“The boy and girl had once dreamed of ships, long ago, before they’d ever seen the True Sea.”
First of all, guys, thank you for over 100 followers on Instagram! I’m super grateful to all of you, and The Book Pandas wouldn’t be possible without your support. I’m planning to celebrate somehow, so if you have any suggestions (besides a giveaway), please let me know. Second, I do not apologize at all for the Hamilton title. Now on to the review!
Honestly, I think this was my favorite Grisha book. While they’re all amazing, three of my favorite characters were all introduced here, and the last of my favorites finally got more “stage” time.
*Possible spoilers for Shadow and Bone* Now a fugitive and haunted by the lives she took on her disastrous trip to the Fold, Alina is attempting to make a new life with Mal in a foreign land, keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner buried. However there’s no escaping her destiny, not when the Darkling reveals a terrifying new power and plan, pushing the very limits of nature. Aided by a notorious privateer who is not what he seems, Alina somewhat reluctantly returns to fight for her country. But the more her power grows, the deeper she becomes attracted to the Darkling’s forbidden brand of magic, and the farther away she slips from Mal. She must choose between her country, power, and love, for a storm is coming and she can’t have it all.
First of all, it’s fangirl time for me. Guys, I’m officially obsessed with Nikolai, and the twins, Tolya and Tamar. Nikolai is just so charming and perfect, and honestly, I ship him with Alina more than I ship Mal with Alina. Sorry guys, but I just can’t get myself to really see the chemistry between Mal and Alina. I know I’m in the minority, but please don’t throw tomatoes at me. I don’t know why I love Tolya and Tamar so much; I just do. I think part of it is because of how hard they work to protect Alina, but something about them just makes me really happy every time I read a scene involving them. Also, while Zoya was introduced in the first book, I hated her then, but by Siege and Storm, I started to admire and even adore her. I love her tough nature, and she is just so sassy! Alina spent the first part of the book cowering and traumatized, which I understand given the events of the previous book, but she eventually regained her confidence, which I loved seeing. She did become way too obsessed with finding the third amplifier, although it was interesting seeing her initial struggle. Actually, her fixation on this quest to complete her power reminded me so much of Harry’s obsession with finding the Deathly Hallows. Just a thought. As for Mal, unfortunately, I think he seemed to be getting worse as time progressed. He started out confident and strong enough for both Alina and himself, but as Alina got stronger, he seemed to lose himself and become more distant. The Darkling was absent for most of the book, and he exhibited very little character growth, but I still loved reading about his darkness. Note: I did not say I liked his darkness; I just like reading about it. The world-building was excellent as usual, and the plot moved at a good pace, although some parts of the middle were a bit slow. The ending though, was a huge surprise. I must have reread the last sentence before the epilogue five times because I was sure I had made a mistake. It left me eager for the next book, wanting to know how the problem would resolve itself.
If you loved Shadow and Bone, then I truly believe that you will love this sequel even more. It has all the wonderful components characteristic of the Grisha trilogy and Leigh Bardugo in general, plus even more wonderful characters!