Siege and Storm (Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone))

Siege and Storm - Leigh Bardugo Disclosure: I opened this next segment of the Grisha Trilogy with really high expectations. Never a good way to start a story. While it was a good story, it fell short of amazing. Here's why:

It's been a long time since I read [b:Shadow and Bone|17658751|Shadow and Bone|Leigh Bardugo|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1368422990s/17658751.jpg|15093325], so here's a quick recap. Alina is an orphan that out of love for Mal has suppressed her magical abilities. She is discovered by the Darkling, the leader and most powerful man of the Grisha. Beautiful and powerful, the Darkling seduces the power out of Alina. Too late Alina realizes that he only wishes to spread the Fold with the aid of Alina's power and rule. On her neck she now carries an amplifier made of the bone of a magical Stag. This is how the Sun Summoner is born and with the help of her power manages to escape, with Mal at her side, the clutches of the Darkling.

I love the world that Leigh Bardugo has created. It's haunting and cold and the images are very vivid. While on the run Mal and Alina encounter some interesting characters. Among them there are three that stole the show. The twins Tolya and Tamar who are fiercely loyal and powerful Grisha determined to serve Alina and keep her safe. But my favorite was Sturmhond. He was charming, manipulative, sercretive and who knows what else. We've yet to see. What his real motives are, is still a mystery but he was very fun to read about.

What I wasn't too fond about was the relationship between Mal and Alina. I wasn't a fan of this from the beginning and I still don't feel the connection of undying love between these two. Mal is very far from being an equal to Alina. Maybe that's the appeal that is suppose to draw me in but it is failing. Mal is more a hindrance than help and I don't see how that love relationship will work until he accepts Alina for who she is.

I like Alina. I know she carries much responsibility and weight on her shoulders but sometimes I wanted to smack her. Perhaps I am being unfair but dammit she is powerful. She is still young and has always been shoved aside due to her lack of physical beauty but... she's the SUN SUMMONER! People travel to be near her and revere her as a saint. While that is understandably intimidating and scary, it really annoyed me the way she seemed to shrink and hide. Though she finally came out blasting at the end, so that made me happy.

Overall, this was a well written continuation but it was lacking that spark and magic that had me enthralled in the first book.