Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Book: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #2
Pages: 435
Publisher: Henry Holt & CO
Date Published: June 4th, 2013
Source: Owned
Date Started: August 9th, 2015
Date Finished: August 15th, 2015

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, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
Siege and Storm is the second book in The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.

So today’s review is going to have a sort of dual purpose. I’m going to be reviewing Siege and Storm and talk about binge reading a bit. So lets get to the review and then to the discussion, shall we?

I read Shadow and Bone earlier this year for the Quarterly Book Club. I had been dying to start this series because people were just raving about these books. While I did enjoy Shadow and Bone, I wasn’t exactly wowed like I had been hoping I would be. But that didn’t turn me away from the series. I still ended up giving Shadow and Bone a 4, and thats what I’m giving Siege and Storm. You can read my thoughts about Shadow and Bone here.

Siege and Storm takes place a little while after Shadow and Bone, and Alina and Mal are on the run. They’ve found refuge in a little town working small jobs to earn a little money here and there. But of course they can’t escape the Darkling. Alina and Mal are taken prisoner on a ship but make a daring escape and are taken back to the little palace. Here, Alina decides to take a stand, but she finds difficulty in balancing everything- Mal, her power, her connection to the Darkling, her country, etc.

This story is more about the politics than about the action. I think I really appreciated it because it really added to the world building. This world is immense, and it takes a little getting used to, but it feels natural. I had trouble learning the vocab in the first book and ended up having to look up a lot of words. The same happened for Siege and Storm, but a lot of things felt familiar once I reminded myself what they were. The book kind of felt like the calm before the storm. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of action to go around. Especially in the beginning and the end. The middle was mostly filled with Alina trying to win people over to her side, to try and rebuild the second army while trying to navigate her newfound amplified powers. With that being said, there was a lot of character development, which I really appreciated.

Which leads me to my next point. I loved that there was more of Mal. I didn’t like him much in the beginning of the first book because I always felt like he took Alina for granted. But he redeemed himself towards the end. The reason why I liked seeing more of Mal was because he really added to the story. It was interesting to see how Mal and Alina reacted to each other, how Mal was dealing with Alina’s new found power. On the other hand, the Darkling was missing for most of the book. This kind of saddened me because I love the Darkling. He’s one of those villains that you have to hate, but you sort of kinda want to love him.

I really liked this book and it was a strong sequel to Shadow and Bone. I’m definitely excited to read the next book, which I thankfully already own!

Now to the discussion part? So I found myself at war with myself. I don’t like binge reading books because last year I did it for a couple of series, and I ended up getting really burnt out. I even ended up disliking a series because I got so burned out on it. I wished that I had spaced them out, so I made a rule not to binge read books. But for this series, I really recommend binge reading it.

Its not because the story is so captivating or it just sucks you in. I mean it does, but thats not what I’m discussing here. But rather, I think its the world building. I mentioned earlier that I had a bit of difficulty with the vocab because I had to look it up and then relook it up when I read the sequel. I recommend binge reading this series so that the vocab comes a lot easier. It’ll also be easier to add to the world building imagery in your head as you go on. This is why I decided to break my rule and immediately jump into the next book. I feel like if these books didn’t read so naturally, and therefore easier, I wouldn’t binge read them. Its taken a special circumstances for me to do this!

Have you read this series and did you like it? Or do you want to read it? What about binge reading? Yay or Nay? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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