Friday, 25 November 2016

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo // a fascinating character-driven story

Title: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy
Warnings: abusive relationships, violence, blood, war
Rating: 3 stars
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I'm regretting not reading this series before Six of Crows now. Even though it's amazing, I feel like it would do an injustice to the brilliance of the Six of Crows duology if I were to give The Grisha books a similar rating.

I ended up liking this sequel more than Shadow and Bone, and I think 50% of the reason is Nikolai. He's such a flawed character like the rest of them but HE IS FLAWLESS IN MY HEART. I'm really hoping for more of him in book 3 because he is precious and brings so much more wit to the series which I thought book 1 was definitely lacking.

"You heard Prince Perfect," Mal said, and joined us at the table. Nikolai grinned. "I've had a lot of nicknames, but that one is easily the most accurate."

I also loved Alina's character development. I said before that book 1 seemed to be following the generic YA formula, but Siege and Storm strays from that and I think it's largely to do with the fact that Alina isn't another bland potato protagonist. There's a lot to her and I love reading about the changes in her - both the negative and the positive. But I have to say her growing darkness is really interesting.

The Darkling was missing from the most of this book, but his presence is still strongly felt through Alina's expression of PTSD. Her struggle with who she is is fascinating to read about, with or without the Darkling's presence.

I still don't like Mal, but whereas before it was because he lacked a personality, now it is because of his ignorance. He puts Alina in a position where she is forced to choose between the two parts of herself and refuses to believe they are one and the same, which makes him almost as bad as the Darkling.

Siege and Storm also introduced a bunch of new characters as well as several old ones, and I'm excited to see how dynamics will change with them. The writing still isn't doing anything special, but this is definitely a character driven story that I'm now hooked on and can't wait to continue.

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