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2021 Book Review Book Reviews Fantasy

Siege and Storm

Hello! This is a quick disclaimer that this review is going to contain big spoilers for this book, and for the first book in this trilogy, Shadow and Bone. You can read my review of the first book in this trilogy here. Thank you for coming to my blog!

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 2 out of 5.
Synopsis:

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.

Review:

I was hoping this book would be better than the first book in this trilogy, and I was sadly disappointed. Shadow and Bone was just a normal cookie-cutter YA fantasy book, but it introduced a really cool universe (the Grishaverse) so I hoped the rest of this series would be better. I honestly felt like I had better things to read so I just wanted to get reading this book over with. One thing that was especially disappointing to me is that there was yet another love triangle. Why does there always have to be a love triangle in these kinds of books? Alina already dealt with the whole Darkling vs. Mal thing so why does there have to be another guy to fill the triangle gap. I already don’t like the Darkling or Mal so this third guy wasn’t much better.

Another thing that I didn’t like about this book was that it involved all the tropes I didn’t like. It had the love triangle with the good boy and the bad boy, it had the elongated miscommunication trope, and it had the main character suddenly looses their powers trope. Sometimes stories where the character looses their powers works, sometimes it doesn’t. In this case, it doesn’t. I feel like it especially doesn’t work in this book because it happens in a time where everyone’s efforts have been for nothing. The Darkling ended up surviving Alina’s grand power move and Alina is now exhausted, in hiding, and currently powerless while he regained control over Ravka. This is kind of like the Big Bang Theory bit where someone talks to Sheldon about how the Raiders of the Lost Arc movie was pointless because everything would’ve happened whether Indian Jones was there or not. There is a similar thing going on in Shadow and Bone and in Siege and Storm. At the end of the first book, Alina runs away from the Little Palace and from all the grisha with Mal in order to stay safe and away from the Darkling. In this book, Alina runs right back into the Little Palace head first and literally looses everything. The Darkling ends up getting the Ravkan throne, almost all of the remaining “good” grisha have died despite Alina trying to save them, and now Alina is back in hiding. The Darkling would’ve regained the throne whether Alina was there or not. All of those grisha she came back to had the possibility of running away until Alina showed up and therefore pressured everyone into staying. I know she tried to make it seem like she was giving everyone a choice about whether they wanted to stay or not, but with her arrival, anyone who left would be viewed as a coward among their friends and separated from the people who are basically their family. The author honestly could’ve just cut this entire book out of the trilogy and still made a best selling book series. All she had to do was throw Nikolai (the new addition to the love triangle which has somehow become a love square even though the Darkling is strictly a villain and totally not someone Alina is attracted to) into the story somewhere along the way and everything would be the same. Basically, Alina running away to stay safe was Indiana Jones and everything else that happened as a plot point was the rest of the Raiders of the Lost Arc movie that would’ve happened whether or not she ran away.

Characters:

Another disappointment was that there was no character development at all. The only knew thing in this book (character wise) was Nikolai, Tolya and Tamar. Alina, Mal, and the Darkling were exactly the same and somehow, going through the traumatic experience of loosing one’s powers, thinking you’re going to die multiple times, and actually going insane didn’t create any new facets to their personalities or characters as a whole. This honestly just reflects how this book had little to no plot drive and was just a waste of my time.

I would like to say that I’m so sorry if this review made no sense. It’s really just me ranting about this book that I didn’t really enjoy. It turns out trying to write out my thoughts in a way that makes sense without context was a little hard.

Conclusion:

In the end, I personally did not enjoy this book. It felt like a waste of my time because of how long it took to show that nothing changed in relations to the first book of this trilogy. Alina is still in hiding and the Darkling still has a major advantage over the good guys. After rereading my review on Shadow and Bone, I really see the difference in personal opinions. I started out with liking Mal, but I think that was only because he wasn’t as much of a creep as the Darkling. Honestly, if someone wants to get into the Grishaverse, they should just read the Six of Crows duology. Hopefully people who end up reading this book won’t have the same experience I had.

Cover Art:

This cover design is by Natalie C. Sousa and Ellen Duda.

Let’s Talk:
  • Have you read this book?
    • If so, did you enjoy it?
  • Have you seen the Shadow and Bone TV show?
    • If you have, did you enjoy it?

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