Siege & Storm - Leigh Bardugo
"Alina Starkov's power has grown, but not without a price. She is the Sun Summoner - hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she's taken. But she and best friend Mal can't outrun her enemies for long.
The Darkling is determined to claim Alina's magic and use it to take the Ravkan throne. With nowhere else to turn, Alina enlists the help of an infamous privateer and sets out to lead the Grisha army.
But as the truth of Alina's destiny unfolds, she slips deeper into the Darkling's deadly game of forbidden magic. To save her country, Alina will have to choose between her power and the man she loves. No victory can come without sacrifice - and only she can face the oncoming storm."
(Please note that Siege & Storm is the second book of a trilogy and this post will most likely contain spoilers for the first - Shadow & Bone)
In Siege & Storm we rejoin Aline and Mal as they are on the run from the Darkling who is relentlessly pursuing them. The Darkling is determined to get Alina back so that he can use their connection and her power to take over Ravka. It was really interesting to delve deeper into the Darkling in hid book. In Shadow & Bone we saw him as this mysterious and seductive figure but now this has secret agenda has been exposed we see a more desperate and dangerous side to him. He's got nothing to lose and he is willing to do anything to get what he wants.
On the other hand, we see Alina struggling. She is drowning in guilt from the deaths that were caused at the end of the last book and she is trying to control the increase of strength from the amplifier. Not to mention battling the hunger for the other amplifiers to complete the set. She is becoming addicted to the power she wields and it does make the reader wonder whether she will have to compromise her own morals and values to be able to take down the Darkling?
"When people say impossible, they usually mean improbable."
In contrast to the Darkling, Alina does have something to lose - Mal. With her paranoia and not knowing who to trust she takes all of the burden onto her own shoulders and there is definitely a rift starting to form between the two. Especially with Alina keeping secrets from Mal as she starts to get visions of the Darkling and doesn't tell him.
Additionally, we are introduced to some exciting new characters. Nikolai Lantsov has definitely been added to my favourite fictional characters list! He is intelligent, witty and charming and it is practically impossible not to fall in love with him. Of course, Nikolai adds some of the tension between Alina and Mal as the cheeky prince has his eyes set on Alina. Along with Nikolai are the dynamic members of his crew. All of the characters were so fun to read together and they fit in so well, it felt like they had been there from the start.
Siege & Storm was the perfect continuation from the first book! The story progressed nicely and also had lots of unexpected yet exciting twists and turns. I can't wait to see what happens next!
Thank you for reading my thoughts and I hope you enjoyed my post! What did you think of Siege & Storm? Let me know if you have any recommendations for what I should read next! You can find me on Twitter, Instagram or by email!