow and bone. Because of Mal, it doesn't get the 5+ status. I'm looking forward to see how Sturmhond is going to behave in part 3! If it's going to be Malina, I don't mind that much. He just needs to return to Mal from book 1.

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  28. I've got grabby hands for Ruin and Rising, too! I absolutely adored Sturmhond! He's a new favorite, for sure, as is this sequel. I love everything about this series, and I'm glad you're enjoying it, too! Great review!

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  29. I was sad there wasn't more of the Darkling in this book as he really intrigued me in the first one and I just loved following his every move.

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  30. Seriously!!!! This series is so fantastic!! It's absolutely one of my favorites and Siege & Storm just added so much more AWESOME to it! Loved the fangirling :)
    Sturmhond is definitely my new favorite character! He was hilarious and added some great comic relief!

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  31. I loved Sturmhond too! And I love that quote about anything worth doing starts as a bad idea. I need the next book too!! I can't believe that ending. So awesome and totally not what I was expecting.

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  32. Is it weird that I'm not even a little bit mad at Mal at the end of all of this? The truth is, I don't think he doubted their relationship at the beginning. He was okay with everything and was staying there for her up. And he was suffering in silence up until she made it clear to him that she was completely fixated on The Darkling and the third amplifier. Which is fair, because she believes she needs them to stop The Darkling, but I think that's part of the problem - she believes, but there are so many things that hint to those things destroying her/turning her completely dark. But since we're looking at this story from her POV, we can't see another way to solve the villain solution. I feel like this is kind of what happened in A Darkness Strange and Lovely (the second book in the Something Strange and Deadly series). In both books the love interest is pushed away, but neither are in the wrong, per se, they just don't fit with what our protagonist wants - they CHALLENGE our protagonists, who are too busy with what they think is right to understand there might be another way.

    And now I've written you an entirely unnecessary novel.

    Final thought on this: I do think Mal gets a LITTLE too angsty about it, but he is a soldier so that makes sense.

    I do hope they can figure it out at the end. That'd be nice. I don't really like any of the other attractive men in this story for Alina. But I will take a Sturmhond for myself...

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    1. Hmm, I never thought about it that way. I see what you mean and I get it, but it's perhaps because I liked Sturmhond more that I pushed Mal away even harder.

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