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. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. 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.
A huge time gap does not occur between the ending of Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm. For the most part it picks up right where it left off, with Mal and Alina barely escaping from the Darkling being forced to go on the run again.
Siege and Storm had a wonderful beginning filled with plenty of plot development including the introduction of vital new characters. On top of that, Alina has to face the consequences of leaving the Darkling and all those Grisha behind on the Fold and that haunts her for most of the book. Just when she thinks she’s escaped the clutches of the Darkling, he pulls some kind of trick that puts him leaping back into her life. She has to rely more and more on her powers as the Sun Summoner to get her out of sticky situations and save the lives of those she cares about most.
Alina begins to learn more about herself in Siege and Storm, and what she learns is not entirely pleasant. This in turn pushes Mal farther and farther away, which leads to an overall romantically frustrating book. When I thought they were making progress in their relationship, either Alina or Mal would do something stupid to ruin their love/ trust for each other. Alina’s powers clouded her judgement and turned her into a different person, one much more dark and ruthless than the girl we knew in Shadow and Bone. Fortunately, her romance with Mal is a little better off by the ending of the book than it was in the middle.
As the story continued, multiple plot developments were thrown down that were just interesting enough to keep me reading. However, for the most part, much of the book was pretty slow and had little movement toward the overall conflict. Though the first 150 pages or so were riveting, I found that the action died down after that and what was left was mostly character development for Alina and Mal and some of the new characters that were introduced. It wasn’t until the last 50ish pages that the action picked up again, and even then it was rather short lived. The conflict was finally dealt with with The Darkling, but after reading what occurred, I was left questioning where Leigh Bardugo plans to take the story in the third and final book.
Overall, Siege and Storm was a good read, not fantastic, but enough to keep me entertained and urge me forward with the rest of the series. I will still most definitely read the third book titled: Ruin and Rising out sometime this year.
You can buy Siege and Storm on Amazon here and anywhere else that sells books!