Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
The roller coaster ride just never stops with these books. There are politics, romance, and constant humor that you cant get over and really brings home the emotions of the tale. You start questioning your own perception of the tale and whether how you want it to end really is the way you would want it to end. The whole book is just one decision away from just everything blowing up and you cant help but want it to blow up just so you can see how it would be written.
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 everything to the oncoming storm.
The girl could feel her heart beating again. She knew such books existed that could transport you but she never thought she would find one so soon. She placed her hand on the cover of the new book and closed her eyes to feels the pulse given off from the ink within. The characters called to her from the shores of unexplored lands and begged her to turn the cover and return to them. She knew this was crazy. How can she be so involved with lives that never took in a breath? Share dreams with a heroine that she knew so little of? And hope with all her strength that this tale would come to a happy ending even though she knew that no such thing could possible exist. Even though her brain told her it was just a simple tale, she drew in a deep breath and turned the page to read the tale of Siege and Storm.
Let take this moment to just draw in a deep breath because by the end of this book you would not have breath left. All thanks to the ever twisting plot and adventure that Leigh Bardugo puts us on. In the last book of Shadow and Bone our Alina and Mal are running for their lives and towards sunnier shores to start a new life away from the madness that has ensued in Ravka and the wrath of the Darkling. We start our tale on a boat as Alina and Mal cross the true sea.
Mal of course is being his usual best-at-everything self and just charming his way through crew and passing folly as our poor Alina is still the fly on the wall that would rather buzz on her own than let anyone into her world. I give her this if I was in her place I would be more worried with changing whatever I can about myself and not playing nice with the locals. I don’t want to give too much away but I will tell you NO ONE IS SAFE. Never let yourself fall into the false sense of maybe they will get away with this because the Darkling will have none of it.
In book two we are introduced to some of the most colorful characters that I can’t get over. We have the twins Toyla and Tamar, Stormhound, a fun loving crew of bandits, some of the royal family and not to mention the grisha. As you read you will have your own favorites but know that all characters show more of who they are and where their alliances lean towards. Of course never let yourself fall into the knowledge that you know who is who to whom. Leigh as always loves to play with your feels and you must keep them guarded or you will find yourself at the bottom of the tissue box before you know what hit you.
This book though faster moving than the first one has a lot of the meat of the story that we didn’t really get a chance at in book 1. We see more of the relationship between the two armies and the real extent of the Darkling's reach through out Ravka. Also we see the extent of the relationship between Alina and Mal. Though now it is out and in the open how they feel, they have to make really strong decisions about their feelings and not soley base those decisions on the well being of each other but the well being of Ravka. Mal grows up a lot and comes to a realization that I am still not sure that at the time Alina was ready for. Through thick and thin those two have always had each other and now they are faced with should that even matter or should they hold what is best in the end.