Today was supposed to be the day where we discussed our read-along of Siege & Storm. Unfortunately unseen forces called ‘work’ and ‘real life’ hindered our plans. Instead of discussing, we’ll be posting our own reviews. Below is mine, and stay tuned for Angie’s!
Please let me know what you make of my review/thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to discuss!
To read our discussion on Shadow & Bone, click here!
The Grisha Trilogy #2
Henry Holt and Company | June 4, 2013
Overall, I enjoyed Siege & Storm more than the first book. The plot really took off, and the story progressed at a good pace, not leaving me behind and keeping me constantly interested. I was enthralled with the story, even if it still hasn’t reached a ‘Six of Crows’ level of epic.
When it comes to world building, I think I was better off having read Six of Crows first. I’m sure there were a lot of Shadow & Bone Easter eggs I missed in Six of Crows (like Genya!) but I also think, by reading Six of Crows first, I understood the scope of this world more. For instance, the Zemeni. In Siege & Storm the term was just dropped, without explanation, and it made me pause wondering if first time readers would understand. Reading Six of Crows first, I was already familiar with the Zemeni people and knew how to picture the character. I think that made me better off. There are other instances too, like Kerch, and the University… Shadow & Bone narrows this world, where Six of Crows broadens it. I was glad I started with the broader vision.
While I still adore Mal, Alina too (some of the time), I have to admit in this installment their characters were far too whiny and complainy. I mean, Mal is great, but did anyone else feel annoyance that he didn’t recognize his feelings for Alina until after she was ‘beautiful’ and a Grisha? For some reason it didn’t bother me in the first book, but it was something I thought early on in this one. Or, why does their entire relationship have to be all push and pull?
Maybe that’s part of why I felt my loyalty to his character wavering? It made it easy for Nickolai to drop into the scene and woo my heart. Nickolai was a fantastic character. He rarely whined or complained. He was sure of himself, clever, strong… You can practically see my focus shifting, and it’s partially Mal’s fault! In the prologue of the first book, we get this gorgeous prequel chapter where two children subconsciously fight to stay together, and I thought that would be a staple of this adult relationship and it hasn’t been. It’s been a let down, and while I was grieving what should have been a new character was introduced! One that was dashing, intelligent, amusing, and attractive! He kinda stole the show. (There is still a big part of me that’s hopeful Mal and Alina will shape up.)
As for the evil in the story… I guess everything I wondered about The Darkling was wrong. Or at least, if there was any good left in him it’s gone now. Without giving anything away, I never expected that level of cruelty from him. Kudos, Ms Bardugo, because I think you and The Darkling manipulated my feelings while manipulating Alina’s. Even if there is some good left inside him, I’m not sure I’ll be able to get past what he’s done. For me, I think he’s a lost cause.
I’m slightly wary about what’s going to happen in the next book. I’m not sure I liked where Alina found herself at the end of Siege & Storm. I loved how she got there, don’t get me wrong. That scene was pretty incredible. I just don’t like this cliffhanger. I think the best way to explain it is- it makes me uncomfortable. My hopes for the final book are simple: win, and for Mal and Alina to stop being silly and start supporting each other. That would make me a pretty happy reader.
I know it seems like I’ve been mostly negative in my review, and yet I’m giving the book 4.5 stars. I feel like I haven’t really explained why my rating is so high. I’m rating for passion! Clearly the book brought it out in me. I have so many intense feelings, I have to just let them pour out of me. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. The night I finished I barely slept a wink. All I could do was think about this story and these people. I was definitely consumed with Siege & Storm, and that definitely warrants a good rating.
I can’t wait to read Ruin & Rising! Pleasedon’tletmedown! Pleasedon’tletmedown!