Thursday, June 13, 2013
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
If you like: light and dark * rebellion * facades
Siege and Storm is the second book in the Grisha Trilogy. (See my review of Shadow and Bone here.) Now that Alina has attempted to fight the Darkling and escape, her life has greatly changed. Though she has enjoyed her time with Mal, she quickly realizes that she cannot spend her life in hiding and leave the people of Ravka in danger from the Fold. In her absence, much has changed, and the Grisha are no longer in the position of power they were before. Alina must restore faith in their abilities and gain the trust of those in power in order to save herself, Mal, and their people.
Unlike so many other sequels, Siege and Storm does not lose any of the magical appeal of its predecessor. Instead, the story greatly benefits from the previously established parameters. Instead of revisiting the concepts of Grisha abilities, the story continues to move along in a smooth continuation of the narrative. Alina’s position in society has changed greatly. Previously, she was displayed as a trophy of the realm. Now she is hated by many for not destroying the Fold, presumed dead by others, and elevated to the status of Saint by those who worship her summoning ability. This places her in constant peril, and creates a unwavering sense of paranoia. Alina attempts to right her wrongs and restore normalcy to Ravka, all while fighting the all-consuming urge to use and grow her ability.
Attraction plays an integral role in Siege and Storm. Alina’s attraction to Mal was a significant driver in her decision to fight the Darkling and escape the Fold, leaving devastation in her wake. At the same time, her connection to the Darkling still leaves a lingering sense of attraction between the two summoners. A third suitor is power. As Alina embraces her amplified abilities, and feels the seduction of enhancing that ability even more, she begins to lose a bit of herself. Though she knows she needs strength to save Ravka, she also is painfully aware of the corruption that type of potency can lead to. This otherness that she feels, alone in a world of inferior abilities but for the Darkling, leaves her to wonder about her own destiny, and who she will become. This battle between her desires parallels that of the battle between the men who desire her, and both leave a lingering moral gray area. What is right for Alina may not be what is right for her nation. Doing is what is right could ultimately destroy her. In the end she will face a choice between saving others and saving herself.
If you would seek ultimate power, read Siege and Storm.
Bardugo, Leigh. Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy). Henry Holt and Co, 2013. Kindle Edition.