Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
So I'm sitting here staring at this blank box trying to figure out what I want to say that would be meaningful about Siege and Storm because if I just typed what I felt it would be the word equivalent of these gifs.
Siege and Storm picks up shortly after the end of Shadow and Bone. Mal and Alina have escaped the Fold and are trying to keep her identity a secret while they earn money to make their way north. And from the very start of this book I'm reminded why I fell in love with these characters so much.
Alina and Mal have a sweetly beautiful relationship and the way they tease really added the necessary lightheartedness to the story. I think it adds a wonderful dimension to their relationship... everything that is going on with them is so serious and complicated that to see them be able to take that step back from all that and remember where they came from and who they are to each other was done perfectly.
He yanked me beneath a shadowed awning. I had a moment's panic when I thought he'd spotted trouble, but then his arms were around me and his lips were pressed to mine.
When he finally drew back, my cheeks were warm and my legs had gone wobbly.
"Just to be clear," he said, "I'm not really interested in defending your honor."
"Understood," I managed, hoping I didn't sound to ridiculously breathless.
Of course... they couldn't hide forever from The Darkling.
Upon his return into their lives, they realize that he has a terrifying new power now and a plan in place that he needs Alina for. The Darkling elicits the help of a notorious privateer named Sturmhond.
Sturmhond and his crew turned out to be a wonderful addition to the cast of characters that Bardugo has already created and I adored their parts in this epic story. Sturmhond brought a bit of levity to the drama and there were times that he had me laughing out loud!
Mal scowled then turned on his heel and strode across the deck, disappearing into the ordered chaos of rope and sail. I took a step after him.
"Might want to leave him alone," Sturmhond said. "That type needs plenty of time for brooding and self-recrimination. Otherwise they get cranky."
But everything isn't as it seems and as Alina and Mal are returned to Ravka, the country they were determined to leave, Alina realizes how much she wants to fight The Darkling and keep him from his plan.
Alina's journey isn't easy though and as the Sun Summoner she comes forward and attempts to lead her people in a victorious fight that she knows is soon approaching with The Darkling.
Mal throughout everything tries to support Alina but is battling his own personal issues at the same time. The moments between the two were some of my favorite... mostly because I absolutely adore Mal. He struggles in this book though to figure out who he is supposed to be and where he fits into her life and there was definite flailing happening in regards to him.
Do you practice being wonderful?"
"Daily," he said with a grin. Then he winked, "But I prefer 'useful'."
Then we have The Darkling. Come on ... you all know you love him as much as I do. He is DELICIOUSLY EVIL!!
I'm not going to get into the big plot points, (you should know my reviews by now) but I will say that I never once had any inkling at all of where Bardugo was taking this story. I couldn't even hazard a guess because when I thought one thing was going to happen... something completely unexpected did and it was genius every. single. time.
This book will give you the sweet swoons, the epic flails and the heart pounding action. It will give you incredible characters who are written with such detail and care and it will give you an incredible story to delve into, losing yourself in the world of Alina and the country of Ravka.
I can't recommend this series enough. Even if you wait until a series if complete to read, this might be one to break your rules for. When it comes out in June run... I mean it... run to get your copy!
P.S. THANK YOU MEG FOR SHARING WITH ME... xoxox
P.P.S. THANK YOU MacMillan for sending me a beautiful ARC xoxox (inappropriate I know but still...)
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Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
5 gazillion stars...I have no words right now other than I need the next book immediately.
Ok - after a few days of thought...My love for this series knows no bounds. These are some of my favorite characters and storylines ever.
Anything I write here will not do this book justice so just trust me when I say that if you haven't started this series yet, you should. The characters and world that Bardugo creates are amazing and you have to read her stories to understand.
Siege and Storm picks up with Mal and Alina traveling undercover to escape The Darkling. Alina is back to hiding her power which means she isn't at 100%. The beginning of the book where it is just Alina and Mal is one of my favorite parts. We get a glimpse into the feelings they have for each other as well as how their relationship was when they were at Keramzin. Mal is swoony - no question about it and I liked him a lot more in book 2 because we get more of him.
Unfortunately their escape isn't long-lived. They do meet with The Darkling again and find out he has gained additional power. At the same time, we are introduced to a new character, Sturmhond. He is absolutely one of my favorite characters in this series now. Some of his dialogue actually had me giggling out loud.
Throughout the story we know Alina's goals and reasons for doing the things she does but one of the best parts of the story was seeing how her decisions impacted Mal. He struggled throughout the entire book with who he is and what his purpose is. Their relationship changes along the way and it is clear that they are no longer the orphans they once were.
As per usual, I have no words for The Darkling. There will be those out there that disagree with me on this but I can't help myself - I just love him. Despite everything he is doing, I think deep down he really does love Alina for more than just her power.
I refuse to give anything away in this book - so I feel like I should stop here. Trust me when I say that this series is by far one of the best out there and you should get started reading it immediately - if you haven't already. I myself will be reading this over and over...it's that good.
I will close with this note to Leigh Bardugo:
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