Shadow and Bone ends. Alina and Mal have been on the run since escaping the chaos of the Fold. Alina is wracked with guilt over the Darkling having forced her to kill so many innocent people and destroy the towns they lived in, not to mention the ones she killed in the Fold escaping the Darkling.
After crossing the True Sea, and now, hiding the fact that she is the Sun Summoner, Alina and Mal are living quietly in a boarding house in Cofton, trying to come up with a plan to use her power and defeat the Darkling. There had been rumors that the Darkling had survived what happened in the Fold, and these turn out to be true. Returning to heir room one day, Alina and Mal are meet by the Darkling. And as Alina quickly learns, the Darkling has a terrible new power - the ability to create a shadow creature, almost like the Volcra from the Fold, but with a more human shape and it does not fear light.
Slipping into unconsciousness after a shadow creature bits her shoulder, Alina finds herself held captive, away from Mal, on a ship crossing the True Sea to return to Ravka. The captain of the ship, Sturmhond, seems to be nothing more than a very charming mercenary doing the Darklings bidding in exchange for a nice sum of money, and turning a cold eye on the things that are happening on his boat. But when he stops the Darkling from hurting Alina, she hopes that maybe she will have an ally. Unfortunately, Sturmhond quickly dashes that hope.
But Alina and Mal are in for some real surprises in Siege and Storm. And so it the reader.
Alina has seen what happened to the Darkling in his thirst for power, but will that be a lesson she remembers in her quest to destroy him and the Fold he created? The Darkling forced her to wear the first amplifier to strengthen her power. One amplifier is usually all a Grisha can handle, but Alina isn't just any Grisha, she is the one and only Sun Summoner. Will she be forced to wear more by the Darkling or choose to do so herself? Is Alina the saint that the people think she is or is she heading down the dame power path as the Darkling?
A lot goes on in Siege and Storm. New, important characters are introduced, more motives are revealed. Sturmhond is kind of a fun guy, cocky, confident and a little on the hyperactive side. He isn't a loved foil for Mal as far as Alina is concerned, at least not yet. But quite frankly, Mal has become kind of a drag, jealous and possessive in a most unattractive way.
The Darkling isn't in this volume as much as he was in Shadow and Bone, which made for not a lot of action. Too bad, because despite this being a good book, it has some second book slump going in in the mid part of the story. So slumpy, I put it down for a few days. I also felt that Alina often sounded more like a spoiled brat than a former orphan who discovered she has a wonderful power that can be used to help the people of Ravka.
I am sorry to say that I do not think this is a good stand alone novel. You need to have read the first book to appreciate this one. Still, if you like Shadow and Bone, you will most likely like Siege and Storm. And all in all, I would still recommend this trilogy and I am looking forward to reading the third and final (?) volume of the Grisha saga.
This book is recommended for readers age 13+
This book was borrowed from the NYPL
This is book 4 of my 2013 YA/MG Fantasy Reading Challenge hosted by The Book Cellar
This is book 2 of my 2013 Dystopia Reading Challenge hosted by Blog of Erised