{Review} SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo

Congratulations to SIEGE AND STORM for hitting the New York Times Bestseller's List!!!

Check out my review of Leigh Bardugo's debut novel SHADOW AND BONE
...especially if you haven't begun this series yet. ^.~

(And Gennifer Albin [CREWEL], Caragh M. O'Brien [The Birthmarked Trilogy], and Marie Rutkoski [THE SHADOW SOCIETY, The Kronos Chronicles Trilogy]!

O P E N I N G   L I N E:
TWO WEEKS WE'D BEEN IN COFTON, and I was still getting lost. The town lay inland, west of the Novyi Zem coast, miles from the harbour where we'd landed. Soon we would go further, deep into the wilds of the Zemeni frontier. Maybe then we'd begin to feel safe.
(pg. 1, US hardcover edition)

I love when sequels live up to and/or surpass their predecessors. Especially when they're middle books! There's no trace of Middle Book Syndrome when it comes to Leigh Bardugo's sophomore offering. This book blew SHADOW AND BONE out of the water, which is saying a lot, since S&B was one of my Top Fantasy Novels of 2012. Bardugo is definitely an author to watch and buy immediately if you're a fan of high fantasy.

Spoilers Below From Book 1. You have been warned. Turn back now if you're not caught up!

SIEGE AND STORM begins not long after SHADOW AND BONE ends. We quickly catch up with Alina and Mal, who are on the run and in hiding from The Darkling. They can only stay off his radar for so long, however, and when he tracks them down, he's furious...and he has a devastating new trick up his sleeve. He wants Alina's abilities more than ever before and is willing to risk everything to bestow her with the impossible--a second mythical amplifier. The mythology in this book is even more gorgeous than it was the first time around, and I'm looking forward to even more of this in next year's finale RUIN AND RISING. Readers are also interested to new characters, in particular the mysterious privateer Sturmhond, who evolves and becomes an important character throughout the novel. He's a new favorite for me, and I can't wait to see his role in the next book. Alina evolves so much over the course of the book, and her destiny has become terrible. I'm frightened for her, especially after the powerful way SIEGE AND STORM ends.

Bardugo knows how to captivate fans of high fantasy and retain them. It's hard to believe this is her first published series. The Grisha Trilogy will be highly recommended for years to come. I love when fantasy books completely bring me into a new world. From descriptions of food and clothing to scenery and events, I felt like I was in this Russia-like world alongside Alina. The lore is rich and evocative, the prose captivating and fresh. I rooted for so many characters throughout the book. Alina has come so far and grown so much, yet she has a lot of growing yet to do. She inspires loyalty and hope, and is still coming to terms with being a symbol to so many people. Power is intoxicating, and Alina has far too much thanks to the Darkling. It will be interesting to see what she becomes in RUIN AND RISING. Bardugo brings characters into readers' hearts, forcing them to root for minor characters, for villains, for protagonists, and even for new characters. Too many times, new and minor characters aren't embraced by fans, but Bardugo insists on making everyone care this time around. How often do you hear readers say that a new character is a favorite, or that intense sympathy is felt for someone minor, yet important? The Darkling's role isn't nearly as big this time around as it was in the first book, but his presence is always felt. Many fans of the series are die-hard Darkling fans, and the Darkling is a villain, who in most books would fuel hatred and malice towards the character. This is again a great show of how Bardugo is able to get readers to embrace all her characters on so many levels. I truly felt a part of this world and care about the plights of everyone, not just the heroine and her love interest. I'm looking forward to next year's resolution; the wait for the final book is a tough one!

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

Macmillan is so lucky to have designer Rich Deas on board.  So many of their amazing book covers are designed or orchestrated by him.  I was lucky enough to interview Rich last year as part of Marissa Meyer's CINDER Blog Tour, and I'm so eager to see what covers he comes up with next!

I love illustrated covers and wish there were more of them on YA titles.

The Grisha Trilogy is gorgeously rendered, inspiring thoughts of fantasy in new, evocative ways. The design hints at important mythology lying within the book's pages, as did the cover for last year's SHADOW AND BONE.

The cover and interior design for both books in the series is so elaborate that last year, I filmed a video showcasing everything to show you.  Sometimes, I feel that video shows things off better than still images!  The same interior design elements were used for SIEGE AND STORM, so here's a repeat of last year's video. 

There's an intricate map, design work at the beginning of each chapter, and a graphic alongside each page number.  Doesn't that alone intrigue you?

Check out this amazing work of art: 

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. / Macmillan
Received: For Review

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. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. 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.


  1. Great review. I'm beyond thrilled to hear that it doesn't suffer any middle doldrums (always so disappointing) I'm moving this one up my TBR. S & B blew me away last year. I'm sure S & S will do the same.

  2. Hey. I didn't read this review, since I don't wanna ruin my read of the first book
    I have been planning to read this series since FOREVER
    And I truly will if I have time
    GREAT post
    Your reader,


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