Friday, March 30, 2018

A Book Review of Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Alina Starkov’s power has grown, but not without a price. She is the Sun Summoner―hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Shadow Fold. But she and Mal can’t outrun their enemies for long.

The Darkling is more determined than ever to claim Alina’s magic and use it to take the Ravkan throne. With nowhere else to turn, Alina enlists the help of an infamous privateer and sets out to lead the Grisha army.

But as the truth of Alina's destiny unfolds, she slips deeper into the Darkling’s deadly game of forbidden magic, and further away from her humanity. To save her country, Alina will have to choose between her power and the love she thought would always be her shelter. No victory can come without sacrifice―and only she can face the oncoming storm.

Series: The Grisha Trilogy (Book 2)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Square Fish (June 17, 2014)
Page Count: 496 pages

After enjoying the first book I had to read the second. I just love the Grisha world! I didn’t expect to read it so soon but it was just sitting on the shelf at the library calling my name so I had to snatch it up and I liked it even more than the first book!

The Plot: I love how in each book the plot circles around one of the three relics. The first book was the stag and now the second is the sea whip. This book is very different than the first since most of the first book took place at the Little Palace, but this one involves much more traveling, which I personally like because I want to see more of the Grisha world. I really like how the Ravkan religion gets involved in this book and how church and state collide. It causes a very unique and intriguing atmosphere for this story. 

The Characters: I love Alina's growth in these series and I love her abilities. She's a great main character and I appreciate that she holds true to herself despite opposition. Mal has a downward spiral which made me very worried about him, but I still ship Alina and Mal forever. We also get introduced to a new character named Sturmhond and I can just tell that Bargudo had a great time writing him. The Darkling is as despicable as ever and we also get introduced to Tamar and Tolya whom I very much enjoy. ^ ^

The Setting: Though we got a brief glimpse of Noyvi Zem and the True Sea, like the previous book most of the story is set in Ravka, though we get to experience some fun and new locations. I love how real this world feels!

Epic Things: I love how magic and science are combined like using scientific things such as dampening sound and reflecting light for their benefit. In fact, the abilities are considered the "little science." True magic which is considered wrong is called merzost. This reminds me a lot of my stories' magical systems and it's very inspiring to me. 

The Theme: A big theme is power. Because the amplifiers, Alina gets a taste of what true power feels like and she begins to crave more. So she gets a glimpse into what The Darkling probably feels, but as she journeys, she recognizes those feelings and grows from them. 

Content Cautions: There is some fantasy violence, the worst being someone's neck broken and someone's arm torn off. Characters are intoxicated and gamble. H*** is used five times, a** three, ba****d three, and d*** twice. Also, "bastard" is used multiple times but it's the correct usage of the word so I personally don't consider it a swear (it's like calling an ass which is the animal a swear in my opinion), but take that as you will.

What We Can Take Away For Our Writing:
Having your character be deified - One of the most intriguing things about this series is that many people think Alina is a deity. I've seen this done a few times in other things but usually, the character already is a diety (Percy Jackon and the Olympians, Noragami). I've always been a bit intrigued about saints, but it was interesting seeing people make Alina into a saint.

How this can be applied to writing: Have you thought of having a deity for a character or having your character become a deity?

Conclusion: I really enjoyed this book even better than the first! 

About the Author:
Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of Six of Crows and the Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising). She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.

Check out my review of the first book in the series, Shadow and Bone!

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