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Siege and Storm

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▶ Alternative Cover Edition #1 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 wi ▶ Alternative Cover Edition #1 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.


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▶ Alternative Cover Edition #1 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 wi ▶ Alternative Cover Edition #1 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.

30 review for Siege and Storm

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jesse (JesseTheReader)

    This was loads better than the first book. I loved the new characters that were introduced & I'm digging the direction the plot is going in. I'm interested to see what happens in the final book in this trilogy!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katerina

    Yup, I'm still insanely in love with the Darkling. I'm going to burn in Hell. Or rule the world with him as his Queen of Darkness, whatever comes first. “I know the truth in your heart. The loneliness. The growing knowledge of your own difference. The ache of it.” Alina tried to deny it, the connection and the similarities with him, but she could't hide from the truth. Her purpose seemed clear; rebuild the Second Army, defeat the Darkling, destroy the Fold, free Ravka, find the third amplifier Yup, I'm still insanely in love with the Darkling. I'm going to burn in Hell. Or rule the world with him as his Queen of Darkness, whatever comes first. “I know the truth in your heart. The loneliness. The growing knowledge of your own difference. The ache of it.” Alina tried to deny it, the connection and the similarities with him, but she could't hide from the truth. Her purpose seemed clear; rebuild the Second Army, defeat the Darkling, destroy the Fold, free Ravka, find the third amplifier, don't burn everyone in the process and keep Mal close. It wasn't simple though. She could feel the hunger for power growing inside her. With an ambitious prince by her side, she tried to fight the evil that was haunting Ravka and her guilt for helping this darkness unleash. Some people worshipped her as a Saint, some hated her because they were afraid of her powers and some wanted her to run away from this new life and become the person she was before she had the potential to destroy the world .Well, not some people, just Mal. “There is no ordinary life for people like you and me.” I really enjoyed Siege and Storm (not as much as Shadow and Bone but still it was great),a nd even my dislike of Mal can't take that away. You may ask why I don't like the handsome tracker who is willing to give his life for Alina, who bleeds when you cut her and tries to protect her at any cost. Because he loves only certain parts of her, excluding her being a Grisha and the role she has to play in the game of politics and eventually the struggle between light and darkness. He loves the girl who grew up with him, who followed him blindly and was always in the backround. The girl he took for granted. But she isn't the same person anymore, and the Darkling is the one to blame. The ruthless, murderous, manipulative Darkling. Deep, deep inside, I hope he will redeem himself, that there is still something good worth saving despite the awful things he has done, his twisted ways and his greed. But Darkling isn't the only one antagonizing Mal. Have you met Nikolai? The witty, sarcastic, calculative pirate (or privateer) with a claim to the throne who has a kind heart even though he rarely reveals it? "I can’t decide if you’re crazy or stupid." "I have so many good qualities. It can be hard to choose." Well after babbling about the men I want to marry (that's right, men, I'm polygamic when it comes to book boyfriends) I have to talk about the rest of Siege and Storm !It was captivating (again, not as much as the first book but I can't give it less stars, it's physically impossible!), it sucked you in the world of the Grisha and held you with a strong grip. Leigh Bardugo's writing is stunning, the world-building incredible, the tension in the scenes palpable and the evolution of Alina's character well-presented. Definitely a great sequel to a great series!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Emma Giordano

    5 stars! I really loved Siege & Storm! I had not delved into the Grishaverse Trilogy since reading book one in 2015, and I am saddened that it took me so long to go back to this amazing world! I definitely struggled with the beginning of this book, but I feel it is a reflection of myself instead of the quality of the book. I’ve realized that jumping into sequels of books I haven’t read in years via audiobook is a habit I should break as I don’t retain much from the beginning on the story, but 5 stars! I really loved Siege & Storm! I had not delved into the Grishaverse Trilogy since reading book one in 2015, and I am saddened that it took me so long to go back to this amazing world! I definitely struggled with the beginning of this book, but I feel it is a reflection of myself instead of the quality of the book. I’ve realized that jumping into sequels of books I haven’t read in years via audiobook is a habit I should break as I don’t retain much from the beginning on the story, but nonetheless once I finally got engaged, I was HOOKED. I love these characters and the way they develop in the second installment. I love this world. I love the magic system. I love the plot. I love everything about this book and I am immediately going to dive into book three to avoid what happened at the beginning of this novel. XD I apologize that this isn’t the most in-depth review – The Grisha Trilogy is one where I just can’t do anything but gush about it!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥

    ”You know the problem with heroes and saints, Nikolai?” I asked as I closed the book’s cover and headed for the door. “They always end up dead.” Do you know the song “One to Make Her Happy” from Marque? No? That’s unfortunate, because while I read this book I had a horrible earworm and couldn’t get it out of my head. I was basically humming it the entire time and decided to change the name from Daisy to Alina. I’m sure by now you’re curious about the lyrics and I’m happy to oblige: “One to make he ”You know the problem with heroes and saints, Nikolai?” I asked as I closed the book’s cover and headed for the door. “They always end up dead.” Do you know the song “One to Make Her Happy” from Marque? No? That’s unfortunate, because while I read this book I had a horrible earworm and couldn’t get it out of my head. I was basically humming it the entire time and decided to change the name from Daisy to Alina. I’m sure by now you’re curious about the lyrics and I’m happy to oblige: “One to make her happy (Mal) One to make her sad (The Darkling) One to give her good love That she never had (Nikolai) Daisy Alina and her boyfriends Livin’ in a house Sharing just a good life. That was four years ago. Now Daisy Alina blew the whole show.” Very suitable, right? *lol* I swear to read “Siege and Storm” really felt like Alina and I had 3 different boyfriends because seriously, who’s able to choose between all those awesome boys? I just love them all for different reasons and if forced to make a decision I’m afraid I couldn’t even choose for the life of me. XD They are all great and they all have their pros and cons. ;-P Still, it would be a lie if I’d claim that Nikolai didn’t make me swoon. Such an awesome man! *sighs deeply* Then again The Darkling is still hot and Mal is still sweet so … URGH!!! See what I’m talking about? *lol* Guess Alina and I will have to be Daisy for a little while longer. ;-) Hopefully book three will make it easier to choose. XD Still, the ending of “Siege and Storm” was heavy and I really don’t know what Leigh is going to come up with in the last book. I bet she has a lot in store for us and truth be told, I’m not entirely sure if I’m ready. Haha! Seems like I’ll just have to dive into it and find out though! ;-) The characters: I’m afraid there will be lots of spoilers in here because the fate of some of the characters really made me go all: WOW!! NO!! ARGH!! WHY?! So consider yourself warned! This is the cupboard door to my spoiler section and if you don’t want to be spoiled you better don’t enter my personal Narnia. ;-P Alina: ”I don’t care if you think I’m a Saint or a fool or the Darklings’s whore. If you want to remain at the Little Palace, you will follow me. And if you don’t like it, you will be gone by tonight, or I will have you in chains. I am a soldier. I am the Sun Summoner. And I’m the only chance you have.” I think I liked Alina more in this one! She was no longer the naïve heroine and finally started to show her claws. *lol* Hard to say if this was due to the influence of Nikolai or because of what happened with the Darkling, no matter the reason I’m still glad she decided to take the reins and did what needed to be done. Some might argue that she’s too young for all this but considering how long the Darkling was able to fool everyone around him I think it’s safe to say that Alina really might be their best bet. XD The ending however was quite heavy! I mean poor girl! If she’s already so weak and broken how is the Darkling going to fare? I really don’t know in which direction book 3 will go and because this rarely happens I’m more than just intrigued. ;-) I hope Alina won’t die, I really do. The Darkling: The faint tracery of scars on his face was barely visible, like the ghost of a map. One ran perilously close to his right eye. He’d almost lost it. He cupped my cheek with his hand, and when he spoke, his voice was almost tender. “They’re just the beginning,” he whispered. WOAH!! Well, the Darkling was quite a surprise in this one. I always knew that he’s ruthless and prone to cruelty; I didn’t expect him to go all DARK though. *lol* I think it might have to do with what happened at the Fold and I’m pretty sure that he lost the grip on his own darkness. It’s just a theory but in the first book it was him who controlled the darkness and guided it to do his bidding and I think that this changed drastically. Now it seems more like the darkness got a hold of him and is consuming him in order to achieve its goals. Would explain why he’s so drained by the nichevo’ya he creates. Still, I can’t really hate him for what he’s done because he’s just a too good villain and I always appreciate a good villain when I see one. *lol* Hmm… maybe he can still be saved? Mal: ”Easy, now. Mustn’t get blood on the uniform. Let me explain – “ “Try explaining with my first in your mouth.” Haha! Mal! I can’t help but like that boy! His honesty is so refreshing and the fact he never bothers to filter his thoughts is very entertaining. *lol* Even after finishing the second book I still don’t get why so many people seem to hate him. He’s a nice and decent guy and I think everything he said and did was justified. Yes, he didn’t have to drink himself senseless and gamble in the bars but it was his only way to deal with his situation and you can’t really blame him for it. At least I don’t. Life is tough, we all have our vices and try our best to deal with the cards that we’re given. It’s obvious that he loves Alina more than anything and it’s also rather plain that this love started to destroy and poison him. Plus Alina really wasn’t the most understanding person. So yes, I still like Mal and I’m not sorry about it!!! <3 ”And there’s no way I’m leaving you alone with Prince Perfect.” “So you don’t trust me to resist his charms?” “I don’t even trust myself.” Nikolai: I blew out a frustrated breath. “Do you ever answer a question directly?” “Hard to say. Ah, there, I’ve done it again.” OH BOY!!! Nikolai is so awesome!! I can’t even!! <333 Yes, I’m having a crazy fangirl moment here but seriously, what’s not to love?! This guy is amazing and I just love everything about him. His attitude, his cunning plans, his many different faces, his compassion and passion. Well, basically everything that comes out of his mouth. *lol* Leigh truly outdid herself when she created this wonderful man and I’ll be forever thankful that she wrote him down on paper! <3 I love that he has principles and rules he lives by and if things would have gone my way Vasily wouldn’t even have gotten close to the throne. It’s obvious that Nikolai is the best choice and I really hope that there’ll be something left of Ravka once he’s able to rule! Still, right now I don’t know what happened to him and this is such a mean move! *lol* Leigh what happened to Nikolai?!!! Guess I’ll have to read the last book soon! XD ”Now that’s a word best not used around me. I tend to be overfond of risk.” ”You never improvise,” I said. “Everything you do is calculated. You change personalities the way other people change hats. And you know what? It’s creepy. Aren’t you ever just yourself?” “I’m a prince, Alina. I can’t afford to be myself.” ”When people say impossible, they usually mean improbable.” Genya: ”She and David stay behind the group. She can’t move very quickly.” He paused. “The pilgrims call her “Razrusha’ya.” The Ruined.” My poor, poor girl! T_T I can’t believe that the Darkling did this to her!!! She didn’t deserve this! Just because she helped Alina to flee? It’s not fair and I would have expected better from the Darkling! I mean I know he’s the villain but Genya was so loyal to him and that’s how he thanks her? My poor Genya! I just want to hug her and tell her that everything will get better and that she’s still the most beautiful woman of Ravka! <333 I really hope David will do all those things because if not I’m going to kick him in his skinny behind. *lol* The ships: Alina & The Darkling: ”He can’t wait to get away from you,” I said, hovering by the door. “He’s afraid of what you’ve become. They all are.” “Do you fear me, Alina?” “That’s what you want, isn’t it?” The Darkling shrugged. “Fear is a powerful ally,” he said. “And loyal.” The moments between those two were rather short in this book and I really would have loved to see more of them together. They had such a nice chemistry in “Shadow and Bone” and despite everything Alina still seems to be drawn to him. Well, the Darkling certainly has an irresistible allure. Can’t blame her for it. ;-P Still, I hope I’ll get more of them in the last book because they are just too intriguing together. XD Alina & Mal: ”You wanted to wear the second amplifier. You have it. You want to go to Os Alta? Fine, we’ll go. You say you need the firebird. I’ll find a way to get it for you. But when all this is over, Alina, I wonder if you’ll still want me.” Aww those two killed me! It’s like they just can’t be together because the entire world and their own fate is against them. Alina can’t hand over her responsibility because she’s the only sun summoner and basically the only person who’s able to stop the Darkling and Mal can’t be at her side because he’d be like Icarus getting too close to the sun. T_T He doesn’t understand her powers and the need to use them and even though he doesn’t get it he still decided to be with her. Right now I really see no way how their relationship could be able to work out. I mean it’s not like Alina will stop being Grisha and Mal can’t stop being a tracker as well. *sighs* It’s such a muddled situation…. ”Why didn’t you say something?” “What could I say? And when? I barely see you anymore.” “I thought you wanted to go.” “I wanted you to ask me to stay.” Alina & Nikolai: ”What’s a pirate doing on a whaler?” I asked. “Privateer,” he corrected. “I have several ships. The Darkling wanted a whaler, so I got him one.” “You mean you stole it.” “Acquired it.” “You were in my cabin.” “Many women dream of me,” he said lightly as he steered me down the deck. Now those two!! *LOL* I lived for their conversations!! I swear Nikolai is so, so damn awesome! Did I already tell you how much I love this man?! I’m sure I did! Haha! Well, the chemistry between Alina and Nikolai was amazing as well and I can’t say how much I loved it that she wasn’t swooning and drooling all over him like everyone else! XD She saw him as a normal person and that’s what made their scenes so perfect. =) I think my favourite moment was the encounter at the lake and the fact that Nikolai turned her down, because he knew she’d only use him as a make-do. I love this man, I really, really do! <333 For some reason I doubt that Alina will end up with him though. ”The Darkling will hunt you for the rest of your days.” “Then you and I will have something in common, won’t we? Besides, I like to have powerful enemies. Makes me feel important.” Mal crossed his arms and considered the privateer. “I can’t decide if you’re crazy or stupid.” “I have so many good qualities,” Sturmhond said. “It can be hard to choose.” ”And what are you doing to be useful, your highness?” “I’m a prince,” said Nikolai. “Being useful isn’t part of my job description. But,” he added, “when I’m not lazing about being handsome, I’ll be trying to better equip the First Army and gather intelligence on the Darkling’s location.” ”I want to kiss you,” Nikolai said. “But I won’t. Not until you’re thinking of me instead of trying to forget him.” Conclusion: Once again I was hooked until the very end and once again I couldn’t help it and already started with the next book even though I didn’t even write my review for this one. I guess it’s safe to say that this series is really enjoyable and entertaining, especially now that Nikolai entered the scene!! ;-P I can’t wait to read more about him and I want to see so much more of all of Daisy’s Alina’s other boyfriends love interests as well. *lol* So all I can say is: Happy Reading! I hope you’ll love “Siege and Storm” as much as I did! ;-)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kiki

    The Good: 1. Alina and her inner dark anti-hero 2. Nikolai 3. Nikolai's face 4. Nikolai's clothes 5. Everything Nikolai said 6. Everything Nikolai did 7. The last 10%, in which some stuff actually happened The Bad: 1. Mal 2. Mal, cause I seriously hate that asshole 3. The confusing and vague nature of Alina's powers 4: MAL The Ugly: 1. How oddly fixated I am with this strange series and how invested I am in it despite lukewarm pacing and plotting and holes in the worldbuilding All I want from the next book is The Good: 1. Alina and her inner dark anti-hero 2. Nikolai 3. Nikolai's face 4. Nikolai's clothes 5. Everything Nikolai said 6. Everything Nikolai did 7. The last 10%, in which some stuff actually happened The Bad: 1. Mal 2. Mal, cause I seriously hate that asshole 3. The confusing and vague nature of Alina's powers 4: MAL The Ugly: 1. How oddly fixated I am with this strange series and how invested I am in it despite lukewarm pacing and plotting and holes in the worldbuilding All I want from the next book is the death of Mal. That is all. Mal, please die. That would be awesome.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    This rating might come as a surprise after I was so excited to get reacquainted with the Darkling in my early status update. However, if it hadn't been for the scenes with the Darkling, this book would have probably only received one star - it's only his characterisation, his different layers and, let's face it, his sexiness that convinced me to rate this at two stars. Maybe I could stretch to 2.5 if I close my eyes and picture the Darkling like this: I usually approach the sequels to three star This rating might come as a surprise after I was so excited to get reacquainted with the Darkling in my early status update. However, if it hadn't been for the scenes with the Darkling, this book would have probably only received one star - it's only his characterisation, his different layers and, let's face it, his sexiness that convinced me to rate this at two stars. Maybe I could stretch to 2.5 if I close my eyes and picture the Darkling like this: I usually approach the sequels to three star reads with some trepidation but I confess that my hopes were high for this one. Despite the flaws present throughout Shadow and Bone, I found it wildly entertaining in parts and a very easy page-turner. I had also hoped that Alina would mature and grow once she harnessed her power and realised that some things are more important than beauty and looks - this realisation never came. In fact, I believe the relationship between beauty and power to be even more apparent in this sequel and I struggle to sympathise with a girl who discovers she is incredibly powerful but still can't see her worth beyond her plain appearance. This I just mentioned is nothing new and was a problem for me in the first installment which has unfortunately carried over into the second. However, the main difference between the two that overrides everything else and is way bigger than my problems with the beauty issue - which I may have otherwise been able to look past - is that I found this second book incredibly boring. Or I did at least after the first quarter where the Darkling disappears for a huge chunk of the book (honestly, he is the only interesting thing about this series). Gone was the fun I had while reading book one, gone was the exciting mystery and sexual tension. This book introduced several new characters who I never came to care about, whilst also bringing Alina Shallowkova and whiny Mal back into the spotlight. Mal is a dull character. He is whiny, uninteresting and I can see no reason why anyone would think the sun shines out of his backside... yes, even Alina. Though, saying that, he is radiantly gorgeous and I suppose Alina doesn't need any more of a reason to put someone on a pedestal. I was so bored by their relationship that I couldn't even summon the energy for my standard eyeroll reserved for fictional couples that are annoying. I'm not even sure what Mal does for most of this book aside from standing by and being jealous of every man that Alina talks to. I admit that I was far less engaged for the second half of the book, so if someone would like to come and tell me that something awesome happened while I was away floating on a cloud of not caring, that really wouldn't surprise me. Most of it was read without interest, some bits were even skimmed. I think it's fair to say that I won't be returning for the next book. Such a shame because I was genuinely very excited for Siege and Storm.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    how can this book have been so much better than book one and yet still not good “You just punched a prince, Alina. I guess we can add one more act of treason to our list.” I shook out my sore hand. My knuckles smarted. “First of all, are we so sure he really is a prince? And second, you’re just jealous.” “Of course I’m jealous. I thought I was going to get to punch him. That isn’t the point.” 2 1/2 stars, again. Again, very mixed feelings, so I’m going to start by talking about why this book is how can this book have been so much better than book one and yet still not good “You just punched a prince, Alina. I guess we can add one more act of treason to our list.” I shook out my sore hand. My knuckles smarted. “First of all, are we so sure he really is a prince? And second, you’re just jealous.” “Of course I’m jealous. I thought I was going to get to punch him. That isn’t the point.” 2 1/2 stars, again. Again, very mixed feelings, so I’m going to start by talking about why this book is BETTER! First of all, way better plot! Bigger scope! Higher stakes! More interesting buildup! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN EVER! I know nothing really happens, but it manages to be so high tension anyway. Not to be all writer-y, but you can totally tell that Bardugo knows what she’s doing with dramatic tension now. She has that shit far more in control. And also there’s political intrigue with Nikolai and Vasili! Except this is the non-boring kind of political intrigue. I support this political intrigue and not the bad excuse for political intrigue the first book offers. Second of all, char-ac-ter-de-vel-op-ment. I suddenly like Alina! I suddenly really like Alina, who is exploring her dark side. Wish the narrative would let this series get as dark as it deserves to be and will discuss that down below!! As a last note, I know everyone says this, but I love Nikolai. I think my mother might actually be in love with Nikolai. This might have something to do with him being the only non-shitty guy in this whole love triangular pyramid. Mal crossed his arms and considered the privateer. "I can't decide if you're crazy or stupid." "I have so many good qualities," Nikolai said. "It can be hard to choose.” The thing is, this book is a huge improvement over book one, but it’s still not really all that good? I will admit, on a small note, I thought the beginning of this book was kind of shitty. A thing happens in the first, like, four pages that negates everything that happened in the prologue or at the very end of the last book. Entire plot points could have been skipped. Why. → the love pyramid ← All of you failed basic geometry, because this is not a love square, it is a love triangular pyramid. In which one of the ends is rotted, one is also maybe banging a different point of a different triangular pyramid, and one has zero chemistry with the point of the triangular pyramid but is so awesome that he’s the best option by default. Yeah, I don't like this triangle very much. Shocker. Mostly because the Darkling is a burnt chicken nugget and I hate him, and I might actually find his villain-y character really intriguing, but the fact that he is discussed as a viable love interest on this website is creepy. But the issue isn't even really with the love triangle! It's with the fact that the love triangle is there to build into love drama that takes away from the seriousness of the plot. So let's discuss the real trouble here: → all the petty drama ← We Need To Talk About Mal . Who is suddenly an asshole. [I understand why everyone likes Nikolai better.] But... okay. I actually think his motivations make a lot of sense? Yeah, he's being a dick, but I swear "'Not my type, but handsome.' My brows shot up. In my experience, Mal was just about everyone's type." There’s this moment where Tamar says Mal “isn’t her type” and Alina is literally like “but Mal is EVERYONE’S type” and although A) I call bullshit on that, I also know in my soul that B) the line is meant to indicate Tamar is a lesbian. [Okay, yeah, I actually knew that going in.] But the problem isn't even really with Mal. Or really with Alina. The problem is the narrative of this book just will not let this series get as dark as it deserves to be. This series is one about awful characters doing awful things in which the lead is basically slowly turning evil and the villain is maybe possibly doing it for the right reasons and the love interest is insecure and the princes are shitty and really, no one is doing the right thing, and certainly not for the right reasons. But it refuses to let itself be this. I keep feeling Bardugo come thiiis close to inner darkness and antihero power and then shying away. And I respect that the YA market a few years ago was very different, that we ate up that Zoya-makes-Alina-jealous plotline and weren't so invested in Alina's glorious antiherodom. But I really think this series is wasted potential personified. Yeah. Those are my thoughts. I am not a fan. I'm really disappointed in how much I am not a fan. Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steph Sinclair

    I always go into a second book in a series with fears that it will have the dreaded "Second Book Syndrome". I worry that the characters will regress, the plot will stall and surmount to overall ridiculousness, and in the end, become boring and lathered in disappointment. So even though The Grisha series is a new favorite for me, I still had these concerns. You cannot even imagine my glee when I discovered Siege and Storm did NOT suffer from any of these things. On the contrary, it was even bette I always go into a second book in a series with fears that it will have the dreaded "Second Book Syndrome". I worry that the characters will regress, the plot will stall and surmount to overall ridiculousness, and in the end, become boring and lathered in disappointment. So even though The Grisha series is a new favorite for me, I still had these concerns. You cannot even imagine my glee when I discovered Siege and Storm did NOT suffer from any of these things. On the contrary, it was even better than its predecessor. If you loved Shadow and Bone, be prepared to be blown away! There are so many things I want mention and squeal about in this review, but OH THE SPOILERS. And anyway, Kat did such a great job with reviewing in code already. So I've decided to just write letters.   Dear Darkling, You're so evil, but I can't seem to conjure up any feelings of dislike for you. In fact, I missed you in Siege and Storm. For most of the novel, you were gone from me, only appearing in Alina's dreams. How fair is that? Don't you know how much I need your evil goodness to be present at all times? Seeing you torture the poor peasants of the Grisha world, warms my heart. And, oh, Darkling, what new skills you have. Wait, does that sound dirty? Because it totally isn't. Then again, you did tell us all to, "Make me your villain." It's only fair if I, too, am allowed at least one inappropriate pun. But seriously, you've leveled up faster than a Super Saiyan in Siege and Storm. Kat says you learned to line dance, but I think it's more along the line of baking cookies. You showed those cookies who was boss! But your ending concerns me. I guess the cookie batter turned out to be much more difficult that you expected. Maybe you should take a page from Paula Deen and add more evil butter. I'm not sure this has anything to do with book 3, Ruin and Rising, but I just like cookies, okay? And you. I like you too. So be sure to be extra evil next time and give those cookies a run for their money. Love, Steph -------------------- Dearest Mal, Please do us all a favor and stop being so insecure over your relationship with Alina. The girl's got a lot on her plate. She has the responsibility of saving all of Ravka, which is kinda a tad more important than you. I need for you to be more understanding and supportive. I liked you in Shadow and Bone, but I'm starting to think I'm outgrowing my mildly inappropriate swooning of you. Just yesterday, I found myself wondering if Leigh might actually kill you off in Ruin and Rising. If that happens, it's possible I might only mourn you for half a page. No, no, no! I take it back! Don't you dare die on me, Mal-Mal! True love is tough love, Steph P.S. I still love you, Mal. <3 -------------------- Sturmhond, I think I speak for everyone when I say, please become a real person. xoxo, Steph ======== And finally: Dear Leigh, Amazing. You are evil. Evil, evil, evil. So evil, your stories leave me speechless. Your humor sends me into fits of giggles and tickles my tender pieces. Your plots make me wish I can pack my bags and vacate to your mind if only for a day. Please don't ever stop being this awesome evil. And because Troy gifs have become our thing: Also, that ending is causing me to hit the Kvas pretty hard tonight. Look what you've done to me. Mal, Darkling, Sturmhond... I must collect them all. Hiccup, Steph   An ARC was received for a review from the publisher. No monies or favors were exchanged for a positive review. Thanks, Macmillan!  More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Catriona (LittleBookOwl)

    I didn't enjoy this quite as much as the first book, and I think it's partly because of my dislike for Mal, and partly because I found the moments between the high action points to be too slow/dull for my taste. My favourite thing about this book was some of the new characters we meet, especially Sturmhond! I was also a little sad we didn't see quite as much of the Darkling, he is such an interesting character.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cait • A Page with a View

    I was worried about rereading this book in case it wasn't as wonderful as I remembered... most of my early favorite YA books have turned out to be something I might not give an enthusiastic 5 stars to if I found them today. But this story was somehow EVEN BETTER than I remember. The world is incredible, but I think it's the precious characters that make this series such a favorite. I don't know how Leigh Bardugo managed to turn a side character into an incredibly well-developed, complex, hilario I was worried about rereading this book in case it wasn't as wonderful as I remembered... most of my early favorite YA books have turned out to be something I might not give an enthusiastic 5 stars to if I found them today. But this story was somehow EVEN BETTER than I remember. The world is incredible, but I think it's the precious characters that make this series such a favorite. I don't know how Leigh Bardugo managed to turn a side character into an incredibly well-developed, complex, hilarious little gem with such depth but NIKOLAI LANTSOV IS EVERYTHING. And then there's the Darkling... HOW. How is he the perfect villain and can we please have more characters like him. When I want all of the hopes and dreams of a mass murder to come true then you know they're well written. And Alina is definitely still one of my favorite heroines! I know my extreme enthusiasm for those three tends to push Mal to the side, but you know what... he's awesome, too. Oh, and if you're a fan of Once Upon A Time, don't tell me that Emma & Hook aren't totally an older version of Alina & the Darkling with her white hair and his guyliner: Am I the only one who sees this?!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Darling

    Our Conversation with Leigh Bardugo is up, along with an opportunity to win our Siege and Storm ARC! 4.5 stars Siege and Storm is an exquisite jewel of a book. The second installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy is full of adventure and magic--and in my view, it's even better than Shadow and Bone. There are flying ships. A thrilling, poignant scene with a magnificent white ice dragon. A whirling, frenzied volcra attack in the night. A sobering ride through the city of Novokribirsk, where name Our Conversation with Leigh Bardugo is up, along with an opportunity to win our Siege and Storm ARC! 4.5 stars Siege and Storm is an exquisite jewel of a book. The second installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy is full of adventure and magic--and in my view, it's even better than Shadow and Bone. There are flying ships. A thrilling, poignant scene with a magnificent white ice dragon. A whirling, frenzied volcra attack in the night. A sobering ride through the city of Novokribirsk, where names are written in blood on church walls and a Ryeal'nye Alina, "genuine Alina" has terrifying meaning. And Genya--oh, my heart breaks for the beautiful Genya. So much thought was put into this world, with evocative settings, original folk tales, gorgeous clothes, memorable battles, and incredibly imaginative touches. (I love the gift from Nikolai's father!) The food porn, both real and imagined, made me dizzy with pleasure: smoked sprats on black bread, little dwarf fruit trees, brandied cuckoo, cold soup served in jeweled pumpkin-shaped cups, croquembouche, and a suckling pig, to name but a few of the items that made my mouth water. And I definitely want to have a baby jello deer at my next party! Preferably with a miniature living forest centerpiece. And while I still hold love for both Mal and The Darkling, there's now also Sturmhond, a dashing privateer with a careless grin and hidden agenda. I can't help it, friends, I have a serious weakness for men who have a gift for witty banter. (view spoiler)[He's been added to my fictional island, where swoonworthy YA boys like Will Herondale, Dimitri Belikov, Adrian Ivashkov, and Archer Cross roam about freely like ponies. You may come visit, they're always willing to play. (hide spoiler)] Alina's interactions with Sturmhond are so much fun to read, and even when he's out of the room, his presence continues to fill it. "So you don't trust me to resist his charms?" "I don't even trust myself. I've never seen anyone work a crowd the way he does. I'm pretty sure the rock and trees are getting ready to swear fealty to him." Most of all, I love how Alina character has undergone interesting development. She begins asserting herself more and more, and the allure of power beckons seductively--but the price she must pay for it may be more than she can afford. I looked up at the star-filled sky. The night was velvety black and strewn with jewels. The hunger struck me suddenly. I want them, I thought. All that light, all that power. I want it all. Her relationship with Mal is now terribly complicated, both by her position as Sun Summoner and by the position she's put him in. So many YA books revert to tired old machinations to separate love interests, but the tension and difficulty between these two feel urgent and real. I have to say, Shadow and Bone is the only book that all three of us read and loved last year on the blog, and all three of us love this sequel, too! I mean, K says it deserves a meteor shower of stars. What does this mean for book three? Will Leigh Bardugo blow our minds with Ruin and Rising? I have the feeling the answer is going to be a resounding YES. An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink

    Holy freaking crap. You know when a book is so good... so captivating.. that you cannot find the words to even give it a worthy review? Even now, I find myself without many words to express how much I love this series. So I'm just going to leave you with a few reasons this book is totally legit. 1. PIRATES. Snarky ones. 2. STEAMPUNK STEAMPUNK STEAMPUNK!!!! 3. BADASS MAGIC 4. YES, this book is much darker than the first. 5. Mind games. Crazy ones. The struggle is real [and swoon worthy] 6. Alina's cha Holy freaking crap. You know when a book is so good... so captivating.. that you cannot find the words to even give it a worthy review? Even now, I find myself without many words to express how much I love this series. So I'm just going to leave you with a few reasons this book is totally legit. 1. PIRATES. Snarky ones. 2. STEAMPUNK STEAMPUNK STEAMPUNK!!!! 3. BADASS MAGIC 4. YES, this book is much darker than the first. 5. Mind games. Crazy ones. The struggle is real [and swoon worthy] 6. Alina's character growth 7. Second book syndrome? NOPE. And the last half is bat shit crazy. 8. The *thing* that you aren't sure if its real or not.. and the moment you find out if you're right or wrong (anyone?? yeah??) (view spoiler)[Basically when you realize all those times he appeared to her- he was legit there (hide spoiler)] 9. GORGEOUS writing. 10. THE FREAKING ENDING. LEGIIIITTTTTTTTT. (view spoiler)[ Yeah.. the moment she's like "My power is yours... and yours is mine..." freaking wow. (hide spoiler)] 11. The Darkling. Nuff said. I literally could not read fast enough. There is so much emotional struggle - so many challenges, and our dear Alina had to suffer them all... and yet in the end, she was the BALLER that I knew she would be. And I gotta say something about Mal. (This isn't super spoilery imo but read at your own risk.) He gets a lot of shit in this book for his rash decisions. Most people tend to hate him, but I just can't bring myself to feel anything but sorrow for him. He is just hurting... and hurting people hurt people. And if you ask me, he does get his shot at redemption in the future. Now does that mean I ship him with Alina? I'm not gonna answer that. You'll have to read my review of book 3. Lastly, just a friendly reminder that I compiled a list of songs [that are more or less really just for the Darkling himself...] You can check them out here!!! **and can I just say that I imagine the song "Frost Flowers" by Evelyn Glennie is perfect for the scene between Alina + the Darkling in his room.... Ps... I feel like I should note that I read this series on audible. The narrator was absolutely phenomenal. Ohhhh how good she does all the voices... If you have only read the physical copy, I recommend going back through these on audio! My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy

  13. 4 out of 5

    Val Shameless ⚓️ Steamy Reads ⚓️

    DNF @ 40% Annnnnnd, I'm gonna wave the white flag here, peeps. Despite having already read book one... Despite having ALL three books physically on my shelf... Despite those books being guarded by my beloved John Wick Funko POP... I must bid adieu and part with said technicolor beauties. Because BORED. And because life is too short and my shelves too full. Oh well. Onward!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nik

    Nikolai, honey, your back must be so sore from carrying that entire book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    Now listen here, I'm still on board with the series but about 70% of this book was SLLLLLOOOOOOWWWWWWWW........ *super minor spoilers While this was definitely an informative middle chapter to the trilogy, I can't help but be slightly disappointed that there just wasn't more. I found myself really excited in the final chapters with the sudden blaze of action, but couldn't help feeling like Bardugo saved all the fun stuff for the end in an attempt to make sure no one gave up on the series mid way. Now listen here, I'm still on board with the series but about 70% of this book was SLLLLLOOOOOOWWWWWWWW........ *super minor spoilers While this was definitely an informative middle chapter to the trilogy, I can't help but be slightly disappointed that there just wasn't more. I found myself really excited in the final chapters with the sudden blaze of action, but couldn't help feeling like Bardugo saved all the fun stuff for the end in an attempt to make sure no one gave up on the series mid way. I needed more Darkling, I needed more Nikolai, I needed more action, but the only thing I got more of was Mal and Alina being awkward. I know it sounds like I'm pooping all over this book, and I really did enjoy it overall, it just went in a totally different direction than expected. I was really hoping to get more time with Nikolai in an attempt to broaden my shipping options but it seems I can't even do that. :( However, if you are a fan of Mal then you will really enjoy this one. There were some nice little twists that kept me from putting this down, and the ending was really fantastic, so I'm still excited to keep moving on. But *sigh*, I just wish there had been more of ANYONE except Mal. I will say that I really enjoyed Tolya and Tamar's characters; I think they added an element that invested me into the story further. Here's to Ruin and Rising; may it be everything that this one was not and more! ******************** Buddy read with the fabulous favorite BENTLEY <3

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kat Kennedy

    Sequels are really hard to write reviews for. Mostly because people don’t want to read them for fear of spoilers, but keeping them spoiler free makes it difficult to properly discuss the book. So now I’m going to have to do this review in code. In Siege and Storm Alina and Mal are on the run from the Darkling. They meet Pumpkin who has the ability to help Alina defeat the Darkling. Problem is, Mal and Pumpkin don’t get on at all. Also, the Darkling can now line dance which adds a level of complic Sequels are really hard to write reviews for. Mostly because people don’t want to read them for fear of spoilers, but keeping them spoiler free makes it difficult to properly discuss the book. So now I’m going to have to do this review in code. In Siege and Storm Alina and Mal are on the run from the Darkling. They meet Pumpkin who has the ability to help Alina defeat the Darkling. Problem is, Mal and Pumpkin don’t get on at all. Also, the Darkling can now line dance which adds a level of complication. As well as line dancing, which makes a dark and creepy addition to the novel, the Darling drives a wedge between Mal and Alina by knitting. Also, I think he may be losing the plot a little. Firstly, Bardugo’s writing has dramatically improved. Siege & Storm is a far smoother novel, both in terms of writing craft and pacing. The tension is always ramped up, the drama meter is set to erupt and before you realize what is happening, it all explodes in your face, leaving you clutching at the tattered remains of your heart and an ego that is no longer ashamed to see you crawl onto twitter to cry on Bardugo’s shoulder. I can’t really talk too much about the characters without giving it away – but Alina kicked butt in this installment. Especially when she got hold of her aardvark. No more doe-eyed victim. She really struggles and grapples with her goiter. What does her goiter mean for her? For Mal? For the future of Ravka? And was the Darkling right about that Chinese finger box between Mal and Alina? Mal struggles the most in this novel as he is a salt mine. And in his salt mineyness he deteriorates and loses a lot of faith. I have a feeling he learned a lot about himself in this novel. Everyone grows and changes, even the Darkling a little and I wonder if he’ll let Alina continue to cross stitch, or if he’s finally going to seriously back stitch her? Or has his line dancing finally started to shake him up? So many questions, so many moral and ethical dilemmas. There is little doubt that Pumpkin stole the show and I applaud Bardugo for his inclusion. He certainly made life interesting and added a great comedic element to the book. Overall, Siege and Storm managed to be a stronger novel than the first. Now I absolutely can’t wait for the next! *This review also appears on my blog, Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.* An ARC was provided to me by Macmillan for reviewing purposes. No money or favors were exchanged for this review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mitch

    I think I might’ve been the only person who had one foot in each of the ‘Shadow and Bone is awesome’ and ‘Shadow and Bone is mediocre’ camps. Siege and Storm was supposed to be the book that made up my mind, but instead, I'm completely split... I truly do see why so many friends have raved about Leigh Bardugo's series - a part of me absolutely feels the same way - yet at the same time, another part, maybe a bigger part, has so many issues with the story I also have half a mind to angrily reject I think I might’ve been the only person who had one foot in each of the ‘Shadow and Bone is awesome’ and ‘Shadow and Bone is mediocre’ camps. Siege and Storm was supposed to be the book that made up my mind, but instead, I'm completely split... I truly do see why so many friends have raved about Leigh Bardugo's series - a part of me absolutely feels the same way - yet at the same time, another part, maybe a bigger part, has so many issues with the story I also have half a mind to angrily reject everything about this. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be the odd man out with my half love half loathe view toward this sequel, but I don't think I've ever read a book that's left me so utterly frustrated between my mixed reactions. To put it another way, I once compared Shadow and Bone to a masterfully constructed house of cards, and that's still true of Siege and Storm. It's a beautiful view, and I'd be dishonest if I said I didn't enjoy every minute of looking at it while it stood, and yet, at the same time, when I'm poking around, the whole thing falls apart, and I'd be dishonest too if I said that doesn't bother, nay, enrage me. Here's the thing, Leigh Bardugo is an excellent (some would say superficial) writer in the sense she can pull together character, setting, myth, and plot in a way that's epic, exciting, compelling, and just feels like reading a modern day folk tale, and that got to me, it really did. I'm not going to say I didn't feel what my raving friends felt, because I did - cool world building, tough heroine, epic fantasy, what's not to like? But at the end of the day, Bardugo's talent is really making something out of nothing, because all those great qualities, if you think about it, is just that, nothing. Take for example Alina, who seems like this multifaceted character who has a complex relationship with power, but you know, she can't even answer the most basic question about her character - why is she doing any of this, taking charge, going up against the Darkling? Love of country? Nope, that's not it. Mal? Ha. The Darkling? Are you kidding me? Bardugo does a great job of fabricating this illusion of Alina as a complex and reluctant heroine, but behind the (admittedly awesome) writing, I just didn’t get a sense her character had any drive besides her relationship with Mal or whatever the plot demanded, and it seemed like to me she’s the kind of one dimensional character who can’t exist outside of being swept up by the plot. As for the other characters, the Darkling's this well written, interesting evil character, but behind the facade is... nothing at all. Seriously, we know nothing about the Darkling or his motivations. I’m disappointed because Siege and Storm gave us zero development for his character, and all the praise seems to be directed at a blank slate who’s been the lucky beneficiary of some massive transference. And Mal (a.k.a. uninteresting designated love interest), I honestly don’t know why I tolerate him as much as I do, because his character really doesn’t exist outside of causing Alina angst, this time with well received new guy Sturmhond, who, if you think about it, is just an amalgam of every bad boy stereotype ever in one well written but blatantly cliched package (with one early confrontation scene between him and the Darkling leaving me steaming). Yet I'll admit, Bardugo has skills and she pulls all of this off, creating these seemingly complex characters that shouldn't be, but while part of me has no qualms with liking them, the other part's just irked by how superficial they are. Then again, my view of the plot is just as equally conflicted. On one hand, the pacing, beyond a bizarre turnabout involving the Darkling's reappearance in the first chapter or two, totally worked and had me hooked the whole way through, wondering if Alina could truly beat her nemesis - it's just that riveting. On the other, the plot blatantly screams 'quest to find MacGuffin' and 'obvious rehash of the first book' with pretty much the same structure down to the same convenient nonending, and you know, I liked working my way through the story at the same time that I hated it. Like I said, it's a testament to Leigh Bardugo's skill as a writer that she can make such blatantly shallow elements work in her book, and I love that they work but hate how I can so easily recognize what she's done. Anyway, I have a feeling everyone who loved the first book will love this too. I'm also pretty sure those who didn't will laugh this one off as well. And that leaves me in the middle with my conflicted opinions, anticipating the final book yet griping about my dissatisfaction at the same time.

  18. 5 out of 5

    ~Poppy~

    “I have loved you all my life, Mal," I whispered through my tears. "There is no end to our story.” “Why won’t you leave me alone?” I whispered one night as he hovered behind me while I tried to work at my desk. Long minutes passed. I didn’t think he would answer. I even had time to hope he might have gone, until I felt his hand on my shoulder. “Then I’d be alone, too," he said, and he stayed the whole night through, till the lamps burned down to nothing.” I really liked it but few chapter in the mi “I have loved you all my life, Mal," I whispered through my tears. "There is no end to our story.” “Why won’t you leave me alone?” I whispered one night as he hovered behind me while I tried to work at my desk. Long minutes passed. I didn’t think he would answer. I even had time to hope he might have gone, until I felt his hand on my shoulder. “Then I’d be alone, too," he said, and he stayed the whole night through, till the lamps burned down to nothing.” I really liked it but few chapter in the middle they were boring!!But I'm so excited because now I have a team!! So we have Mal(childhood friend- current lover), the Darkling(handsome-evil guy) and Nikolai(Pirate-Prince)..It's not love triangle anymore. I don't know how we call this..Love square? :P I don't know.. So what team am I? (view spoiler)[ 1)I am teamMal!! I love Mal so much. He loves Alina and he supports her with whatever she does. He even hated where they were, but he didn't say a word because he loves her that much. Why people don't see that? Okay he was so insecure in this book but I understand why. First of all, he has to compete with two strong characters. Secondly, he knows that Alina keeps secrets from him and also Alina is changing and because of that Mal is afraid of losing her. "He raised his hands as if to plead his case, then dropped them helplessly. “I feel you slipping away from me, and I don’t know how to stop it.” 2)I'm so disappointed of the Darkling. I really loved him in the first book before we learn why he wanted Alina. Deep down I thought he would regret it and he will have a good explanation for what he did but no. He is just evil and lonely. I feel sorry for him because he thinks that he feels something for Alina but the truth is that he wants her for her powers and because she the only one she understands the power he has. "There are no others like us, Alina," he whispered. "And there never will be." I don't hate him anymore. But I don't think that he belongs with Alina. Maybe Alina had feelings for him but with the time this feelings has subsided. 3)Nikolai, Nikolai, Nikolai. I really really liked him. “I am Nikolai Lantsov, Major of the Twenty-Second Regiment, Soldier of the King’s Army, Grand Duke of Udova, and second son to His Most Royal Majesty, King Alexander the Third, Ruler of the Double Eagle Throne, may his life and reign be long.” Oh what a name!! :P He's so funny. Every time I read about him I laugh with something he was saying. But I don't ship Alina and Nikolai. Yeah, he is really good and he likes her but he wants her because people of Ravka loves her and he wants a political marriage with her. 4)I love Alina and her strength and all but please choose someone already! She loves Mal there is no doubt about that but she has feelings for the Darkling and Nikolai. Come on!! 5)"You found the stag, and you found the sea whip. Maybe you were meant to find the firebird, too." I want to comment something about that line. Why Mal has found two amplifiers? I mean they are so difficult to find but Mal found them easyly. Okay he is a good tracker but i think it is more to that. I think he has powers too that's why he found the amplifiers.Or he is just the best but we will in the third book. I like my theory though. 6)I don't think the Darkling is dead. But I really like the end. 7)When Nikolai suggest to marry Alina and Mal can stay as "her personal guard", I thought that Mal will kill Nikolai. Oh my god, I laugh so hard I couldn't read! 8)When Mal and Alina had FINALLY a moment, of cource the Darkling appeared and destroyed the moment. 9)"Vasily laughed. “I can’t decide if you’re a fearmonger or a coward.” “And I can’t decide if you’re an idiot or an idiot.” Vasily was definately an idiot. And because of that he is dead. 10)I WANT MAL AND ALINA TOGETHER! (hide spoiler)]

  19. 4 out of 5

    Grace (BURTSBOOKS)

    3.5 stars. Hello. Considering this is a sequel I’m just gonna jump into my thoughts… beware spoilers ahead that I’m not tagging because literally anything I write in this review is going to be in some way or another a spoiler. (If you want a synopsis or actual coherent thoughts check out my review of Shadow and Bone) While reading the first book of this trilogy(Shadow and Bone) I was always entertained but I had a big problem getting into the world and the book and just being invested in what was 3.5 stars. Hello. Considering this is a sequel I’m just gonna jump into my thoughts… beware spoilers ahead that I’m not tagging because literally anything I write in this review is going to be in some way or another a spoiler. (If you want a synopsis or actual coherent thoughts check out my review of Shadow and Bone) While reading the first book of this trilogy(Shadow and Bone) I was always entertained but I had a big problem getting into the world and the book and just being invested in what was happening. That was not a problem with Siege and Storm. It was wayyyyy more interesting. That may be because I read it on audio, which I always enjoy more, or maybe this book is just better. More likely than not though, the reason I liked this book so much was Nikolai Lanstov. Nikolai. Nikolai. Nikolai. Usually, I hate giving in to the hype and being super typical and bandwagoning but honestly he is such a loveably charming and witty character I can’t even be bothered to care. I have never understood the hype about anything more than I have about Nikolai. He deserves every good thing any of us say about him and truthfully saved this series. From the moment Sturmhond was introduced I knew he had to be Nikolai. Not because I knew anything about him going into this book other than the fact that everyone loved him but because he was soooo entertaining and likeable that I couldn’t imagine another character being better than him. And maybe this shows my lack of faith in Leigh Bardugo at this time because I truly just didn’t think she had it in her to introduce two great characters after the bland-fest of Shadow and Bone. Maybe I should have talked about Alina first because I mean she is the main character but come on Nikolai stole the show on this one. She doesn’t read like the main character, or maybe all YA main characters are like this but she just seems like a placeholder, like she’s telling the story but it could have been anyone. The only individual thing about her is her power and if someone else had it I’m not sure the story would be much different. I don’t dislike her, she is a likable character and she really grew into herself and her power throughout this book. She’s sassy and often hilarious and thankfully has developed to not to take anyone’s shit but still I feel like there’s something missing. I really don’t know. I just wish she were less ordinary. Now that I sorted through those thoughts, let’s talk about Mal. One of my biggest complaints in Shadow and Bone was that I had literally no understanding of who the hell Mal was. He was supposedly Alina’s best friend but I just couldn’t place who he was as a character and how his actions coincided with that. That wasn’t a problem in this book and I guess for that reason I can’t exactly complain but Jesus Christ was he stupid. I get that he’s insecure and all that. He’s very prideful and has a frail grasp on his masculinity but can he shut the hell up for one moment? He supposedly loves Alina but the version of her that he wants doesn’t even exist anymore. The Alina of their childhood was frail, quiet, unassuming and did little more than fuel his ego. Once he realizes she’s changed he tells her about his feelings and then continues to complain for the majority of the second book about this very fact. He can’t handle her power because it makes her more confident than he is. The worst part is The Darkling warns Alina about this very problem and nothing angers me more than The Darling being right….. still waiting to understand why people like that guy. I mean he’s a power-hungry manipulator. I just don’t get it. All of these complaints are not to say that I don’t like this book because I do, I really do. If I didn’t I wouldn’t talk about any of these things because I wouldn’t even care. As negative as I sound I care about this book. I care about these characters even when they make me want to rip my hair out. None of the things I’m complaining about would really make me want to lower my rating of it. Something that I actually had a real problem with was the fact that there were only four major characters in this novel and apart from Alina all of them were men, which is a problem in and of its self but also all of them were for some reason romantically interested in her. Why can’t male and female’s coincide together and thrive in mutually beneficial relationships that don’t involve romance? Is that too much to ask for? (I'M LOOKING @ YOU NIKOLAI) This isn’t even to mention that Alina is boring as fuck. Idk why someone like Nikolai or even the ancient fucking powerful ass Darkling would have feelings for her. Like yes on a base level I get that they like her power or whatever but still… it’s just unrealistic. Ummm, I think that’s all I have to say. This was a mess of thoughts cause I never know how tf to talk about sequels. This was more my thoughts on the actual events of the book rather than the writing which is what I usually talk about but yeah other than Nikolai this book followed the same format more or less as the first. Solid writing, entertaining events, same bland ass characters only this time they whine more. Somehow I still liked it, and somehow I care about Mal and Alina. The end.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    The first book was a surprise for me - I had low expectations as I was basically reading this trilogy to read the Six of Crows duology. I was excited to continue and this book fell short. 4 guys, 1 "oh so plain" girl... you get it. I still love the magic system and the world and I'm hoping things will get better in the third book!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brianna

    Alright, it’s happened: I’ve officially become invested in the Grishaverse. And it’s all thanks to this book. After being vaguely disappointed by Shadow and Bone, I tried to keep my expectations low as I continued on with the sequel. I guess there was no need for that because, oh boy, was this GOOD. It surpassed the first book in so many ways and I’m kind of in shock by how much more I loved this? I had no idea that Leigh Bardugo was about to defeat second book syndrome but she definitely just d Alright, it’s happened: I’ve officially become invested in the Grishaverse. And it’s all thanks to this book. After being vaguely disappointed by Shadow and Bone, I tried to keep my expectations low as I continued on with the sequel. I guess there was no need for that because, oh boy, was this GOOD. It surpassed the first book in so many ways and I’m kind of in shock by how much more I loved this? I had no idea that Leigh Bardugo was about to defeat second book syndrome but she definitely just did. So what made this that much more enjoyable? NOTE: this review will contain spoilers for Shadow and Bone! The Stakes Have Become Higher One of my biggest frustrations with book 1 was that there wasn’t any sort of gripping storyline, but thank goodness things changed up here. After the Darkling proved how villainous he truly is, everyone is now faced with fighting a battle against him. It’s all become a little more dangerous, a little more uncertain and precarious. And even though there wasn’t a lot of action itself in this book, the anticipation of what was to come made it far from boring. It could’ve easily dragged on, but it didn’t, and the high intensity made it hard to put down. A Bit of a Character Driven Storyline A shift in focus to the characters was everything I ever wanted for this series and I’m so glad it actually happened. I absolutely THRIVE on character driven stories. Where this book lacked action, it made up for in the time spent with the characters. There was some much needed development, an introduction to some new favorites, and the beginnings of an alliance among them. And I loved it. We had: Alina - My feelings for Alina have changed dramatically and I now have a lot of love for her. She grew so much as a character, took on a huge leadership role, and we finally got to see her potential. I’m honestly so proud of her, and even though she still isn’t the greatest MC, I truly appreciate how much she’s been been developing as a Grisha and as a person. Mal - Meanwhile, all Mal has done is become an overbearing nuisance. Seriously, this dude got on my every last nerve with the way he treated Alina. While I was taking notes for this book, I literally wrote “1 star knocked off for Mal being a pretentious jerk :)” so that’s... saying something, I suppose. Nikolai - Without a doubt the BEST thing that has happened to this series. Like, 100% my new favorite. Nikolai is the epitome of everything I love in a character. I have such a soft spot for the sarcastic one’s that secretly have hearts of gold. Every scene with him was just pure entertainment, and he made such an enormous impact on this series and the other characters. This book is worth the read just for him honestly. The Darkling - Although he was hardly in this, the scenes with the Darkling were still some of the best. I just find his complexity so interesting, and his newfound power in this was pretty epic. I still think he’s totally evil, and that he really shouldn’t be shipped with Alina now, but his whole character is certainly well-developed. The secondary characters - We also spent a little more time with some side characters, and that was great too. I loved that they had more page time and a place in this story. Tamar, Tolya, Genya, David, Zoya, and so many others, are some of my favorites now and I hope to see more of them all. World Building Continues to Be Remarkable I feel like I spend half my time actually reading this book and the other half studying the map because I’m honestly so intrigued by this world now. Reading this was a much more enjoyable experience after having a better understanding of the world building and the magic system. It’s just so cool how well developed it all is? Although I’m a little mad we had to spend so much time in the palaces in Ravka AGAIN, but at least we finally got to see some more powers being used and such. Still, this world building continues to be impressive and one of the best parts. Leigh Bardugo’s Skillful Writing Makes An Appearance I trusted that this would happen as these books go on, but I’m so beyond relieved that I was finally able to connect to Bardugo’s writing style. It was such a huge concern of mine before I read this one because I was like... how will I ever fully appreciate the Grishaverse if I’m not loving how it’s written? But alas, I’m now seeing the improvements as I continue this journey. There aren’t as many cliches in the writing, it’s all starting to flow better, and I’m finally starting to see what all the hype for Bardugo is about. Overall: Nothing Really Happened in This Book, But I Still Loved It? Looking back on all of this, I do realize that the plot was lacking a bit and not a whole lot even happened in this book. It definitely felt like more of a bridge in to book 3, but that’s what I liked about it. Instead of just being thrown in to more action, there was more time to get to know the characters and to build that anticipation for everything to come. Plus, there’s Nikolai, who pretty much redeemed this series anyway. This series still isn’t totally excellent and has it’s faults, but all in all, I’m enjoying it so much more than I thought I would. And I’m so excited to see what’s in store for the rest of the Grishaverse. And now... we continue !! ✨✨✨ Shadow and Bone: ★★★☆☆ Siege and Storm: ★★★★☆ Ruin and Rising: TBD Six of Crows: TBD Crooked Kingdom: TBD

  22. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte May

    “There are no others like us, Alina. And there never will be.” 3.5 ⭐ Though I am enjoying this series, I’m not finding them to be as amazing as all the hype makes them seem. Alina has taken her place as the leader of the 2nd army, and preparations are under way to go to war against The Darkling. Meanwhile, Mal is feeling less and less useful, and constantly jealous of other men who speak to Alina. This girl is supposedly ‘plain looking’ yet at one point she has 4 different men after her?! Like s “There are no others like us, Alina. And there never will be.” 3.5 ⭐️ Though I am enjoying this series, I’m not finding them to be as amazing as all the hype makes them seem. Alina has taken her place as the leader of the 2nd army, and preparations are under way to go to war against The Darkling. Meanwhile, Mal is feeling less and less useful, and constantly jealous of other men who speak to Alina. This girl is supposedly ‘plain looking’ yet at one point she has 4 different men after her?! Like seriously! Why?! It’s just not necessary IMO. I enjoy reading about the different types of Grisha and Alina’s growth with her powers. Overall I will read the last book just to see what happens, but I’m not particularly bothered with this one. Maybe because I’m getting tired of the whole “plain girl with special powers is the only one able to save the world. Oh and everyone fancies her.” Of course this isn’t the books fault, just that I’ve read a lot like that and this one seems like just another to add to the pile. “You know the problem with heroes and saints...they always end up dead.”

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)

    3ish Stars Overview: This is really hard to rate, because I really liked some parts, and really disliked others. Like Mal. I really enjoyed the first book, but this series can go in two directions and I’m not sure I like one of them. In the first novel, Alina constantly called herself a scrawny, 'useless' orphan girl. She had some major self-confidence problems, and her unrequited feelings for the golden-boy (Mal) didn’t help. But then she discovered her powers, met The Darkling and just came int 3ish Stars Overview: This is really hard to rate, because I really liked some parts, and really disliked others. Like Mal. I really enjoyed the first book, but this series can go in two directions and I’m not sure I like one of them. In the first novel, Alina constantly called herself a scrawny, 'useless' orphan girl. She had some major self-confidence problems, and her unrequited feelings for the golden-boy (Mal) didn’t help. But then she discovered her powers, met The Darkling and just came into her own. She trained with the Grisha and felt powerful, and because she felt it, she was. (Ugh, I loved it.) Then the ending of the first book happened and challenged everything she thought she knew about the Grisha. And this somehow also thrust her back with Mal and back into the role of self-deprecating, scrawny orphan. I feel like the series can either: 1. End with her rejecting this complicated, corrupted society and deciding to live as the ‘simple’ girl she was before. 2. Show her embracing the ideas of this culture on her own terms. I’m a fan of #2. But this book couldn’t make up its mind and ended up mostly filler. Pros: Nikolai is such a fun addition! I love his sense of humor and how it wasn’t compromised by his family/backstory. I just want to grab a beer with him, tbh. Like I know The Darkling is awful and malicious but HE’S SO INTERESTING. He’s such a dynamic character who relies on these manipulative movements. He seems to truly believe he’s doing the best thing (even if I’m not certain what that is yet) and the way he unnerves everyone was fantastic. There was more world-building here, which I thought was lacking in the first book. It got a little overtly political in places, but it seemed necessary. This world is so vast and creative and I really enjoy the Russian influences. Cons: CAN MAL JUST LEAVE There are pages of Alina commenting on how good he is at everything. And I just don’t care? All he does is comment on how he doesn’t want Alina to change and how frustrated he is because things are different and it’s boring. (And side note: Alina was in love with him for years why is she only now interesting to him? What right does he have to be so jealous of everything?) The Darkling and Genya were both so underutilized. Whyyyy? There was so much time with new characters and I just wanted to see them again. So. Much. Filler. Nothing actually happened outside of the first 50 pages and the last 10. It was just Mal and Alina arguing, politics, Alina stressing about herself, politics, Nikolai cracking jokes, politics, everyone wondering what The Darkling’s plan is... Just a ton of build-up. Did we really need another love interest? I like the character. Not digging the romance. In Conclusion: I think I’m going to either really hate or love Ruin and Rising, depending on the direction it goes.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net

    See this review and more on www.bookbastion.net Shadow and Bone: ★★★★★ ____________________ This might be the biggest let down of the year for me right now. As good as the first book was, and as much as I was looking forward to the sequel, I just wasn't feeling it. If you'll forgive me for being a bit blunt, because I hate to say it, but a fair chunk of this aside from the beginning and end was straight up boring. Plot movement is almost totally sacrificed in favor of propping up events that are s See this review and more on www.bookbastion.net Shadow and Bone: ★★★★★ ____________________ This might be the biggest let down of the year for me right now. As good as the first book was, and as much as I was looking forward to the sequel, I just wasn't feeling it. If you'll forgive me for being a bit blunt, because I hate to say it, but a fair chunk of this aside from the beginning and end was straight up boring. Plot movement is almost totally sacrificed in favor of propping up events that are sure to come in book 3. I read an interview with Leigh Bardugo, where she explains that certain events planned for this book were moved into book 3 and I have to think that's probably what did in my enjoyment of this one. Much of the story felt repetitive and the charm began to wear thin. Lots of circular war strategizing makes for dull reading. Go figure. But my biggest complaint has to be that there is a distinct lack of the Darkling, who we all know was the best part of Shadow and Bone. Seriously, he's missing from like 80% of this book. There's something extremely compelling about his character, and his connection with Alina. I fear that this book shuttled his character straight off into "irredeemable bad guy" territory permanently, when I'm hoping for something a bit more unconventional as an ending for his story. Basically, I'd like Alina to pull a T-Swift and bring him back around in book three. Oh and lastly, we have to talk about Mal. What happened to him? While I still considered him a non-entity in book 1, he's been rendered totally annoying here. He's whiny, petulant and acts almost as though he believes Alina owes him her devotion, when he doesn't really do much to prove he deserves it. I was over him in a big way here. Like I said though, I have a good feeling about book 3, so I'm going to keep my hopes up as Chelsea and I move into the final installment next week! ★★★✩✩ = 3 out of 5 stars _____________________________ Buddy-read with the incomparable Chelsea Humphrey

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sana

    This book was such a massive disappointment, considering I actually really enjoyed the first book. Half of the time reading this book was me pissed-fucking-off and filled with all bullshit in the world I can't fucking even. Also, there are going to be spoilers ahead for this book. You have been warned. ※Bullshit #1: Mal. Ew. What an annoying little mother fucker. You should probably know by now I fucking hate this guy more than anything in the world. WHY IS HE EVEN A PART OF THIS SERIES? Ugh he p This book was such a massive disappointment, considering I actually really enjoyed the first book. Half of the time reading this book was me pissed-fucking-off and filled with all bullshit in the world I can't fucking even. Also, there are going to be spoilers ahead for this book. You have been warned. ※Bullshit #1: Mal. Ew. What an annoying little mother fucker. You should probably know by now I fucking hate this guy more than anything in the world. WHY IS HE EVEN A PART OF THIS SERIES? Ugh he pisses me off to the point of tears. Like, please can you just die? It's not that hard tysm. He is so petty, I CAN'T EVEN. "'Not my type, but handsome.' My brows shot up. In my experience, Mal was just about everyone's type." "They were all gawking at Mal. It was hard not to." "He's probably so used to it, he doesn't even notice it anymore." ◇As I've probably mentioned in my review for Shadow and Bone, Mal is such a handsome little fellow and "just about everyone's type." All the girls fall for him and no one can resist his handsomeness. Like, we get it you're handsome, Alina and other girls can't resist you, his handsomeness was mentioned in the first book and now again several times here. LIKE,, I GET IT HE'S HANDSOME, NO NEED TO FUCKING REPEAT IT AGAIN IN THE SECOND BOOK. And please, I can resist his bullshitty beauty. "I have loved you all my life, Mal," I whispered through my tears. "There is no end to our story." *screams* NO NO NO, THIS CANNOT BE FUCKING HAPPENING. I DON'T EVEN GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THE PLOT OR ANYTHING, THIS BOOK COULD HAVE GOTTEN SUCH A HIGHER MOTHER FUCKING RATING IF MAL AND ALINA NEVER HAPPENED. This pissed me off so much. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I SHIPPED THE DARKLING AND ALINA?? Imagine my fucking disappointment when I find out Alina falls in love with...with this thing. *screams some more* FUCKING MAL, I HOPE YOU GET YOUR DICK EATEN BY SHARKS. ※Bullshit #2: The love square Well, I have officially read a book where not one, not two, but three guys have a thing for the same fucking girl. Mal, The Darkling and now Nikolai. "I want to kiss you,” Nikolai said. “But I won’t. Not until you’re thinking of me instead of trying to forget him." Are you fucking kidding me? Honestly at this point, I just...I just want everyone in this book except for The Darkling and Alina to live, making babies. kthx. Also, at this point, someone's grandpa is probably going to have the hots for Alina. ※Bullshit #3: The Plot Lmao, I'm sorry, you say plot? WHAT. FUCKING. PLOT??? This book is legit a fucking back and forth between Alina and the motherfucking Mal getting caught, then escaping The Darkling, getting caught, escaping The Darkling over and fucking over again. Literally stop playing these fucking cat and mouse chase games and Mal die. Alina go help out the Darkling and fuck him in his bed, WHY YOU TRYIN' TO RUN AWAY?? Literally all they did was run and escape from The Darkling whenever he caught him and it was so fucking irritating like pls stop I'm losing more and more brain cells. I was so fucking bored reading this bullshit, it was to the point where I just wanted to rip the pages from the book and eat them. ※Bullshit #4: Mal and Alina's relationship problems Ugh, Jesus Christ, WHY YOU GOTTA TORTURE ME LIKE THIS AUTHOR??? Listen up, I do. not. give. a. single. fuck. about. Mal. and. Alina's. relationship. and. more. than. half. this. book. was. them. having. relationship. probelems,, fighting. and. confessing. their. love. Let me repeat,, I DO NOT GIVE A SINGLE FUCK ABOUT THEM. So fucking annoying I have lost the will to copy paste the quote where Alina was mad at him for kissing another girl. There was a huge lack of The Darkling. This is probably the biggest reason why I hated this book. The Darkling was barely mentioned and I just literally continued to read this series just for him. My daddy was barely in this fucking book, pls leave me and let me cry. Also I don't really get the Nikolai hype,, like he's cool and all but IDC about him. Overall, ASFBQEUFBGE2RIUGBVP;EOQGBRO[UETBGO24T[4W I AM MAD. ANXBDKDBSKBDAGHUDYJ

  26. 5 out of 5

    Azrah

    These four stars are all for Nikolai ❤ Review to come.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Darth J

    It starts with pirates. There's an unconventional dragon. Alina realizes that she must find a certain 3 amplifiers to defeat the Darkling. With 2 amplifiers so far, her powers are heightened. And a climactic battle at the palace ensues. My other reviews for The Grisha series: • Shadow and Bone • Ruin and Rising • Six of Crows

  28. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Monroe

    “Watch yourself, Nikolai,” Mal said softly. “Princes bleed just like other men.” Nikolai plucked an invisible piece of dust from his sleeve. “Yes,” he said. “They just do it in better clothes.” I'd like to say Siege and Storm's higher rating is because of the better writing and Alina's exploration of her dark side, but who am I kidding? They're for Nikolai, aka Prince Perfect, aka "sweetheart or handsome", aka Thief of Whatever's Left of My Heart After Kaz Fucking Brekker Raided It. He's the per “Watch yourself, Nikolai,” Mal said softly. “Princes bleed just like other men.” Nikolai plucked an invisible piece of dust from his sleeve. “Yes,” he said. “They just do it in better clothes.” I'd like to say Siege and Storm's higher rating is because of the better writing and Alina's exploration of her dark side, but who am I kidding? They're for Nikolai, aka Prince Perfect, aka "sweetheart or handsome", aka Thief of Whatever's Left of My Heart After Kaz Fucking Brekker Raided It. He's the perfect balance between Mal and the Darkling. Nikolai has the Darkling's ambition and strategic mind, but knows where to draw the line. He's also otkazat'sya, normal, not Grisha. Instead of whining about it though, he invents flying ships and plays to his strengths. He has Mal's humor, expanded a thousand times over, with a bit of roguish charm thrown in. I've read Ruin and Rising. I ship Nikolai and Alina to the farthest edge of the sea. Mal, Mal, Mal. *sigh* I thought he was boring in Shadow and Bone. He was just there, like a footstool or a mushroom. Here, he's the biggest wankdouchenozzle that ever walked the literary earth since Jeb from Splintered. I sympathized with his feelings of inadequacy and purposelessness up until the last third of the book, where he basically admitted he wanted Alina to go back to the way she was: ordinary and powerless. Go fuck yourself, Mal. Alina's power is a part of her now and you can't cut it out like ex-friends in a photo. Be a Rhys and shape up. I understand what Bardugo is getting at, the antithesis to the Darkling's lust for power and Nikolai's ambition, the only boy who loves Alina for who she is, not her power. But he's just the other extreme. Oh, look, another opportunity to express my approval of Nikolai and Alina. In terms of plot, Siege and Storm suffers from slight Second Book Syndrome. It's mainly a "training montage", like so many predecessor YA novels. The heroine has discovered there is an evil plot afoot in the first book and in the second one, she gathers supporters/trains/gets to know her love interest(s) more before buckling down for the Boss Fight in book 3. If it weren't for the introduction of Nikolai, it would have been a very boring novel. Oops, I did it again. One more gif. Go on, indulge me. I'm not entirely certain Alina, a teenager with zero experience in warfare and politics, should lead the Second Army, but I do like that they address it rather than simply letting her have her way like in Ignite Me for #feminism. Alina leads because she's the Sun Summoner and Grisha respect power. I can get behind that. The Darkling makes a few appearances, though they carry a mild fanservice tone. Everyone loves the Darkling, so Alina/Darkling has to be shoved in somewhere. (view spoiler)[Her "hallucinations" of him don't serve much purpose except to rattle her, and he could've done a better job in the intimidation department. Hence, fanservice. (hide spoiler)] Nikolai is my one and only choice. ... I did it again, didn't I? My review of Shadow and Bone My review of Ruin and Rising

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ida

    3.5 stars, but rounded up because of one glorious moment close to the end. Because darkness never dies Putting this book on hold for close to two months was probably a mistake. It was so hard to get back into it, and it just made the middle section drag out for what felt like an eternity.

  30. 4 out of 5

    ♥ Becky 22

    !! This review contains (huge) spoilers for Shadow & Bone (The Grisha #1) !! Shadow & Bone is one of my favorite books ever, and I couldn’t wait to read Siege & Storm. And, guess what? I wasn’t disappointed at all. This book was fantastic. Surprise, surprise, the Darkling survived the attack in the Shadow Fold. I knew it. (But then, who didn’t?) Darkness never dies. (Don't you just love that tagline?) I’ll admit it: I love the Darkling. Way more than I like Mal. (Sorry, Mal.) Unfortu !! This review contains (huge) spoilers for Shadow & Bone (The Grisha #1) !! Shadow & Bone is one of my favorite books ever, and I couldn’t wait to read Siege & Storm. And, guess what? I wasn’t disappointed at all. This book was fantastic. Surprise, surprise, the Darkling survived the attack in the Shadow Fold. I knew it. (But then, who didn’t?) Darkness never dies. (Don't you just love that tagline?) I’ll admit it: I love the Darkling. Way more than I like Mal. (Sorry, Mal.) Unfortunately, loving the Darkling is a bit like being “Team Voldemort”: He’s the bad guy and we're supposed to hate him and I know that, in the long run, he probably doesn’t stand a chance. Not as a love interest and not as the ruler of Ravka. (Damnit, btw. Why did he have to turn out to be evil.) Now that I've finished Siege&Storm (view spoiler)[ I don't like him as much anymore. I mean, he's the villain. He's evil. And who wants to be Team Voldemort? Not me. So even though I love him as a character, I am no longer rooting for him. I'm pretty sure he's beyond redemption now, though I'm excited to see what will happen in book 3. (hide spoiler)] I still like Alina, though I didn’t love her as much in Siege&Storm as I did in Shadow&Bone. She was acting a bit crazy in this one, thanks to her stupid new amplifier. (Speaking of which, the part where she gets that amplifier- holy crap. How awesome was that.) And the whole thing between her and Mal was frustrating, to say the least. I kept wanting to shake some sense into her and into Mal. But I still like Alina as a narrator, because she has this dry sense of humor that makes you laugh out loud. "Make for the chapel!" Tamar shouted. The chapel? Did she plan to throw hymnals at the Darkling? And then there’s a new character, Sturmhond, aka (view spoiler)[ Nikolai (hide spoiler)] : All the lucky people who got ARCs have been swooning over him on twitter and tumblr for months now, so I was excited to meet him. I get it now. He’s pretty awesome. "Tried my hand at poetry for a while. The results were...unfortunate." (He has much, much better quotes, but I don't want to spoil anything for you.) The ending was hsudihfklsafudshgd. Yup, that's how I'm going to describe it. hsudihfklsafudshgd. I'm pretty speechless right now. (view spoiler)[ SO SAD! SOOO SAD! "I have loved you all my life, Mal." I whispered through my tears. "There is no end to our story." (hide spoiler)] This book is full of action and suspense and AMAZING characters. Leigh Bardugo has an epic imagination and she can write, man. If you liked Shadow&Bone, you will love this book as well.

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