Series: The Grisha Trilogy #2
Genre: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Henry Holt & Co (6.4.2013)
Hardcover, 432 pages
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.
I wasn’t a big fan of Shadow and Bone. I was the black sheep on that one. I was hoping that Siege and Storm would blow the first book out of the water and I would love it, like everyone else did. Sadly, I was wrong. It was exactly the same for me as Shadow and Bone was: Meh.
I did fare a bit better with all of the foreign/made up terms in this one, because there was a map and a short glossary (which was not in the e-galley of Shadow and Bone I had). But I found the prose to be dry, and the few action scenes were cumbersome and choppy. I was very bored through 90% of the book. I feel as if this book was far too long and some of it could have been cut out to keep the plot moving. The pacing was extremely slow for me. I think most of that had to do with my inability to care about the story or the characters.
I usually love high fantasy, but for some reason it just didn’t work for me. I really think it was the fact that the writing was dry and boring to me. I didn’t care about the characters, either – same problem as the first book. They all fell flat for me, except for the Darkling, and he had a very minimal part.
Alina and Mal pissed me off. I didn’t care about their relationship to begin with, but all of their little spats irritated me more and more as the story went on. I wanted to knock their heads together! Whatever happened to portraying strong relationships that get stronger when bad things happen? It annoys the shit out of me when couples argue over everything and fail to show each other any understanding. If your significant other is going through a rough patch, you’re supposed to support them. If they do something wrong, realize that they are only human (well, in this case human with extraordinary powers) and make mistakes. Forgive them, don’t look for petty revenge! Argh. I kind of hated Alina at times.
“You know, for two people with a love eternal, you’re awfully insecure.”
Despite all that, I still loved the idea of it. It’s very unique! I love the idea of all of the powers the Grisha have, which was the main reason I continued the series. That, and I wanted more of the Darkling ;)
The story did improve for me, but only at the very end. I’ll admit I’m kind of curious to see what happens in book 3, and I still want to see more of the Darkling. Before you get discouraged, remember that I was the black sheep on this one. If you loved Shadow & Bone, I would definitely still encourage you to read this one, because most everyone loved it.
Side note: I looooove these covers. And I love how the first book has stag horns and this one has a dragon. I’m guessing book 3 will have wings for the phoenix!
Writing style: 2.5/5
Overall rating: 2.5/5