Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Siege and Storm: Review


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.


Siege and Storm is just as awesome as Shadow and Bone! The book starts where Shadow and Bone has left off. Alina and Mal on the run from the Darkling, but things always don't go where they wish. But then another opportunity of defeating the Darkling and saving the country is emerging, along with the darkness and power and peril. It sounds like any sequel of the first book, only this book is far darker and more complicated then the first and I always love a dark tale.

The two main protagonists, Alina and Mal, have changed so much you nearly wouldn't recognize the two of them before Shadow and Bone. Alina, strong with her power as a Sun Summoner, is gathering forces to go up against the Darkling and his followers. At the same time she risks losing herself to the call of her Grisha power and struggling to be herself. Mal, being dragged by Alina to all the madness, is trying to pull Alina off the whole messed-up situation and not feeling fit-in constantly. I am very sad to see they have changed so much, even though I know this is necessary for the plot development.

There are also new characters introduced. My favorite characters are probably Tolya and Tamar. They're fierce, loyal, caring, and sometimes really funny. There are also mentions about the folk tale of the Too-Clever Fox, which you will have to read it in order to know about it because I feel like I'm giving too much away already.

Now I want to talk about the Darkling. (Spoiler!) He doesn't show up much in this book (End of spoiler), which is both a relief and disappointment. I hate him, like, hate him in the guts. I can admit that. But at the same time I feel really bad for him. Despite his greed and soulessness and darkness, he thinks what he's doing is right and truly believes his act of rebellion (rebellion is such an understatement, but that's the best I can come up with) is to liberate the country. Despite my hatred, I want redemption for him and see (at least a glimpse of) his good side. Mixed feelings, I guess. I hate to hate him but I also hate to love him as well. Jeez, what's wrong with me.

Back to the book. Just like Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm is short and sweet. 23 chapters are enough to pull of a story that sinks firmly into our hearts. But undeniably the plot is growing more complex and deeper. The characters have their dark sides and secrets of their own. They have to cling to the last glimpse of hope of freeing the country when everything seems so grim. Dark and intense, this is unlike any sequel I've ever read. One that will take your breath away.

Rating: 8.5/10

P.S. And now I know where the name Ruin and Rising comes from. Perfect name, especially after reading Siege and Storm.

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