Leigh Bardugo’s SIEGE AND STORM Blog Tour Stop #15

On Leigh Bardugo‘s fifthteenth stop in her Siege and Storm blog tour, we get to know more about Sturmhond, Alina Starkov, and Botkin Yul-Erdene.  Sturmhond is a character that is introduced in book two, so he would be unfamiliar to you if you haven’t read the first five chapters, but he’s already attracted more than a handful of fans.  Let’s read more, shall we?


(source: Ardawling)

Name: Sturmhond
Most Frequently found Wearing: A teal frock coat, leather breeches, and a brace of pistols
Line of Work: Privateer
Skills: Smuggling, arms trading, breaking blockades, making mayhem
Likes: Money, good wine, enthusiastic women
Dislikes: A fair fight
Inspired by: Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, and someone too spoilery to mention.
Frequent Fancasts: He’s new to the scene, but Lee Pace, Colin O’Donoghue, Caleb Landry Jones

“My mother was an oyster and I’m the pearl.”

Leigh’s Comment: Sturmhond practically writes himself. Whereas most of my characters struggle with their motives and themselves, Sturmhond is pure confidence. He knows exactly who he is and exactly what he wants. It’s a pleasure to write that kind of clarity of intent.


(source: Ellie)

Name: Alina Starkov
Most frequently found wearing: Blue and gold
Occupation: Former cartographer’s assistant in the First Army, Sun Summoner
Skills: Summoning and manipulating light, the Cut
Likes: Sweet rolls, time spent in the meadow
Dislikes: Herring
Inspired by: … hard to say. But I like to think there’s a little Emma Stone in there.
Frequent fancasts: Crystal Reed, Taissa Farmiga, Sarah Bolger

“I’m not the world changing type.”

Leigh’s Comment: People often ask if I’m like Alina. I’ve always felt like an outsider and we definitely share a similar sense of humor, but beyond that, we’re quite different. Alina is braver and more forthright than I could ever hope to be, and she’s simply had a much rougher time of it. It’s not always easy to see her fail or make a bad choice, or to watch her struggle with her own fear and doubts, but I like heroes who don’t always get it right, and I hope all the hell I put her through makes for a more interesting story.


(source: Kira)

Name: Botkin Yul-Erdene
Most Frequently found wearing: roughspun and something lethal
Line of Work: Combat instructor at the Little Palace
Skills: A trained mercenary, Botkin is deadly no matter which weapon he wields
Likes: Seeing progress in his students even if they have to suffer for it
Dislikes: Bullies
Inspired by: One of my grade school teachers who was also a former marine
Frequent Fancasts: Jason Momoa, Sifu Kisu, Clive Russell

“Steel is earned.”

Leigh’s Comment: Botkin is a Shu mercenary tasked with training Grisha in hand-to-hand combat. He’s tough on his students because they tend to rely too much on their powers, and drives them mercilessly in drills and sparring bouts. Though Botkin is gruff, he’s never cruel. He really is quite a bit like Mr. Lee, my fifth grade humanities teacher. He was a little terrifying and definitely hard to impress, but that made his praise all the more valued.

(via fifthteenth blog tour stop: Mundie Moms.  Enter to win a paperback copy of Shadow and Bone along with a hardcover copy of Siege and Storm!)


Leigh Bardugo’s SIEGE AND STORM Blog Tour Stop #8

On Leigh Bardugo‘s eighth stop in her blog tour, we get more character profiles, with one Malyen Oretsev and two amazing supporting characters:

(source: Ardawling)

(source: Ardawling)

Name: Malyen “Mal” Oretsev
Most Frequently Found Wearing: First Army uniform or roughspun
Line of Work: Soldier
Skills: Tracking—anyone or anything. Great with a rifle and bow, faultless sense of direction
Likes: The outdoors and hanging out with his friends
Dislikes: Court life, the Darkling
Inspired by: Chris Chambers, Karl Agathon (Helo)
Frequent fancasts: Colton Haynes, Drew Van Acker, Steven R. McQueen

“I’m sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now.” 

Leigh’s Comment: At the start of the story Mal is such a guy, he’s a seventeen-year-old boy who’s never really had to think about what’s important to him. He goes through so much when he loses Alina and then when his unit tracks the stag into Tsibeya. When he tells that story and when he finally expresses his feelings for Alina, it was important to me that he not become someone else: He’s still a soldier, he’s still a guy who isn’t fantastic at big declarations, but he’s also found the courage to speak his heart. I love writing him and I’m so glad I got the chance to write in his voice for the paperback bonus content.

Name: Genya Safin
Most frequently found wearing: White and gold, but these days red and blue
Line of Work: The Tailor
Skills: Genya’s skills represent a unique combination of Corporalnik and Materialnik and include manipulating physical appearance.
Likes: Fabulous clothes, rich food, spending time in the Fabrikator workshops, gossip about other people
Dislikes: Herring, dirt, gossip about her
Inspired by: My most fabulous makeup artist friends and fairy godmothers everywhere
Frequent fancasts: Holland Roden, Deborah Ann Woll, Sophie Turner

“I’m marvelous.” 

Leigh’s Comment: With Genya, I wanted to take the idea of the sassy best friend—the girl who acts as a kind of guide and fairy godmother, transforming you, helping you to fit in—and tweak it a bit, because I think playing that role is bound to have a cost. Genya has been both empowered and victimized by beauty. But even after all she’s been through, she refuses to be shamed or cowed by her situation and I love that about her.


(credit: Sabra at wheets.tumblr.com)

Name: David Kostyk
Most frequently found wearing: Purple and red
Line of Work: Durast (Materialnik)
Skills: Manipulation of metal, glass, textiles. Master Fabrikator and most talented Durast in the Second Army.
Likes: Science, gadgets, being left alone
Dislikes: Are you still here?
Inspired by: My dad and some of the programmers I worked with in Seattle.
Frequent fancasts: Logan Lehrman[sic], Aaron Johnson, Matthew Gray Gubler

“I make things. I don’t destroy them.” 

Leigh’s Comment: David is all about focus—the kind of guy who could easily walk into traffic because he’s busy unraveling some tricky problem in his head. He sometimes seems rude or abrupt, but he’s just not interested enough in people to care. The biggest challenge in writing him is that he’s so much smarter than I am. His work often requires that I talk to actual scientists. Luckily I have a pretty amazing braintrust.

(via eighth blog tour stop: IceyBooks.  Enter to win a paperback copy of Shadow and Bone and a Hardcover copy of the upcoming Siege and Storm!)

Leigh Bardugo’s SIEGE AND STORM Blog Tour Stop #3

Leigh Bardugo, author of Shadow and Bone and the upcoming Siege and Storm, is now on a blog tour every day until the release of said book, and on this third stop, Leigh gives us insight on three characters that were introduced in the first book.


True name: Unknown. For now.

Most frequently found wearing: Black and only black

Occupation: Leader of the Second Army

Skills: Summoning darkness to blind his enemies, using darkness to slice his enemies in half (the Cut), generally doing bad things to his enemies. He’s also a living amplifier—his power can be used to strengthen the power of other Grisha.

Likes: Giving orders.

Dislikes: Taking orders.

Inspired by Flagg, Raistlin, Jareth the Goblin King

Frequent fancasts: Sean O’Pry, Ezra Miller, Ian Somerhalder, Shiloh Fernandez

Comment from Leigh: The biggest challenge in writing the Darkling is that he reveals so little of himself. I have to walk a line between the information he chooses to disclose, and the secrets people like Alina guess at based on his behavior. But I also love writing him for the very same reasons: He’s a creature of extraordinary power and nearly perfect control. I like trying to make the reader wonder which cracks in that control are real and which are feigned.


Name: Zoya Nazyalensky

Most frequently found wearing: Blue and silver

Line of Work: Squaller (Etherealnik)

Skills: The ability to raise or lower the pressure in the air to create and direct currents and storms

Likes: Being the best

Dislikes: Upstart peasants

Frequent Fancasts: Katie McGrath, Megan Fox, Phoebe Tonkin

Comment from Leigh: It would be easy to hate Zoya. She’s snide and snobby and too hung up on status. But I like her because she doesn’t play nice. She isn’t interested in accommodating people or putting herself out for anyone. Also, her loyalties are based on power and principle, not affection. Zoya starts out as a typical mean girl, but nothing in Ravka is ever quite what it seems.



photo credit by Kyra

Name: Baghra

Most Frequently found wearing: a kefta of indeterminate color

Line of Work: Teacher at the Little Palace

Skills: Baghra is an amplifier of extraordinary power, the nature of her specific Grisha gift has long been forgotten

Likes: A warm stove, whacking students with her stick

Dislikes: The cold, whiners

Frequent Fancasts: Helena Bonham Carter, Judi Dench, Meryl Streep

Comment from Leigh: I always imagined Baghra as a particularly vicious ballet teacher. Better than anyone, she knows what the stakes are when it comes to war and she drives the Grisha relentlessly in their training. She can be a challenge to write because I’m always tempted to soften her, but I believe her moments of kindness or even seeming kindness should be hard won.


(via third blog tour stop: Bewitched Bookworms.  Go there to enter to win a paperback copy of Shadow and Bone and a Hardcover copy of the upcoming Siege and Storm!)