Oct 28, 2014

Review--Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

Ruin and Rising brings an end to Leigh Bardugo's Grisha trilogy and I don't know how I feel about it all yet. There are definitely some conflicting emotions going around in me and it has be pausing. It's a confusing feeling I guess.

For the bulk of the story, Alina and her friends are off to find the third amplifier, the mysterious firebird. But naturally their journey isn't easy what with the Darkling still on their tail. Alina still has her connection with him and it still presents a problem between her and Mal. Mal is even more distant with her in this one, but yet, he's still there for her constantly.

I didn't quite feel the rush of excitement in this one. There's still some, but I just wasn't as amped up as the previous books. It was just sort of there. The pacing was decent as well, but I thought it could've been better being the finale and all. It takes nearly 3/4 of the book to find the firebird and even then we learn something utterly shocking and that begins a new pursuit in a way. 

Despite my conflicting feelings on pace and plot, I do have to say that I continued to love these characters! Alina is a heroine that I just adored. I don't think I was ever really put off by her. She starts off as the shy and meek sort, but by the end of the first book she's transformed into a brave young woman and I loved that about her! Mal was a puzzle at the best of times. He's hot and cold when it came to Alina and that got on my nerves at times. But I guess you could say it was more of a communication problem, you can only yell yourself hoarse at the pages so many times before you learn that the characters won't listen to you! LOL!

The Darkling is still a favorite character of mine and one I wished we could've learned more about. We did learn about some of his background and history, which was great an all. But I feel like there was more to his feelings when it came to Alina and I wished that could've been expanded upon. He was a character that could make you swoon one moment and then you want to slap him upside the head in the next! A complicated guy to say the least! Zoya was a character that took me by surprise. I pretty much hated her in the first book, felt indifferent to her in the second, but by the end of the third, I was totally a fan of her! She has a bold attitude, and can still be snarky, but there's an almost cheerful side to it all now. She and Alina have a sort of tentative friendship building, but there's still moments when you can see the fire going and one's ready to attack the other! (just not to a death match kind of thing!)

Nikolai is yet another favorite character of mine! He's so funny and pretty much says whatever he feels like! I like the banter between him and Alina! It's so enjoyable! Sadly, he wasn't around as much in this one. He pops in, then it's an in and out kind of dealio before there's a conversation with him at the end. He's definitely one of my favorite parts about the trilogy though, as I don't think we would've had nearly enough humor without him!

The ending was sort of a shocker. I didn't know what to expect really. I knew that in someway the Darkling had to be stopped because he was too power hungry. But I thought maybe Alina would be the one to change him and make him not so dark. As I said, I didn't know what to expect and there were so many conflicting feelings I had about everything, like who Alina should end up with. And the ending we got, was definitely not one I anticipated. And I can't decide if how I feel about it. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it...it was conflicting! 

This is an end to the trilogy, we can say that. Are the characters all better off? Yes and no. Perhaps not everyone knows that this is for the best. I wish I could know more about the characters who aren't set in a HEA scenario. There were surprises to this ending that still leave me befuddled. It's almost like everything happened too quickly and there was a prolong wrap up. Regardless, I must say that I enjoyed this series and look forward to Bardugo's next one!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars



  1. I have to read the first one still but now I don't have to wait a year to find out what happens :)

    Great review!


  2. I JUST wrote my review for this one (except mine is scheduled for mid November~). I had to give a 3.5 mostly because of the ending. I'm still Team Darkling until my last breath and I just can't handle how unsatisfactory his ending was~

    And I agree, this one didn't have me as pumped as the previous installments. Great reviews, have you read the novellas?

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

  3. Glad you liked this. I was conflicted myself. I enjoyed this whole trilogy and I still recommend it to others wholeheartedly, but I felt the series definitely did not end as strongly as it started.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

  4. Isn't there a spinoff to this series? It's possible I heard wrong. I've heard books one and two but need to catch up on this one. I'm Team Mal though...


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