This was another one of those books that had SO MUCH HYPE, but I finally gave it a shot. Leigh Bardugo’s previous series was one of those that entranced me with an interesting concept, but I eventually turned away from it after attempt #2 of reading Siege and Storm. I had all but written her off as a one hit wonder in the biblio-universe.
When I started this book, I thought I was right to think this thought. This book has such a slow start. It almost lost me, and I am sure it will lose some people before the end of Part 1. I am here to say, stick with it! There are just a lot of characters to introduce. It is totally worth it. By the middle of the book, I was on the edge of my seat just waiting for the next twist.
Leigh Bardugo did something in this book that I think she had not yet mastered in the Grisha Trilogy: she developed her characters flawlessly. When writing a book with a lot of different characters and their points of view, it can become muddled and difficult to keep track of each voice. The characters in this book each have a unique voice, point-of-view, and ideology. She does a great job of incorporating religion, “race,” social, and economic issues into this book, and you can feel the pain of the characters with each additional tidbit of insight into their pasts.
For the avid reader, I highly suggest giving this book a try. If you have made it to the middle and still aren’t interested, you can put it down, but not before then.
For the librarian, please buy this book and its sequel. They are a great read with a plot that many will enjoy.
SPOILER: Do not read below this point if you plan on reading the book.
My only issue with this book was that Bardugo has written such a strong female character. She is, in my opinion, stronger than any of the male characters, but we still fall into this dated “damsel in distress” archetype in the very last scenes. I think the point of “saving the brooding hero” is admirable, but I was just slightly disappointed in the way it played out.