One more classic Maddie review to revisit–Bardugo’s Siege and Storm! I will be adding to my original review, with my new comments in bold.
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.
Nearly as perfect as the first, Siege and Storm was one of my tops books of 2013. I loved it, not quite as much as Shadow and Bone, but it was still absolutely phenomenal. It had marvelous characters, all of who are likable, despite certain *coughDarkcough* traits (Okay, this is still very relatable. However, I’m gonna be real, I am much for her for Nikolai)… I mean, who doesn’t love him. It has beautiful descriptions that paint marvelous word pictures, keeping me captivated with the unique world the entire time.
Short and sweet, this review is not off with my current thoughts concerning Siege and Storm. One of my favorite parts of Bardugo’s writing is her ability to paint such incredibly vivid, deep pictures of her world, without burdening the story with wordy sentences (I’m looking at you, Dickens). Despite the fact that the Girshaverse has a very rich, detailed history, folklore, etc. etc., we still get a fast-paced, well-balanced story. There was not a page of this novel where I felt like we were just caught up in the action–it moved very naturally through the storyline. PLUS there were freaking PIRATES. Like, I think we all know how I feel about pirates, but just in case I need to reiterate–I am a fan of swashbuckling. So, when my new BF Nikolai showed up, I was hooked.
All of the characters in Siege and Storm are strong and well developed, but I have most certainly found my new favorite in Nikolai. I won’t go into his character too much, as, well, SPOILERS, but let’s just say he is charming. He also gives a nice touch of intrigue. Bardugo writes him wonderfully, leaving both Alina and the reader questions how much of what he says is true. Much like The Darkling, Nikolai never quite lets us figure out whose side he is on.
Overall, Siege and Storm did not disappoint. It is obvious that Bardugo’s understanding of the Grishaverse became stronger with every novel, as every book in the series seems increasingly more immersive. Frequently, the middle of a trilogy can seem like the weak link–but that was not the case here! Siege and Storm held the same moral, political, and magical issues as it’s predecessor, and was just as well written.