Book Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (Grishaverse)


I started this book last October and put it down for quite a while towards the end of the year. When I picked it back up to finish it, I just couldn't stop reading and was intrigued by the politics of the kingdom.

I am a new fan of Leigh Bardugo's titles after being forced to pay attention by her widespread following and avid readership. They were not misleading; Bardugo is a force to be reckoned with in Young Adult fantasy. However, as much as I want to be a part of the readership of this genre, I simply find myself enjoying fantasy less than other genres of writing. 

What readers will notice about Bardugo's writing style is her way of building characters that jump off of the page and take on a realistic traits even with their magical powers and otherworldly situations. Alina's thoughts and worries feel real, even though she is constantly thrust into experiences that are anything but normal. 

In this book, she faces a battle between good and evil that is not as clearly defined as readers may initially believe. The characters in the novel transform but began to feel lackluster after 250 pages. This could be just my (admittedly by a person who doesn't fully enjoy fantasy) reading, but I was tired of most of the characters by the end of the novel. Likewise, the climax at the end of the novel (last fifty pages) could have been predicted by the middle where the lull in the plot appears as the characters' primary focus is on protection and relationships which fall cliché in young adult. 

There are a few redeeming qualities to this book that I don't want to fail to mention. The novel feels like it would be easily adapted to screen. The characters have dimension and will adapt well to the upcoming series. Even though I am not a fan of fantasy, I was able to picture the world-building of this novel. There were times when I felt like this series would resemble Song of Ice and Fire if it had been written as an adult fantasy. 

The cover art on the new boxed set editions is beautiful. I love the color combinations as well as the symbolism. The books have a seasonal feel to me and the cover art adds to this aesthetic with earth, water, and fire represented. 

I didn't enjoy this book as much as other readers might, but my rating reflects my feelings toward the lull in plot even with character-driven world building and fun twists.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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