Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (Plus Extras)

siege

“I know what you feel when you’re with the tracker,” he said.
“I doubt that.”
He gave a dismissive wave. “No, not the absurd pining you’ve yet to outgrow. I know the truth in your heart. The loneliness. The growing knowledge of your own difference.”
He leaned closer. “The ache of it.”
I tried to hide the shock of recognition that went through me. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, I said, but the words sounded false to my ears.
“It will never fade, Alina. It will only grow worse, no matter how many scarves you hide behind or what lies you tell, no mater how far or how fast you run.”
I tried to turn away, but he reached out and took hold of my chin, forcing me to look at him. He was so close I could feel his breath. “There are no others like us, Alina,” he whispered. “And there never will be.”
~Siege and Storm 54-55

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
This is the sequel to the wonderful Shadow and Bone
Siege picks up very close to where Shadow and Bone left off. Alina and Mal are on the run until they are captured once again by the elusive Darkling. This time, though the Darkling makes a mistake by buying the services of one privateer by the name of Sturmhond. However, Sturmhond’s plan all along was to create a mutiny and defy the Darkling. Alina, Mal, Sturmhond, and the crew are able to escape, but the Darkling still lives. He haunts Alina as she makes her way back to Os Alta to reorganize what’s left of the Grisha in order to assemble a force strong enough to take down the Darkling. But are the Darkling’s words true? Are they one and the same? As Alina’s power grows, she feels inevitably changed, but will she ever be strong enough to defeat the Darkling?

My thoughts on the novel are below, but be warned: there are wee spoilers here and there! (Yes I’ve now picked up using the word “wee” from my travels in Scotland, am working on mastering the brogue….it might take awhile)

I have to say that I am IN LOVE with this series. I devoured the first novel in one whole night and read Siege and Storm as best I could while traveling in Scotland and then coming back to start a new job. Bardugo’s writing in the sequel does not disappoint. I am a particular fan of the Darkling character, and was happy with the way she kept him present in Alina’s life without actually being present for most of the novel. The new character Nikolai/Sturmhond does not disappoint either. I especially enjoy all the double-meanings to his names: “Sturmhond” for Storm Hound when he is a privateer, and “Sobachka” or Puppy when he is at court. I will be waiting (impatiently) to know what happens to Alina and Mal and the Darkling. It’s a testament to Bardugo’s writing that I really do feel torn between the Darkling and Mal every time I see them through Alina’s eyes. Who could be more alluring, frightening, and, let’s face it….sexy than the Darkling? But who can really beat out the childhood love and loyalty that Mal has to offer?
I’ll leave you to ponder on that question, as I certainly will until the third novel arrives!

And now, since I’ve been away for so long, I thought I would update you on what I’m reading since I haven’t done a BOTWOT in quite some time!
So here goes:
For non-fiction I’m reading The Myth of the Jacobite Clans by Pittock Murrary.
Up next for fiction I will be reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and Seven Tears Into The Sea by Terri Farley.
Oh, and here’s a photo of Scotland for funsies:
DSCN1375

*Sigh*
For one week this was my life……….I want it back!!!
Hopefully I can raise enough funds to make a trip to Ireland in a year: my true ancestral lands.
One day I will also go back to Scotland: see some of the sights I didn’t get to see, revisit some of my favorites, and of course meet a hot guy in a kilt who will marry me so I can live legally in his country and ESCAPE THE TEXAS HEAT….

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