Title: Siege and Storm
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Shadow and Bone #2
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 45
(see breakdown below)
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.
I really enjoyed this one. It throws us straight back into the action, The Darkling is back with scarier powers, we have privateers and rogue princes. The pace of the action was also great, wherever you would get comfortable in the story something would happen to send it of in another direction. I really enjoyed those turns. I liked that the characters were as thrown of balance as the reader.
I enjoyed the development of the characters too. I adore Nickoli, he has such charm and sass, His machinations carries most of the plot and I am very greateful for that. He really is the best character in this book. He is complex and fun to read about. I liked finally getting to know some of the other Grisha, more than just Alina and the Darkling and a few quips. We get to know Zoya in all her sarcastic beauty and David with his quiet genius.
Alina comes in to her own a little developing more of an actual personality in this book. She plays so well off of Nickoli, the darkness she begins to kindle with her conversations with the Darkling are great. She definaltely has more depth in this book compared to the first.
However, I didn’t enjoy Mal and Alina’s relationship, to me Mal is frustratingly controlling, I like that Alina for the most part didn’t bend to his whims, but her pining for him just isn’t endearing to me. Both Alina and Mal’s need to be self-sacrificing gets a little tiresome, especially as they tend to be followed by one of Mal’s huffs.
What this book did was successfully draw me in to the overarching story arc. I found myself thinking about the characters when I put the book down. I just wanted to continue and finish the story. It left enough loose ends that I just have to continue with the series.