Again, like all fairly popular books, I am quite late to the Grisha trilogy, and I honestly don't know what I've been doing with my life for so long before reading these books. They are phenomenal, really and truly.
Siege and Storm is the second and middle instalment in the Grisha trilogy. I gave the first books, Shadow and Bone, 5 stars, and I was so hopeful that I would go on to love the second book just as much and thankfully that was true.
So much happens in the space of this book, and yet nothing feels rushed or quickened to get to certain points. The writing clever and mesmerizing. Again I loved all the Russian influences.
I've admitted before I have a penchant for slightly darker books, and though the story isn't quite 'dark', it has literal darkness in it and I found it all so fascinating. The Darkling growing power has me mesmerized.
The Grisha are shattered and scattered, and the stakes are so high with everything, the tension of when the Darkling will next appear never leaves you throughout the whole book.
I'll admit that I did notice the absence of The Darkling, but not in a way that made me disappointed.
Leigh Bardugo cleverly manges to insert him into the core of the story even though he isn't actually as psychically present as he was in the first book.
It just made me even more eager for him to finally show again.
I will say that I hadn't banked on seeing The Darkling so very early into the story, which was a pleasant surprise.
The biggest transformation comes easily from Alina herself. When we first met her, she was a lowly soldier without a place in the world, and yet, we've seen her grow and flourish, and even sometimes beginning to questions her when her actions are not to what we have come to expect from her.
I love Alina's struggle with her growing power and I loved her desire to do what was right for Ravka, especially at end.
Can I jusy say how much the last few sentences had me pumped for the third and final book.
Shit is about to go down!
Now I think I mentioned this is my review of the first book, but I was never overly fond of Mal. Just the fact that it had taken him so long to 'see' Alina. I just find him a little boring. Not as a character, but as a love interest. I need a little more excitement that just 'growing up together'. The only thing he really brought were his tracking abilities. That doesn't mean I wasn't rooting for them, and that my heart didn't give a sad little tug when Alina was saying that their story would never be over.
I feel that Mal will play an even bigger part in Ruin and Rising though, and I am very intrigued at how their relationship will now play, given everything that has happened and all that Alina has faced and still has to face.
Stormhond, he was fantastic and such an intriguing character, I very much loved him. He was ruthless and yet fair and I quit liked his ruggedness. As Nikolai, I still enjoyed his character immensely and I really hope that this was not the end of him.
Unfortunately for most series, the middle books or sequels are most usually the weakest in the series. That most definitely is not the case with Siege and Storm, I enjoyed just as much as it's predecessor, even more actually.
I have to read Ruin and Rising. Now. I need to know how this story ends. And I have no doubts by now that Leigh Bardugo will execute it to absolute perfection!
The Grisha series is certainly making its way very quickly up my favourites list and I hope that the third will cements its status as one of favourites series of all time.