So I’m rereading ‘Siege and Storm’ by Leigh Bardugo again, just to get into the spirit of the new tv series. Next on my list is ‘Ruin and Rising’, the last book of the trilogy, and I really hope it lives up to its hype as I’m still a little bit meh on the whole series at the moment.
That’s not to say I don’t like it. It’s readable, and easy to understand the plot, but yes. I just feel there’s more needed to it. The world-building falls a little flat at times, and a lot of the side characters aren’t as fleshed out as I would have liked.
However… onto the full review!
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, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But 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.
The book begins more or less after the ending of the first book, after the Darkling and Alina have displayed Alina’s powers in the Fold, and caused mayhem in Ravka because of it. The Darkling hunts Alina down and recaptures her, and they travel to the north to hunt another amplifier.
But there are allies to Alina’s cause around her, and after creating another amplifier for Alina’s powers they show themselves and save Alina from the Darkling.
Here enters one of my favourite characters – Nikolai, the notorious privateer that the synopsis talks of. Nikolai is clever, courageous, and more than a little glib, but he’s a great character and Leigh Bardugo did well on creating him.
I’m still not much of a fan of Mal, and more so this book as he tends to act like a scorned teenager most of the time – but maybe that’s because he is. Alina doesn’t mean to act all distant, but there again, she’s a little bit of an idiot in my opinion. But both these characters are late teens, early twenties, so maybe Leigh Bardugo’s showing them as such. I’m not sure, but all I know is I’m not a fan of the main characters other than Nikolai.
The story is easy to follow – it’s just a main plot-line, so that sort of goes in favour of the book even though I’d like to know more about some of the sub-characters and again, more world-building. It sort of falls flat in terms of the world-building for me even in the second book.
However, there are other things popping up in the second book which I liked. The other Grisha for one made an appearance, and we saw more of a story around the political side of things. Alina in the War Room with her Grisha was great to see, as she’s becoming more of a leader. Before, she was a scared girl, now she is trying to step into her power.
Overall I quite liked the story. It’s easy enough to read and get into, I just wish there was more characterisation for some of the characters, and less of Alina and Mal acting like whiny idiots.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars
Kate @ Kandid Chronicles x