Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Siege and Storm: A review
Info: Henry Holt and Co., copyright 2013, 432 pages
A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): The battle between Sun and Shadow is building, and the stakes have never been so high.
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.
World development has already been done. The characters have already been set on their path. Now, in book two, we get pure awesome. The action starts off right out of the gate and keeps going to the very last page. The most amazing part is that good is not all good. And evil is not all evil. These two forces are in the fight of their lives, but you find yourself rooting a bit for both. (Because let's face it...the Darkling might be kind of scary, but he's also kind of hot). Now add in some pretty wicked dialogue, a charming pirate prince, a kingdom on the brink of destruction, and a flying hover ship thing and you've got the makings of just an awesome-sauce fantasy.
Leigh Bardugo hits all the marks. Her characters are well-developed. Her pacing is consistent. She doesn't regurgitate everything from book one. And she leaves you with one heck of a cliffhanger. That's the thing. With the vast majority of fantasy and science fiction books I devour, I can usually predict how they're going to end. After Siege and Storm, I have absolutely no idea. And it's driving me crazy. I'm also more excited to get my hands on book three than I have been for just about any book in the last two years. It's SO good.