Siege and Storm (The Grishaverse #2) by Leigh Bardugo
“I let go of my fear, my guilt, my shame. There was a darkness inside me. He had put it there, and I would no longer deny it.”
The second installment picks up with Alina and Mal no the run from the empire and the Darkling, hiding as a deserter and the Sun Summoner. Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy to run away. The Darkling is relentless in his search for Alina and Ravka is falling apart. With new friends in tow, Alina learns more about her powers but starts to lose herself and perhaps everything she loves, including Mal.
It’s a good thing these books read so easily,
otherwise I would have given up otherwise the boredom would have dragged this book far too long. Unfortunately, I am bent on finishing these books before starting the famed Six of Crows. A lot happens in this book, but what I remember most was how angsty Alina was towards Mal. You all should know by now, I appreciate love angst as long as it’s in the right element. While some is to be expected in a YA fantasy, this one really made me want to climb into the book and slap Alina for being so dumb. You know, the way a friend would to snap them back to reality. There really was a lot of development in this story, without it really being entertaining. There were a few exciting scenes yes, but unfortunately it was surrounded by Alina being affronted by Mal.
The World Building
I loved all the new folklore that was introduced into this book and how much it affects the character’s actions. I loved how these seemed to be a little more original on their spin offs, as so far there really isn’t a lot of similarity to actual Slavic folklore, despite the obvious continued inspiration for the rest of the world. I was really hoping for more building around the fold, since that is a huge foe (although intangible) aside from The Darkling. However, the development of powers kept me sated as far as that goes…I just wanted more.
Alina – Okay, so although it’s really infuriating to watch a girl who has so much power flounder, it is absolutely believable that she would dive back into her self-doubt. She spent most of her life feeling inferior t Mal, and even though she isn’t now, she someone lets him have a hold on her. I loved her slightly darker development in this book, but appreciated how much she fought against it. Honestly, I think it sends a really bad message that it’s totally okay to keep trying to be with someone despite how awful they treat you. Alina would be such a better character if she grew to be strong enough not to need and rely on Mal so much.
Mal – IS THE WORST. So what if he had given up a lot to be with Alina, that doesn’t give him any excuse to treat her like dirt when he is “supporting” her with her decisions. Not saying he should sit back and just tag along, but he could actually be proud of what he can do to help her when she is so clearly struggling. It’s so frustrating because he should be someone she could go to, but he ends up being a hindrance to her.
Darkling – I was really hoping for more of this guy in this book. However, I did love his eerie lingering presence and what it means for his relationship with Alina. While I understand he is twisted and manipulative, there is something to say about how he actually understand Alina and her need use and grow her power.
Taylor Swift- Call it What You Want