Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo

5/5 Stars
Published by Henry Holt and Co.
Published June 4th, 2013

Synopsis (taken from Goodreads): Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try and make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while she tries to keep her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. Alina 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 pal 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 picks off right where Shadow and Bone leaves off. Alina and Mal continue on their dangerous journey to find a sanctuary, while The Darkling has escaped the Fold and is on a search for Alina and Mal. In comparison to the previous book, I feel like Leigh Bardugo's writing improved dramatically. There is this underlying tension that is constant throughout the entire book, which makes it very potent. A lot of thought went into developing this world and it is very obvious. There are redolent settings, original folklore, and a bunch of other imaginative details that were put into this storyline. 

There was a lot of character development that took place within Alina during this book. She really began to develop a sense of who she was and what she stood for, but there was this power-hungry urge that really drove her towards success. Alina was really able to explore her powers and gain a sense of trust with her abilities. Along with this, a lot of other characters were introduced. Throughout this book, I felt like the side characters were that ones that really held the whole of the plot together. Leigh Bardugo did a great job of developing the side characters with enough personality without, perhaps, 'over-exposing' the characters; she left enough hidden to keep you guessing throughout the book.

Sadly, there was a huge lack of The Darkling in this story, which made my heart sad, but a new, beautiful character was introduced that filled that void and expanded into deeper corners of my heart. Nikolai Lantsov is my one of my favorite male characters to ever to be introduced into my life. He is cunning, charismatic, and absolutely hilarious! He gives the book a lot of personality and it didn't take him long to carve his way into my heart.

This book was definitely an engaging read and had me at the edge of my seat the entire journey. There is just something about Leigh Bardugo's writing that leaves you speechless and grasping for more. I love this stunning world that Leigh has taken the time to produce and the sheer brilliance that runs its course through this novel. Her attention to detail is so distinct, that her characters are so radiately formed and left to run rampage through this mesmerizing world.

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