Leigh Bardugo's debut novel "Shadow and Bone" ended with heroes Alina and Mal escaping from the evil Darkling to begin a new life across the sea. "Siege and Storm" continues the story. The Darkling tracks down the couple and hires a crew of privateers to ship them back to his homeland. But the privateers' leader is not who or what he seems and soon everyone's plans are thrown into chaos.

"Siege" expands on the characters and relationships of the first novel and introduces some interesting new characters - most notably Prince Nicolai. Nicolai is a charming rogue, who is second in line for the throne but is far more qualified to lead his country than his older brother or his parents. Alina's character evolves as her super power - the ability to generate massive amounts of light and heat - increases. Sadly, the Darkling has also gained new powers following his defeat in volume 1.

This book also introduces a love triangle or quadrangle with Alina at the center. Readers will have their opinions of which suitor is best for her.

This second book in the trilogy tells a more cohesive story than the first. But like many middle chapters, it leaves the tale unfinished, encouraging the reader to proceed to the third and final volume. That is what I will do.