Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: Strongly plotted and with great world-building, this suffers from a slightly weak ending but benefits from one of the most compelling supporting characters for years. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: June 2013
Publisher: Indigo
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1780621135

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Warning: Spoilers for book 1 of this trilogy - published as both The Gathering Dark and as Shadow and Bone below.

On the run from the Darkling, Alina and Mal are together at last. But when he emerges from the Shadow Fold with a horrific new power, the Darkling could prove himself to be more dangerous than ever. Alina will be torn between her growing power, the man she loves, and her patriotism - can she survive the oncoming storm?

Siege and Storm introduces one of the most charismatic and engaging characters of the last decade or so, the pirate Sturmhond. Charming, clever and confident, he's easy to compare to Captain Jack Sparrow. And while I hadn't realised prior to reading this book that what teen novels were crying out for was a character in the same mould as Captain Jack, then trust me, they were.

And yet... is it possible for a character to be too charismatic? Sturmhond steals the story here to an incredible degree. Every scene with him in is staggeringly good, to the point where just talking to - or at a push - about him seems to make conversations ten times more interesting. Every scene without him in, I was pretty much desperately waiting to get back to him.

Now, in fairness, he plays a significant part in the book, so that means there's an awful lot of awesome parts to it. And while I may think that he overshadows the rest of the heroes and villains here, that's not to say they're weak characters. Alina is just as fantastic as she was in the first book, and after the excellent character arc which saw her develop from an ordinary girl lacking in confidence to a great heroine, it's brilliant to see her in full kickass mode for much of this book. The Darkling and Mal, while not as fabulous as Sturmhond (I'll stop mentioning him now; I think I've probably just about made the point!) are still two of the more interesting male characters in recent fantasy.

As in the first book, there's also great world-building by Bardugo, and a good plot. However, one of the first book's flaws is also repeated here - again, the ending feels oddly anti-climactic.

Overall, this is definitely worth reading, but still falls short of the very best fantasy.

I think fans of romance and fantasy will love Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

Another reviewer listed to the book as an audio book from Audible. Loralei had this to say:

The book and its magnificent characters are brought vividly to life in the audiobook version, with Lauren Fortgang doing a superb job of adding an extra dimension to the story with her vocals. Each character is distinctly voiced, making conversations easy to follow, and she captures Alina's conflicted emotions brilliantly.

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Buy Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo at


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