Hunted by the things she has done and hunted by the Darkling, Alina struggles to start a new life with Mal. She has to keep her identity a secret, so Darkling does not find her. But she cannot outrun her past and her destiny.
It was hard for me to get into Siege and Storm. It was probably because I read Shadow and Bone about 3 years ago and I remember thinking that the book was almost good, though it was undeniably a very promising start of the trilogy. And the second book, Siege and Storm, did not disappoint.
I loved everything about it! It was beautifully written, engaging, thought-provoking and refreshing. I cannot say it was especially fast-paced, but I did enjoy that it gave the main character Alina, a Grisha with some neat powers, a lot of time for reflection – on the war she feels partly responsible for starting, on her inner darkness demanding more powers and relating to the Darkling and, yes, on her romantic feelings as well. And since love triangles are so yesterday, Leigh Bardugo went for a love quadrangle of sorts. I am not usually a fan of such things, but it only added to the reading experience, because it was not a typical YA situation. Alina had different kinds of feelings for each of her suitors. She associates Mal with her childhood, heart-piercing, soul-stirring history, and family. Sturmhond is new and exciting, charming and bold, and a prince on top of that. Darkling is the kind of a being that will embrace Alina’s darkness and probably ruin her, but he is mysterious, alluring and wicked.
To tell the truth, I cannot for the life of me associate this story with a YA novel. Reading Alina’s point-of-view I could not help but think that she is older and wiser than she is actually supposed to be. She is a headstrong female character that could just as well be in her mid-twenties.
The world Leigh Bardugo conjured up is fascinating – a Russianesque, medieval setting. And I really appreciate her spending a great deal of time dealing not only with her characters, but also their surroundings.