Henry Holt and Co.
435 pages (Hardcover)
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. (From Goodreads)
Awesome book. Pure awesome.
It takes a good fantasy to really attract my attention. Very few even interest me enough to attempt a read. This book did just tempt me. I was pumped to read it! Magic in a mystical version of Russia? BAM. I was no match. And it is done well. The magic is complex and thought provoking, in that it kept me engaged and very concerned about what would happen next. The setting is also complex and well written, with a map, an addition that I love.
As usual, the character dynamics are my favourite part. Character growth is a huge component of this book. Alina is changing with the growth of her magic. Mal is adapting to all this crazy-ness, and it impacts their relationship. There is an actual, palpable cause-and-effect there. Then there is The Darkling, who I wish we had seen more of, but has left a lot of room open for what madness could ensue. Sturmhond is a great addition, providing that snark factor I adore. As for Genya, my favourite character from Shadow and Bone, I hope book three allows for more of her.
I will admit though, that I found the middle of the book a little slow. I was just craving some sort of action or event that would draw me back in. The beginning was engaging from the start, and the end was solid, but that centre chunk was missing a little something.
While I will say I enjoyed Shadow and Bone a wee bit more, Siege and Storm is a fantastic sequel that left me craving more!
Much love, Samantha