Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone #2)
Henry Holt & Co.
Published June 4, 2013
About Siege and Storm
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, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But 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.
I have some complex feelings about this book. I really like Alina and her internal struggle over her power and the pull toward more versus her fight to stay herself. I love the way Nikolai kind of mentored her and teased her. I like his character a lot. I’m not such a huge fan of Mal, to be honest. I feel like he keeps disappointing me, so I’m not super invested in the relationship between him and Alina other than that it’s her true self who loves Mal, and as long as that love is still there, she’s still her, if that makes sense.
In terms of plot, SIEGE AND STORM takes an interesting route. Alina finds another amplifier near the beginning of the story and then spends the rest of the book rallying people to try to fight the Darkling. So that was different than the first book, for sure. I loved watching Alina learn to navigate politics and some of the back and forth between her and some of the other characters.
I enjoyed reading both SIEGE AND STORM and SHADOW AND BONE, though, and I definitely want to finish the series before Netflix releases the show later this month.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
The story setting is inspired by tsarist Russia. There’s a great interview with Leigh Bardugo about this in the Atlantic.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
A couple instances of mild profanity.
Kissing and tension between a boy and girl. In one scene, a boy kisses a girl without consent. She kicks him. At one point, a girl brings someone into her bed, kissing him.
Some characters have supernatural abilities referred to as small science. These can be things like gathering light or darkness or causing someone’s heart to explode without touching them.
Beyond that, though, a powerful Grisha has used forbidden magic to unleash a swath of darkness across Ravka. Alina hopes to find a way to use her sun summoner ability to destroy that darkness.
Some battle violence and situations of peril. Alina and her team face enemy soldiers and deadly monsters made of darkness. Some of the battles are described in detail.
Some social drinking.
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