Book two of my summer reading challenge and another deviation from my original list.
Siege and Storm
Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Alina Starkov’s power has grown, but not without a price. She is the Sun Summoner—hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Shadow Fold. But she and Mal can’t outrun their enemies for long.
The Darkling is more determined than ever to claim Alina’s magic and use it to take the Ravkan throne. With nowhere else to turn, Alina enlists the help of an infamous privateer and sets out to lead the Grisha army.
But as the truth of Alina’s destiny unfolds, she slips deeper into the Darkling’s deadly game of forbidden magic, and further away from her humanity. To save her country, Alina will have to choose between her power and the love she thought would always be her shelter. No victory can come without sacrifice—and only she can face the oncoming storm.
I was excited to dive into this book after re-reading Shadow and Bone recently, especially as Alina and Mal were about to venture into territory unknown at the end of book one. Siege and Storm started strong and was full of action from the beginning as the Darkling managed to chase them down once again, I loved that so much had changed for the three of them but that there was still this unusual magnetism between Alina and the Darkling.
Of course another new character, Sturmhond, makes for an interesting addition to the story, a privateer who plays by his own rules, has a definite charm about him and manages to put a spanner in the Darkling’s plans. I also loved his two crew members who become key players in the story, Tolya and Tamar, they add so much to the story but also manage to remain very mysterious and I’m excited to see what they bring to the next book.
I am excited by how much Alina is growing and changing as a character, she is still snappy, but she has to start playing the political game and as her power becomes stronger she starts to get pulled in two different directions, and the struggle made this story very intriguing. Even though the Darkling does not make as much of an appearance in this book, I quite enjoyed wondering whether he was going to pop up again and what effect this would have on Alina, especially as the question of how much their power connects them becomes more prevalent.
This book doesn’t have quite the same energy as the first book, it doesn’t manage to keep the same pace as it had at the start of the book, but it does give us a chance to explore Alina and Mal’s relationship a little more and to explore how Alina copes with the new situation of power that she finds herself in. Thankfully the end of the book definitely returns to that edge of your seat, can’t put it down feeling, as things start to fall into place and the story takes some fascinating and unexpected turns.
I am now very much looking forward to seeing what Ruin and Rising has in store for me.
Reviews of other books by Leigh Bardugo
Shadow and Bone