The second of the Grisha series, Siege and Storm continues the story of Alina Starkov, the Grisha known as the Sun Summoner. She and Mal Osterev have gotten away from the Darkling and made their way Noyvi Zem to restart their lives, although Alina is constantly looking over her shoulder. After all, she still wears the amplifier from Morozova and there is no news of the Darkling’s death.
Soon, the Darkling catches up with them and he has a new, terrifying power. Weakened from non-use of her powers, Alina and Mal are soon captured and on their way back across the sea. Before they return to Ravka, the Darkling commands Mal to track the legendary Sea Whip, a creature of Morozova’s making that may be another powerful amplifier – but for whom? To aid in the tracking, the Darkling has employed the privateer Sturmhond. Much to his surprise, the privateer betrays the Darkling and steals Alina, Mal, and the sea whip from the Grisha.
Eventually Alina returns to Ravka and, through a series of events, is given command of the remaining Grisha in the Second Army. Together with the royal family they prepare to face the Darkling while attempting to rebuild Ravka. At the same time, Alina discovers the presence of a possible third of Morozova’s amplifiers and is determined to find it before the Darkling does. While commanding an army of magic users is no walk in the park, Alina does her best to bring the different factions together.But the more Alina leads the Second Army, the more she finds herself changing and a rift forming between her and Mal. Is she changing for the better…or the worst? And will it help her against the Darkling as his terrifying new power?
I felt lukewarm regarding Shadow and Bone. I absolutely adore Leigh Bardugo’s work, but Shadow and Bone didn’t stick with me. However, Siege and Storm was a delight – and I think that was mostly because I really liked Sturmhond’s character. Not only that, I feel like the story has really progressed; Shadow and Bone introduced the story and characters, but Siege and Storm really took off. I can’t wait to see what Ruin and Rising has in store.
My rating: 4/5