Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

The sequel to Shadow and Bone. Disguised as peasants, Alina and Mal attempt to make a new life together far from the Darkling’s reach. Their dream of freedom, however, is short-lived, as soon Alina finds herself once again under the control of the Darkling. Though all she wants is a life free of her Grisha power, Alina learns that there is no escaping her role as the Sun Summoner. As her power grows, her relationship with Mal is tested, and the Darkling is quickly closing in on Ravka. Alina must choose: protect her country and her people as the Sun Summoner, or Mal’s love.

I’ve been waiting to read this one for what felt like forever (there’s just so much else to read!) — and it was just as awesome as I hoped it would be. I feel like it had even more action than the first book (though less Darkling, which made me sad), and there were minimal slow parts. While I was certainly annoyed by Alina’s continual love struggles, I really appreciated the way she transitions into a strong, independent female character focused on her own will and not the desires of others. In the last book, she was extremely naive, gullible, and happy to bend to the will of the male characters. As always, the Darkling was evil, super hot, and dangerous. Alina should definitely NOT wind up with him — because he’s mine. I don’t care that he’s evil and basically wants to cover the realm in darkness. Well, I should care. But I don’t. Yes I do.

If you’re as excited as I am to read the last in the trilogy, the title is Ruin and Rising.

Rating: 5/5

*YALSA Top Teen Books for Young Adults, 2014

There WAS a full analysis for this, but it was wrecked by my computer.

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