Today’s review is a follow on from a book I talked about a few weeks ago.
Siege and Storm is the second instalment in the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.
The story picks up right after Alina and Mal have escaped the Darkling and are now onboard a ship to Novyi Zem across the True Sea in search of a better, safer life.
I started this a few days after my reading of Shadow and Bone but I found I was able to jump right back into the world with great ease. This was probably down to Bardugo’s skill at world building but also the action and drama your thrown right into from the beginning probably also has something to do with it.
In Siege and Storm we see a wiser and more considerate Alina who has clearly grown up from book one. Further than this, the protagonist’s attitude to her power and her bestfriend/boyfriend also evolves in a way that feels more realistic and mature. The writer, I feel, in this instalment very clearly defined her characters and their personalities and I believe that was a real credit to this book.
The pacing of the plot as previously mentioned was lightning fast but I never felt like details were being left out; in fact I found it only made the narrative more exciting.
All of the delicate world and culture that Bardugo forged in book one carries over nicely into Siege and Storm and I was really glad to see that places like Os Alta and the Little Palace were revisited and described in greater depth. It felt like I was returning to a fictional home.
My review is largely in favour of the story yet I do have one qualm about SaS: The romance. I didn’t really care much for Alina and Mal’s relationship at the end of SaB but I thought it was reasonably fluffy and nicely carried out. However moving into the second book Bardugo puts a lot of effort into investing you into these character’s love and then, like some evil masterful authoress, destroys it all. And I hated it. I wanted them to be together because it had always felt so right within the context of the world and so it didn’t really make sense to me when they weren’t.
This book was definitely great if not fantastic but some details made me feel a little less positive. Maybe it was just mid book syndrome.
I give this book a 3.8 out of 5 stars.
Keep on reading!
And thanks again Beth. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!