Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)Title: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: June 4th 2012

Purchase: Amazon (Kindle or Hardcover)

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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.

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Sigh. This book is just perfect.

I really like fantasy books when they have a map of the places where events happen in a book. The map on the first few pages in this book is really cute and it makes it easier for me to trace the characters’ journey in and out of Ravka. It makes the story more vivid in your mind.

All the charming and memorable and lovable characters from the first book are back with some new and interesting characters to add. One of them is Nikolai. Nikolai is—where do I start? — he’s charming, funny, smart and witty. And for some reason he reminds me of Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean. Maybe it’s the way they both spout witty lines or the way they act. Bardugo has a knack for creating memorable characters.

“My mother was an oyster,” he said with a wink. “And I’m the pearl.”

He’s also a very confident man who is honest and he also always believes in his capabilities.

“When people say impossible, they usually mean improbable.”

“Anything worth doing always starts as a bad idea.”

I know, I know I’m totally fangirling right now but you get my point, I love him to bits. However, he is still a mystery to me. Is he really an ally or an enemy?

The villain of the story, the Darkling is up to no good again, no surprise with that. This time he discovered a new amplifier that can make the sun summoner, Alina, become even more powerful.

“There are no others like us, Alina,” he whispered. “And there never will be.”

But what surprises me in this book is that it seems like the power is finally getting to Alina’s head. There is a shift in her character, like she’s—not really evil, but not so good either. I know they are not perfect and they make mistakes but the most noticeable change I found was in Alina. My attention is definitely piqued at this new development in Alina’s attitude.

It is amazing how some author can incorporate romance in a very effective way in a book where it is not the main theme and this book is one of those books. I can’t help but feel giddy with Mal and Alina. Clearly, they are a match made in heaven.

“I have loved you all my life, Mal,” I whispered through my tears. “There is no end to our story.”

The events in the book are all exciting and action-packed but I didn’t anticipate what would happen to Alina at the end of Siege and Storm. It really surprised me—in a good or bad way I am not sure. But this just makes me more and more excited for the third book to the trilogy, Ruin and Rising, coming this 2014.

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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)Title: Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: June 5th 2012

Purchase: Amazon (Kindle or Paperback)

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The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

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Sometimes I like to be adventurous and daring. And by adventurous and daring I mean picking up a random book without reading the blurb, not knowing what the book is about and what I should expect, and that’s exactly what I did with Shadow and Bone. At that time I just thought, “Blow my mind, Leigh Bardugo, blow my mind.” And blow my mind she did.

Right from the start the story was so gripping I didn’t want to put it down. The fantasy world that Bardugo created is so enticing I want to live in it even if it’s somehow depressing and scary because if the Fold and the vulcras. Oh those vulcras, those hideous monsters! They scare the crap out of me.

Since I didn’t read the blurb, I didn’t know about the Darkling and his bad deeds. I was like Alina, I fell for the Darkling too! I was totally deceived and to think I thought finally Alina found a man that would love her for who she is. But no, the Darkling turns out to be a meanie after all. Note to self: never trust a guy with the word “dark” in his name.

“I’ve been waiting for you a long time, Alina,” he said. “You and I are going to change the world.”

At first I hated Mal for being so dense about Alina’s feelings for him. And when Alina thought Mal really abandoned her, I cried a river because being abandoned by the only person you trust, love and grew up with is, needless to say, awfully painful.

But he made it up to Alina and to me when he said these words:

I’ve risked my life for you. I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don’t tell me we don’t belong together.

And when he said these words I knew he got my heart too…

I love you, Alina, even the part of you that loved him.

Seriously Mal, how can you be so selfless?

The book has colorful and interesting secondary characters too. Like Genya, I love Genya because she is such a great friend to Alina and she’s so sassy. If she were a real person or if I lived in their world, Genya and I would definitely be friends.

There’s just so much feels in this book. I also cried at the closing part of the book because I thought it was going to be the end of Mal and Alina. Okay maybe I knew it wasn’t going to be their end but I kept thinking what if it was and it was such a horrible thought I really cried.

As I’ve said there’s so much feels in this book and a lot of things in Shadow and Bone stirred emotions in me. It may or may not make you cry like me (I’m such a cry-baby, I express my emotions best when I cry, whether it’s happiness or sorrow) but still, be emotionally prepared.

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Goodreads Intervew: Leigh Bardugo and Sara Shepard

The author of Shadow and Bone is back with the second book in the seductive Grisha Trilogy, Siege and Storm. She talks favorite characters, weird fears, and true happiness—and there’s a musical interlude!

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