REVIEW: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Sunday, October 19, 2014

My rating: 

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.

I usually don't finish series.Smiley

I have finished quite a few, because despite the awesomeness of the first book, most sequels tend to disappoint me (i'm talking about you Hunger Games, Divergent and The Mortal Instruments specifically book 4 for TMI)Smiley. So most of the time, if I really like the first book, I get anxious when I'm about to pick up the next book...

and this was how I felt when I picked up Siege and Storm.

But this book, did not disappoint me at all. Instead, it exceeded my expectations to a height I wasn't expecting it to reach. Not only was the plot getting more amazing by the minute, the characters... oh boy.. i loved each and every one of them. With much emphasis on a certain prince who I'm going to talk more about later.

On to the gist of this book:

Just when Alina and Mal thought they were finally free of the Darkling.

The only light came from a single grimy window at the end of the hall. As Mal fumbled with the key, I looked down through the smudged glass to the carts and carriages rumbling by below. Across the street, a man stood beneath a balcony, peering up the boardinghouse. He pulled at his collar and his sleeves, as if his clothes were new and didn't quite fit right, His eyes met mine through the window, then darted quickly away.

As soon as Mal was able to open the door to their room, they were captured by the Darkling and his Grisha. The Darkling still wanted Alina. Although he looked weakened, the Darkling gained more than just a scar on the face from his last encounter with Alina. He gained something far more terrible.

His gaze was gray flint. "That all men can be made fools. No, Alina, the gift you've given me is so much greater."

He turned away. I darted another glance at Mal.

"Unlike you," the Darkling said. "I understand gratitude and wish to express it."

He raised his hands. The darkness tumbled through the room.

The Darkling was now able to summon creatures from the dark. He called them the nichevo'ya. They were vile, merciless creatures that feed on anything it can. They were as dangerous as the volcras from the fold, only now, the Darkling can summon them as he pleased.

Alina and Mal are not prisoners of the Darkling. Despite the Darking's hatred towards Mal, he needed him. He needed Mal to track the sea whip, the second of Morozova's amplifiers. But should Mal fail to find the mystical sea whip, Alina would pay.

"Because every day we don't find the sea whip, I'll peel away a piece of her skin. Slowly. Then Ivan will heal her, and the next day, we'll do it again."

But an unexpected rescue happened, when the owner of the ship, Strumhond, saved both of them from the clutches of the Darkling. Despite having saved Alina from the Darkling, Strumhond has his own plans for Alina.

"As I would have explained to the Darkling had he bothered to ask - which, thankfully, he didn't - the problem with hiring a man who sells his honor is that you can always be outbid."

I gaped at him. "You betrayed the Darkling for money?"

"Betrayed seems a strong word. I hardly know the fellow."

Strumhond wants Alina to meet with his client. And if she decides that what his client is something she does not want to be involved in, they would let her go. Yeah right..

So after the last unfortunate events that led them to do an emergency landing, Alina finally met who Strumhon's client was.

"I am Nikolai Lantsov, Major of the Twenty Second Regiment, Soldier of the King's Army, Grand Duke of Udova, and second son to His Most Royal Majesty, King Alexander the Third, Ruler of the Double Eagle Throne, may his life and reign be long."

Oh boy I love this guy!

Nikolai made a proposition to Alina. Despite having rescued her numerous times, did she really found an ally with Nikolai, or would trusting him be another mistake? Just like it was a mistake that she trusted the Darkling.

WARNING: If you have not read this book, I suggest that you stop here because I might be giving out a lot of spoilers on the next part of my review. Read at your own risk. LOL.

Aside from the plot development, another thing absolutely loved about this book was it's characters.

Alina: Was the weakling no more. Oh boy. This girl just really surprised me. She went from the weak orphan who had no idea what to do with her powers to a power-obsessed Sun summoner who wants to defeat the Darkling. I kind of like Alina here because she became sort of an anti-heroine. There was a part of her that was changing, and she had no control over it. Just as the Darkling and Bahagra predicted she would become.

I felt the collar at my throat, the pressure of the fetter at my wrist. My other arm felt naked. I was incomplete.

It was said that a Grisha could only have one amplifier, but now, she had two. But after finding out that there was a third one, she wanted it. She felt the hunger inside her that desires for more power.

You would still see moments of weakness from Alina, but that's understandable. She has to show everyone that she's strong. She has to show them that she could lead the Grisha that remained loyal to Ravka. She asked Nikolai to be the leader of the Second Army, and he gave it to her.

"Mal, we always said we'd find a way to come back to Ravka, that we'd find a way to help. If we don't do something, there may not be a Ravka to come back to." He shook his head, but I turned to Nikolai and plunged on. 

"I'll return to Os Alta with you, and I'll consider helping you make a bid for the throne." I took a deep breath. "But I want the Second Army"

I read reviews saying that they didn't like Alina on this book, but I felt otherwise. She's amazing and her struggles felt real to me. Way to go Alina.

Mal: I was okay with Mal on the first book, but I sort of hated him here. He was an emotional mess most of the time. I get that he has been with Alina ever since they could remember, but still, the Darkling and Nikolai is right... He couldn't hide Alina forever and pretend she doesn't have the power that she does.

Although I have to give it to Mal, he was loyal to Alina like a puppy is to its master. Smiley

I felt that the relationship between Alina and Mal didn't work well with me from the start. Mal didn't really took notice of Alina before. For him, they were only best friends. He was the pretty boy who everyone wants to be with. He had Alina ever since they were kids, but he only really knew that he loved her when she became a Grisha? SmileyNO.Just no. I didn't like that he was making Alina feel guilty.

"No, Alina. You came here for Ravka. for the firebird. To lead the Second Army." He tapped the sun over his heart. "I came here for you. You're my flag. You're my nation. But that does't seem to matter anymore. Do you realize this is the first time we've been alone in weeks?"

Oh boy. And this wasn't the only melodramatic line Mal used on Alina on this book. There were a bunch more. And although I like drama, I felt that it was uncalled for on this book. I do want romance on my books - don't get me wrong - but I also want consistency in the plot, I don't want any subplots to get in the way. And in this case, this lover's quarrel wasn't rubbing well with me. It was a bit too overpowering.

Nikolai: Oh my friggin' god! I love Nikolai. Seriously, Ms Bardugo? Isn't it enough that you made two amazing male character that you have to put another one in? Waaaahh! Oh boy I can't even begin to tell you guys how much I love this guy.

First of all, Nikolai was not who I expected him to be. I mean come on? I was so not expecting that Strumhond and this charming prince were the same person. That really surprised me. Oh boy!! I had my doubts at first about Strumhond's intention, but when he came out in the open. Oh-la-la, I was in love. Smiley

"So talk," Mal retorted. "Who are you, and what are you playing at?"

"Nikolai Lantsov, but please don't make me recite my titles again. It's no fun for anybody, and the only important one is prince."

I mean come on? How could anyone not love a wise-ass prince. Not only is he a wise-ass, he's pretty clever too. Plus, I also believe he has ADHD. He said it himself anyways, he couldn't keep still for a long time. LOL. How cute.

Another thing I liked about him, was how honest he was to Alina. He told her his plans. Despite her not completely trusting him at first, he told her anyways, and he even gave her tips. Which I think Alina found really helpful in most circumstances. Nikolai gained Alina's trust eventually.

Oh and another thing that made me love this guy more was how much he tries to infuriate Mal. Oh boy those were always fun moments. Haha.

"It would be marriage in name only," Strumhond insisted. Then, as if he couldn't help himself, he flashed Mal a taunting grin. "Except for the matter of producing heirs."

But he's not all fun and games with him. He really does sincerely care about his country, unlike his useless brother. And he is quite a swooner too.

"I want to kiss you," Nikolai said. "But I won't. Not until you're thinking of me instead of trying to forget him."

See what I mean? So Nikolai, you are on my bookbf list ! :)

The Darkling: So you don't see much of the Darkling on this book, aside from the first few chapters and his ghostly visits to Alina. I missed him really. I missed the connection that Alina and the Darkling has. I know they won't end up together, because honestly, the Darkling's evil. He might have his reasons which I don't know yet, but.. I like him still. He still has that slight shed of humanity in him.

"Why don't you leave me alone?" I whispered one night as he hovered behind me while I tried to work at my desk.
Long minutes passed. I didn't think he would answer. I even had time to hope he might have gone, until I felt his hand on my shoulder.
"Then I'd be alone too, too." he said, and he stayed the whole night through, till the lamps burned down to nothing.


Anyways, towards the end of this book, I felt that he was still hoping for Alina to side with him. I think it's because he finally found someone who could understand his longing for power because Alina's feeling it too. He felt that somehow, she would understand that, only Alina still couldn't, and her loyalties still belonged with Ravka.

I honestly think, the Darkling is one of the best villain I've ever read about. He was unbelievably lovable for an evil person. I don't know what that says about me, but hey, I think I'm not the only one who the Darkling has ensnared.


While this book had its misses, I still loved it. The highlight of this book was really the characters. Although, I mostly hated the drama between Alina and Mal, individually, their characters grew into something more than from the first book. Alina wasn't the scared little girl who didn't know what to do with her powers anymore, nor was Mal just the good tracker. The both changed. And of course, with that change, the change in their relationship too. Which was totally realistic. I'm glad that Ms. Bardugo made sure that their individual changes, also manifested on their relationship.

The way the story unfolded on this book was just so good. I loved every minute of it. I didn't think there were any lowlights on this book for me. It didn't feel rushed at all. As I was reading, I felt all the hours, days, months of work put into it, to make it as perfectly constructed as it is. I JUST LOVE THIS SERIES. I felt that it was crafted so perfectly I couldn't pinpoint anything wrong with it at all. There were stuff that had to be there that I didn't enjoy, but what the heck, they could easily be overlooked I'm talking about the stupid lover's drama between Mal and Alina. It had to be there, but I hated it.

So... What else. I think that's it for my review of Siege and Storm. I am currently reading Ruin and Rising which honestly, didn't start too well with me. But, I like the series, and even though I already know that Alina and Mal would end up together, I still would like to know how everything ends.

Ms. Bardugo, you better start writing more books because I will be waiting for them.


  1. I'm going to start this series. One of these days, I am. I really am. Your review just made me want to read it all the more! Another great review!

    1. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on this when you get to read it! :) This is an amazing series. I'm sure you know how terrible I am with series, so me finishing a series should mean something. :)

  2. I've been given such mixed reviews on this series. I've been told that it will ruin my life and I will probably turn into a vicious fangirl over it. Your review and their recommendations have just moved this up to the top of my TBR list.

    1. Oh yes girl! This book drove me nuts! I tell you. I loved it. All of it, except for the ending. I just finished Ruin and Rising yesterday and it broke me... I shed a tear (or two).. I didn't like the ending, but I would still recommend this amazing series to anyone! Do read it soon. Let me know how it goes. :)

  3. WOW - I was just browsing through & stumbled upon your lovely blog - It looks gorgeous and it has interesting posts that I can relate to. I have to check out these new reads! I'm now following you via gfc, Hope you check out my blog? keep in touch love x

    Benish | Feminist Reflections
    Paperback International Giveaway

    1. Hi Benish! :) I checked out of your blog and subscribed via GFC too.
      Thanks for following :)


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