Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bite Sized Reviews: Shadow and Bone & Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo


I introduced this idea back in September, and since then I’ve reviewed exactly one book. Something is obviously wrong with this picture. Luckily I’m in the process of whipping out short reviews at lightning speed, so that I can catch up and begin to focus my energy on providing more quality content on this blog.
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: May 17th 2012
Genre: YA High Fantasy
Source: Purchased
When I Read It: May 13th, 2013

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

I unfortunately don't remember most of the plot, but what I do remember is how enthralling the novel as a whole was. I loved the Russian influences, and the world building was really good.

I liked Alina, but nothing about her made her stand out. I really didn't like the Darkling--I just don't go for bad boys. Mal was okay, but pretty dull. I think if the characters had been more fully developed, this book would've really stood out to me.

This book was good, but not great. I'd heard so much hype about it, so it was kind of disappointing. Nevertheless, it was still enjoyable.

Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: June 4th, 2013
Genre: YA High Fantasy
Source: ARC from Publisher
When I Read It: May 24th, 2013

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 losing everything to the oncoming storm.

I remember even less of this plot than that of the first book, which is unfortunate because I remember that I enjoyed it so much more than the first. It had a rough start, but soon I was wrapped up in it. It seemed very much like a bridge book, but not in a bad way.

There was more character development than in the first, especially along the lines of romance, but by the end I was more frustrated with the characters than anything else.

The ending was quite crazy, and left me hungry for the next book!


  1. I love the writing in the Siege and Storm series, especially the descriptions, but I agree -- Mal is BORING! And So not my type.

  2. I felt similarly about Shadow and Bone: I enjoyed it, but I was just expecting a little...more from all the rave reviews. I haven't read Siege and Storm, but I do plan to eventually!


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