It’s been a while since I’ve read a fantasy book. But let me tell you, fantasy is my THING. I know I can always enjoy myself with a fantasy book. Most of the books I read are actually not realistic fiction. And since I had such a hard time choosing a book to read next, I thought, Dude, it’s time for a fantasy book and Siege and Storm it was.
I received an advanced copy of Siege and Storm (which is so exciting) and ended up liking it much more than the first book. Shadow and Bone, the first book in the Grisha series, was a bit of a let down for me. I had expected it to be this amazing epic fantasy story, but to me, it fell a bit flat. I think it was mostly because I saw so much hype about Shadow and Bone that I had too high expectations for it. I still enjoyed reading it though, and would recommend it for big fantasy lovers.
Luckily, Siege and Storm turned out much better than Shadow and Bone. The plot was a lot more exciting and intense, and everything was more serious. The sequel focuses more on the consequences of Alina’s decisions from book one, and how Alina starts to grow, mature, and own up to her role as the powerful Sun Summoner. Oh, and of course, can’t forget how she has to save her world from the evil Darkling.
The Darkling is such an intriguing character, and I still don’t understand why. He’s terrible, evil, and cruel, yet I don’t hate him. And Alina doesn’t either, or at least not entirely, because he’s the only person in the world who understands her and her powers completely. So it kind of sucks that the person who connects with you the most turns out to be the most evil guy in the world. And I think that makes him the perfect villain.
My favorite part of the book is the new character that is introduced-Sturmhond! He’s hilarious, handsome, clever, annoying, and yet just a good guy at heart. He’s probably my favorite character of this series and the reason why I liked Siege and Storm as much as I did. But, ugh, the book started turning into a love square, with a Team Mal, a Team Darkling, and now a Team Sturmhond. I love choosing which team to root for, but when I don’t really think any of the love interests fit with the heroine, it turns out that I don’t really enjoy the book as much as I could. And even though I’m such a sucker for the best friends-to-lovers trope, I’m not a huge fan of Alina and Mal.
My biggest problem with Siege and Storm was the relationship strain between Alina and Mal. And it didn’t help that in some parts of the book, I wanted to throttle Alina. She kept being too indecisive and started keeping too many secrets to herself. If she had open up to Mal, I think a few, if not a lot, of their problems could have been worked out. But I hate it, absolutely hate it when the main characters’ relationship starts going downhill in the second book, especially after there was a (somewhat) happy ending in the first book. Gah, it makes me so angry sometimes when authors do this, because then I think, what was the point of them even having a HEA in the first book!?
I loved all the epic scenes in Siege and Storm, like when the Darkling goes all wacko or Alina becomes a badass and fights. Like the ending? SO. GOOD. And crazy. The book definitely ends with a bang. Hopefully, Leigh Bardugo will give us readers even more epic scenes in book #3, Ruin and Rising. Can’t say I’m dying to read it, but I’m definitely looking forward to it!