Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha, book #2
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Source: ARC borrowed from Jen at YA Romantics, 2nd ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
If I had my way, this is what my review would look like:
|Or just lines and lines of this: Jen + Sturmhond = ♥|
I had heard all about this Sturmhond character prior to picking up Siege and Storm, and what I heard left me skeptical. People were switching teams left and right to ship Alina and this guy. But...but...but what about The Darkling? After reading S&S, I'm almost like, "The Darkling, who?" Oh, he's around...he's always around. But it's definitely in a much different capacity than it was before. And then in steps Sturmhond to set Alina on the right path, or at least, his preferred path for her. ;0)
It's no secret that I wasn't a fan of Mal in Shadow and Bone. I was all about the Darkling and his enticing, evil ways. But in Siege and Storm, I found Mal even more obnoxious than before. He never seemed concerned with what Alina was feeling or what she wanted, only ever thinking of himself and how things affected him. Listen up, pal...this isn't The Mal Show. Even still, if these two were better at communicating, I might see a future for them, but with all of the other attractive male counterparts involved, I'm doubtful. Especially because Mal would like nothing more than for Alina to stop using her powers and live a simple life with him, even though it makes her weak and sick to do so. Her gift makes her stronger, and I think he's intimidated by that, and ultimately, by her.
The Darkling on the other hand, wants Alina to use her powers. However malevolent the Darkling may be, he believes he's doing what's right. He wants Alina for himself, but he also wants her to help him with his heretofore nefarious plans. There is a bond between Alina and the Darkling, one that is not easily severed or overlooked, and he's probably the only person who truly understands what Alina's enduring. He was, afterall, the most powerful Grisha prior to the realization that Alina was the Sun Summoner. The Darkling knows a little something about wielding an obscene amount of power.
|tagged proof of highly|
Alina, for the most part, is just as tortured and confused as we left her in Shadow and Bone. Maybe more so. Especially after certain truths were discovered in the Istorii Sankt'ya, and she's left with some difficult decisions. Her problem, though, is that she shoulders the burden all on her own. Alina doesn't confide in Mal because she fears she might be losing her mind, which is even more reason to ask for help, but there it is. And so Alina continues trying to prepare for a war that none of them are ready for, most especially her.
I love fantasy best because it's so unpredictable and magical and full of possibility. I love the Grisha series so much because the writing encompasses everything I adore in a fantasy novel: a realm unlike anything I've ever read, dialogue (especially the banter!) that keeps me entertained and makes me forget I'm even reading, and a quest that is at once impossible but also manageable...with the right comrades. I simply can't get enough of this world and its characters...the wait for Ruin and Rising is going to be absolute torture!
High fantasy. High stakes. Highly entertaining. And I highly recommend both Shadow and Bone (which just released in paperback) and Siege and Storm, which releases on June 4th. And not just for lovers of fantasy...but for anyone who loves to be transported to a world where magic exists and the struggle between good and evil starts from within.
***Big, huge, monster-sized thanks to Jen at YA Romantics for letting me be the first to read her ARC. I know what that must have meant to her, especially once I received my own ARC. =) But also, I wanted to say that it was fated that I should meet and fall for Sturmhond. I mean, at one point, I had two times the Sturmy in my possession and I was so giddy with the power of it all. Wonder if this is what Alina feels like with that amplifier on her neck...***