Saturday, June 1, 2013

ARC Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publication: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1 edition (June 4, 2013)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: This middle book in The Grisha Trilogy sees Alina and Mal continue their journey. When the story begins, Mal and Alina are on the run and fleeing the Darkling. Soon, though, they are recaptured and taken by the Darkling on a search for the second mystical creature who can provide an additional amplifier for Alina. They are on a pirate ship, though Sturmhond who is captain insists he is a privateer.

When the creature is captured and killed, Alina has a second amplifier and gains new powers. Sturmhond steals her from the Darkling but can't kill him. Together they flee back to Ravka to prepare the country for the Darkling's return. 

Sturmhond is revealed as the second son of the king who is supposed to be away at school. I really like him as a character. He is a real smart ass who is quick with a quip, a chameleon, and a noteworthy liar. Alina likes him too—when she doesn't want to kill him. He does try to come between Alina and Mal when he asks her to be his queen. He has plans to take over the throne from his incompetent older brother and father. Both of whom want the perqs of being king without actually doing any of the work.

One of the hardest parts of this story to read was that Mal and Alina are growing apart. By accepting two amplifiers Alina is changed. Her new powers separate her from Mal because she has to become part of the ruling party and command the army of Grisha who have remained loyal to the king. Mal receives a dishonorable discharge from the King's army which leaves him feeling out of place and leaves him as not much more than a palace guard.

The story is filled with exciting adventures, strange new creatures, and growth for Alina. I can't wait to read the final book in this trilogy to find out if Alina can get the third amplifier, vanquish the Darkling, and still have a happy ending with Mal. 

Favorite Quote:
Somewhere above, I heard a sailor shout something over the wind. The bell rang to signal the change of the watch. We're alive, I reminded myself. We escaped from him before. We can do it again. But it was no good, and finally, I gave in and let the tears come. Sturmhond was bought and paid for. Genya had chosen the Darkling. Mal and I were alone as we'd always been, without friends. or allies, surrounded by nothing but pitiless sea. This time, even if we escaped, there was nowhere to run.
I got this ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. You can buy your copy here

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