The Rise of the Alina Cult

Hello Book Lovers!

Welcome back to another review of the Shadow and bone series. Today I’m discussing Siege and Storm otherwise known as book 2.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you complete a purchase through one of these links I earn a commission.

If you would like all the tea and a spoilers check out my YouTube video where I give you just that.

But if you want a spoiler free summary read the rest of this blog post.


Alina and Mal are happily living anonymous lives until the Darkling kidnaps them, using Mal’s talent to hunt the second amplifier. The Darkling now has a new terrifying power he gained across The Fold, and he is determined to win over Alina. Alina and Mal make a powerful ally in the form of Sturmhond, a privateer, who can make ships fly. Together they travel back to Ravka to raise an army against the Darkling. However, as Alina begins to dive deeper into dark magic, she drifts further apart from Mal.


I think the writing is better in this novel and the plot twists are just as dizzying. But I’m still not a big fan of Alina’s love interests.

Speaking of the true queen of Ravka, Alina has both a physical and mental transformation in this sequel. Once she stops running and embraces her destiny, her growth became the best part of this novel. Alina doesn’t shy away from her power anymore. She becomes a leader, and even silences her old enemies. I noticed that Alina wasn’t as insecure in this novel and can’t blame her she has Nikolai, the Darkling, and Mal trying to date her. And two princes and a villain offering to make her queen. It’s hard to see other people live out our dreams. 

A more thorough discussion ahead. If you want to continue to be spoiler free turn back now.

I did notice that Alina does feel insecure in her relationship with Mal. The more Alina drifts apart from Mal, the more she grows close to Nikolai, and the more Mal grows close to a certain Zoya.

This sequel also grants us some badass biracial twins, Tamar and Tolya. I enjoyed these characters, but they don’t do much in this novel besides serving and aiding Alina. Hopefully, that changes in the final book.

I wanted Alina to grow into a bad bitch. Be a leader, a living saint, a queen. This book delivers. I’ll stop talking bad about her at least for now. Which reminds me I loved Alina’s new look! Her all-white hair is simply iconic.

Since Alina and the Darkling are the most powerful Grisha, at this moment in time, a bond forms between them. They can communicate and touch each other through it. Actually, the bond between Alina and Darkling is very similar to the force bond Rey and Kylo Ren have in the recent Star Wars sequel trilogy. I don’t know if Disney took inspo from this series, but it is strangely similar and something to note. However, Alina’s bond with the Darkling doesn’t allow us to gleam any tragic backstory, vulnerability, or shared understanding between the two. I felt that their bond only tortured Alina and drove a deep wedge between her and Mal. 

The ending scene of this novel is my favorite part, mostly because I hadn’t expected the twist at the end. After all, Alina showed nothing but hesitation in the first novel.

I would also like to point out the dark quote in this final scene is my favorite because it’s so haunting!

“The Volcra, the nichevo’ya, they were my monsters, all of them. And he was my monster, too.

My power is yours,” I repeated. His arms tightened around me. “And yours is mine,” I whispered against his lips.

Mine. The word reverberated through me, through both of us.” 

Siege and Storm Leigh Bardugo 419

That’s all I got for this review. If you would like a copy of Siege and Storm consider purchasing one through bookshop. Bookshop connects readers with independent bookstores, so you help support local businesses while also feeding your bookish soul.

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El tóxico rises again: reviewing Ruin and Rising

Hello book lovers! Have you looked at the new Shadow and Bone pictures Netflix released? Did you see the photo of Alina and the Darkling together? This man is toxic but I’m still excited to see that part of the story. Speaking of Shadow and Bone, I’ve collected my thoughts for this last novel and…

Keep reading

4 thoughts on “The Rise of the Alina Cult

Add yours

  1. Ha, that is true about the Darkling and Alina’s bond being a bit like Kylo Ren and Rey. The Darkling is way more menacing, though.

    I wanted to let you know I nominated you for a Sunshine Blogger Award. I’m not sure if you do blogger awards, so no pressure. I just really love the way you dive into books and share the treasures you find there!

    Liked by 1 person

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