Sunday, May 26, 2013

Early YA book review: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo
YA fantasy*Hardcover/eBook, 448 pages
Expected publication: June 4th 2013 by Henry Holt and Co.

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.

Ha! I began reading the second book in The Grisha series with high expectations. HIGH expectations. Leigh Bardugo didn't just satisfy my expectations, she surpassed them. Pause for moment of blatant idolizing. Siege and Storm continues Alina's story as sun summoner of Ravka as she and Mal journey away from the clutches of the Darkling while searching for another piece of the ever-expanding puzzle.

For at the heart of The Grisha series is a puzzle: the parts Alina believes she needs to defeat the Darkling once and for all. But her quest is dangerous--both physically as well as mentally--as power continues to control her actions, despite Mal's objections. Their relationship deepens amidst the splintering as both change and grow more defiant in their beliefs. New allies are made, a mysterious pirate is introduced (another great character to like) while others return to the forefront, perhaps changed or not, and all kept me addicted to this unfurling fantasy.

What I thoroughly liked was how the author manipulated the reader through plotting, devices, surprises and twists. The story did slow down in parts so the reader could think and re-energize and breathe before taking off once again to lands/places/destinies unknown. The mystery deepens from where exactly did Alina and Mal come from to what has happened to the Darkling? Can he be stopped? Can he be more complex?

Talk about epic. The story goes in places I never imagined, still surprising and exciting. It's not fair to spoil the story by revealing too much so I won't. Fans will not be let down. If you enjoy/love fantasy, it's time to jump aboard The Grisha train. I simply cannot wait for book three and more of my favorite YA fantasy series.

Rating: 5
Cover comment:
Again, awesome! Digging the dragon and the Ravka kingdom in red (foreshadowing, hmm).

Book source:
I received a promotional copy from the publisher.

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