Siege and storm by Leigh Bardugo

cover image

Grishna trilogy, book 2. Indigo, 2013.
(Age 13+) Recommended. Paranormal. Following on the success of Shadow and bone (ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults 2013), comes the second in the Grishna trilogy. Alina is settled in the Little Palace and is trying to come to grips with the fact that she is the Sun Summoner. Haunted by the Darkling, she is desperate to fight the dark forces that are threatening the Ravka. She is also desperate to close the distance that she can feel growing between her and Mal.
I read both the first and second in the series back to back due to the originality of the setting and the descriptions of powers of the Grisha. I found the characters of Alina and Mal to be fascinating. Alina's struggles with her power and her desire to look after her country, her remorse at the deaths that she has caused all make for a powerful story. A religious element, when she is hailed as Saint Alina and worshipped by a growing number of devotees, provides an intense strand that the reader knows will prove to be really difficult. Her love for Mal is tested as the Darling and Nikolai haunt her and as a reader I was longing for Mal to come into his power as tracker and match Alina.
Readers who enjoy sweeping fantasy will enjoy the adventure, the incredible inventions of the Grisha and the wonderful setting of this series.
Pat Pledger