Sunday, September 14, 2014

{REVIEW} Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Ruin and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #3
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication: June 19th, 2014
Rating: ★★★★☆

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" is the third and last installment of the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo (reviews for book 1 and 2 can be found HERE and HERE) and if I'm being honest, very hard to rate for me. I literally just finished it and tried to find the words to describe what I feel. Not so easy. Now don't get me wrong, it was good, even amazing and the world was, as usual, very gripping and fascinating! But after the first 2 books I had high expectations and probably imagined my own ending for it ... maybe that was the problem.

So let's start from the beginning! It started off a little slow with all the hiding and the ever-annoying and creepy Apparat but after the first few chapters it gained pace and got really exciting! What annoyed me in the previous book "Siege and Storm" - namely Alina and Mal's relationship-drama - didn't bother me here. They still had their drama but they got along. A lot better than I expected! Actually I loved them working together, still longing for each other from a distance but not giving in because they knew it shouldn't be. Not now.

"He watches her the way Harshaw watches fire. Like he’ll never have enough of her. Like he’s trying to capture what he can before she’s gone."

Mal was a lot more likeable and I really grew on him. No matter what happened between Alina and him, no matter with whom she'd end up or where she would go, he would always be by her side. I admired him a lot. He basically gave up his life for her, only so she is safe and I don't know, he just changed, in my opinion, and I like him more than before! Especially in the end, when we find out that

he's the third amplifier - sadly I "spoilered" myself, more like I read a review of the second book where someone mention the idea, so it wasn't new to me and I almost expected it. I still really liked that "plot twist"! I'm not sure what to think about his "resurrection", I quite liked the idea of him being dead. Wait, that sounded wrong. I mean, he was willing to sacrifice himself for his friends, Ravka and Alina. Not everyone would do such a thing. And yes, maybe that's why they were able to bring him back but I still think it would have also been okay if he would have stayed dead.

"Na razrusha'ya. I am not ruined. E'ya razrushost. I am ruination."

Alina was more like the old Alina in the first book. She changed a lot, but somehow she also became a little more herself again. I think I liked her new appearance, I'm not so sure and mostly I didn't pay much attention but it made her stand out and. I imagined her strong and wise-looking and in a way she was. Everything she learned in "Ruin and Rising" made her tougher and she not only found out a lot about herself and her power but also about the people surrounding her. She was still hungry for power but I think this time it was more about defeating The Darkling. He did terrible things, at least made her believe that and of course she thought low of him. Hated him in a way, but also felt sorry for him. She somehow understood him, not his actions but him.

Now let me talk about The Darkling and my beloved Nikolai Lantsov! I was thinking about who I like more but honestly, I don't even want to choose. They are both so different and even though The Darkling did bad terrible things, I still liked him. He had his moments where he really was human. Where he felt something, he wasn't the "pure" evil everyone thought he would be. Maybe I'm just weird and everyone who's reading this will shake their heads and won't understand me but I LIKE THE BAD GUYS, OKAY? And Nikolai, well ... he's just amazing. He easily became one of my favorite characters of the trilogy and won my heart! I think I even prefer him over The Darkling, yes.

I was super mad at The Darkling when he sent one of his creatures at him and god, my heart shattered! Leigh Bardugo, how could you do this to my beloved prince?!? I felt horrible and I was more than happy that Alina grieved and worried about him ... and when she saw him and the scene with the ring and she tried to heal him, gosh. Again my heart! ALL THE FEELS! I shipped them so, so hard!

"Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what's inside you? That's steel. It's brave and unbreakable. And it doesn't need fixing."

What can I say about the end? I expected/hoped for something different, like I said, I had my own little ending in my head but I'm also satisfied with Bardugo's end. It's cute and happy, hopeful but also sad and serious. There are new responsibilities and questions that demand an answer. And then there's Ravka! I would love to find out what changed, what will change in the future and of course I need to see our lovely side characters again. Can I just note, that I absolutely loved them all? Even Zoya! Her snarky and bitchy attitude made me laugh out loud a few times and took my mind off the more serious scenes. Also Genya! I missed her in the previous book and I'm more than happy that everything turned out well for her and the others! An awesome crew!

Now I'm super excited for "The Dregs" which will probably come out sometime in 2015 but will also take place in the Grishaverse, in Kerch! And it says: "The project, described as a blend of Ocean’s 11 and Game of Thrones [...] A crew of dangerous felonious misfits face impossible odds when they are pulled together to break into one of the most guarded places in the world."

That does sound awesome, right?! I already can't wait to read it!

Now, what did you think of The Grisha Trilogy? Did you like the conclusion? Did you expect another ending? Which book/character was your favorite? Let me know!



  1. Yay! You finished the series! I know the ending was a little hard to bear. *Tears up* But I think it was appropriate. I can't wait for The Dregs! =D

    Brittany @

    1. I did, yes! I still have to read The Darkling's story and I'm so excited about it! ♥
      But for the end ... yes, I imagined something different - at least for her powers to remain - but I'm also happy with it. It's cute and perfect for her and Mal. :)

      Omg yes!!! It's still a long time but ahhh, I have a feeling this is gonna be absolutely awesome! :D


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