Friday, 27 June 2014

Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy #3)
Author: Leigh Bardugo

Release date: June 17th 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eBook
Pages: 257

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.

I'm not sure what really to say about this other than the fact that I absolutely loved it - every bit of it. Ruin and Rising is exactly the conclusion I was hoping for! I loved getting to know more about this world and I'm really glad Leigh Bardugo is continuing to write stories set in this universe.

Alina and Mal escaped from the Little Palace along with several others, and are now under the care (and rule) of the Apparat. Alina knows he's using her power and reputation to gain support for himself, but she cannot do anything until the time comes. No one knows whether Nikolai is still alive, and the Darkling definitely is. The state of Alina's powers isn't looking good. When they finally escape, it is with about a dozen others to find the last of the amplifiers, the firebird, before it's too late. As they journey to find it, they discover so much more about themselves and their destiny than they ever could have imagined. There are battles, there are casualties, but there is also hope that they can finally defeat the Darkling.

It's kind of amazing to see how much Alina's changed from the first book to this one. I loved seeing her character develop. She's so much stronger now, not just her powers but her actual self and her will. Everything Alina's done has taken a great toll on her, even turning her hair pure white, but through it all she perseveres to find the amplifier, no matter what it takes.

I know I didn't really like Mal in the second half of Siege and Storm, but he's absolutely perfect in this book. It's clear he'd do anything for Alina, to make sure she succeeds, and her wants always come before his. There's a twist in this book that involves Mal, and that's all I'll say about it. But it's shocking and it makes you see him in a whole new light. Mal's character has also developed a lot, and he's beginning to see that he can be more than just a tracker.

Ruin and Rising is a pretty intense book, but Nikolai definitely provides a lot of comic relief throughout. I love this guy! He's goofy, hilarious, and charming all in one. And his random one-liners had me laughing out loud at times. It's cool how he can make anyone feel at ease even through the tension that surrounds them all. Nikolai's definitely one of my favourite secondary YA characters.

We see a lot more of the others, like Genya, David, Tamar, Tolya, etc. All of them have a role to play in the battle against the Darkling, and all are unfailingly loyal to Alina. Like I said, there are casualties, though not as many as I was expecting. I hated the Darkling even more in this book, if that's possible. The things he says and does...

“I will strip away all that you know, all that you love, until you have no shelter but me.”
 How can anyone manage to like a guy who says something like that? The Darkling is ruthless and pure evil, and the atrocities he commits in this book surpass everything he's done in the previous ones. Oh, and for those of you wondering, we do get to find out what his name is. It's not as unique as I was expecting.

I think the ending of this book was perfect, and though it's bittersweet, the epilogue is just.. I really can't think of a better way to end the trilogy. I'm going to miss Alina and Mal and Nikolai, and even a few others, but I also can't wait to see what more we get from this richly diverse world of Grisha.

Rating: 5/5


  1. Amazing review sweetie. <3 Sigh. I'm glad you loved this book too :D Wasn't it just perfect? I loved it so much. Such a stunning story. I never ever disliked Mal, though.. and I loved him in Ruin and Rising. But in my eyes, he was ALWAYS the same person and I wouldn't say that he "got better" in this book, hih :D As I felt like he was always this amazing person. <3 But yess. The Darkling sucks. To me, he was always an evil person. Sigh. Not for me :D Anyway. Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3 :)

  2. I'm so glad you loved this one Richa! I really need to get onto reading this. I've loved both of the first books but still haven't read this yet. Don't know what I'm waiting for. >< Lovely review!


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