Siege and Storm is the next book in the Grishaverse trilogy and begins from where Shadow and Bone left. The story starts with swift pacing and introduces familiar characters of Malina, Mal and the Darkling. The readers are immediately pulled into the hide and seek between the characters, and the story seems to make progress.
But the illusion soon shatters as the plot comes to a halt with a crawling pace, and the majority of the book is so bland that nothing actually progresses on plot lines. One moves into the second book of the Grishaverse trilogy with high hopes, but the plot disappoints in a big way. The story and the main characters go downhill in a big way in this second instalment.
The book introduces some new characters in the plot, but the character of Nikolai is an interesting one. His character development is good, and throughout the book, interest and liking for his character increase. Another set of interesting characters are Tolya and Tamar, who have a distinct charm. Still, they could have definitely taken advantage of a solid character building and some backstory to add more depth and layers to their characters.
The majority of the story is about the power struggles and political turmoil in the power corridors of the capital. Most of the story in the capital is about building up defences for the attack that is to come from the darkling, power dynamics between the royal family and other stakeholders. Cultists of the sun summoner also play an essential role in the plot.
After his last encounter with Alina in Shadow and Bones, the Darkling powers have increased in this iteration of the Grishaverse. His new abilities include summoning Nichevo’ya, which has a physical material form and can be produced rapidly at will by him. Such powers are previously unheard of in the Grishaverse, mortal attacks do no good against this shadow army. Alina’s powers will be tested to limits in her fight against the darkling.
Alina explores her powers further and struggles with her dark side in the book, the relationship between Mal and Alina is strained and tested. Mal’s character also becomes increasingly insecure, jealous and deteriorates throughout the story. Darkling’s entry into the plot only brings some interest to the otherwise snail-like plot. And towards the end, the story again picks some pace before the ending.
Towards the end, I just wanted to end the book for the sake of completion and move into the final instalment of the storyline for a conclusion. I sincerely hope that the author concludes the Grishaverse series on a high note in Ruin and Rising.
- Total pages: 404
- Genre: Fantasy
- Siege And Storm : Leigh Bardugo