Saturday, February 8, 2014

Siege and Storm, by Leigh Bardugo- Review

From Goodreads:
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.


So I sat on this review for ages (sadly, not as long as some others I still haven't got to), but for once, I have the best of excuses. I gave birth in the middle of reading this book. Granted, I wasn't reading it while in labor (though I'm hard core about reading, even I get distracted. Also, what a messy place to read! I am way too attached to my books cleanliness to attempt that.), but it was the book I was reading at the time, and it came to the hospital with me. This sounds like more of coincidence then a distinction, however I only bring the best of the best books with me to hospitals as I find it really hard to be swept away in an averaging book while sitting in the sterile torture chamber that is most hospital waiting rooms.

Also, and this is going to smack of the genuinely ungrateful, but my child had to be very contrary and be born on the day of Leigh Bardugo's Toronto signing. I had glibly announced nothing was keeping me from it (she was in fact, not due until TEN DAYS LATER), to the point where Bardugo had asked on Twitter what your Grisha power would be and I'd replied, keeping my baby in until after her signing. Obviously I should not tempt fate with these glib remarks. Therefore, I've spent the past seven months being somewhat put out that I missed my opportunity to meet Bardugo and laud her spectacular world building skills in person (and moon about the Darkling, as one is want to do), not to mention get my copy with my blog acknowledged in it, signed!

Alas, although both of these things are truly valid excuses, the sheer spectacular triumph that is Siege and Storm, part two (always the dreaded book capable of much drudgery in a series) in the Grisha trilogy, leaves me with infinite guilt about not lauding its merits sooner.

Bardugo has expanded on the richness of her world, already so well built, by driving her characters outside of the borders of the fold. Giving added perspective on Ravka even if only briefly. She's delved much deeper into the cult of the Apparat, his followers and their beliefs and revealed the great rift between Mal and Alina, the inevitable chasm from their differences in station these days.  But the greatest addition to the series, by far, is Sturmhond.

Now if you've read anything about this book, anything at all, I can pretty much guarantee you've read at least one glowing account of a readers love for Sturmhond.  He is one of those bold and sweeping characters whose both amusing, fascinating and full of surprises, one of those rare secondary figures who come in late in the game and steal the show. Which is saying something as Alina, Mal and (obviously) the Darkling are some powerful, story consuming characters.

Siege and Storm swept me off my feet, just as surely as book the first did. Although much darker then the first, Bardugo kept the tension, mystery and relationships just a taut as Shadow and Bone. Her world is so deeply imagined, so richly filled it's a joy to spend more time in it. It will be a sad day when this series ends, but until then, rest assured Siege and Storm will fulfil everything you were hoping for upon completing Shadow and Bone.

Kudos on another masterpiece Bardugo. May you continue to fill my library with your fantastic brand of story telling.

Siege and Storm, Leigh Bardugo
Published by Henry Holt and Co, June 4th, 2013
Buy Siege and Storm on Amazon
Read the first 5 chapters on Goodreads

3 comments:

  1. I bought this book at that signing and don;t know why I still haven't read it. I loved Shadow and Bone. It just sits there in the pile opposite my bed staring at me.

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  2. ARGH!! YOU MUST READ THIS!! Seriously though, you are missing out on greatness. But I am also insanely jealous that A) you still have this book to read for the first time, and B) you were at the signing (sad face).

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  3. This book is even better than the first in the trilogy. I started this review with tears in my eyes--partly because I have so long to wait for the third book, but mostly because I am so sad. Alina has gone through so much and Ms. Bardugo is going to put her and Mal and Ravka through so much more. Which makes for great fiction, fiction that moves the heart and stimulates the mind.
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