Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Book: Ruin and Rising
Series: The Grisha #3
Pages: 422
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Date Published: June 17th, 2014
Source: Owned
Date Started: August 15th, 2015
Date Finished: August 19th, 2015
Other Books Reviewed: Shadow and Bone; Siege and Storm

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.


Alas, yet another series come and gone. I was so sad to let this series go, and I wasn’t quite sure that I wanted to. Thank god I have a few novellas to keep me in the world just a little bit longer.

I wasn’t completely wowed by Shadow and Bone, but I thought that the series kept getting better and better with Ruin and Rising being the best. Shadow and Bone set up the story. Siege and Storm was about the politics and trying to figure out if they really can take on the Darkling. Ruin and Rising is where it all came together.

What I liked about the story was the fact that it all came full circle back to the fold. When we left Siege and Storm, Alina and the rest of her group were driven underground with the Apparat’s crazy cult fanatics. But Alina knows that she has to go get the firebird in order to defeat the Darkling while building an army that can defeat the Darkling’s forces. Along the way, they discover the truth about the amplifiers and it changes everything. I think its pretty predictable that they are gearing up for this big fight against the Darkling, and what better places for everything to finally be settled in the fold? I wasn’t sure what was going to happen in the story. I knew the kind of ultimate ending, but what about everyone else? What happens to Mal? Tolya and Tamar? To Nickolai?

I was satisfied with the ending. I thought it was perfect and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The complicated mess at the end just made everything better but broke my heart all the same. I’m trying not to give too much away because I want you to truly enjoy this story. It was a bitter sweet end.

As for the characters, I wanted to see more of the Darkling. He was missing for most of Siege and Storm so I thought we’d get to see lots of the Darkling in book 3. He was there for about the same amount of time, but really I don’t think theres anything else he could have done to add to the story. The Darkling is the Darkling, and he will always remain as such. Mal didn’t win me over in the first book, but by the end of the second book I was really rooting for him and Alina to be together. I was okay with Nickolai as a choice, but I knew that would come at a cost.  I loved all the side characters as well. I loved Genya and David, Zoya and her smart ass mouth, Harshaw and his weird obsession with fire, Tamar and Tolya and their unwavering faith.

This story was not short of action. Your emotions will go on this wild roller coaster and you’ll have no idea when its going to stop. Don’t think for a minute that anything worse couldn’t happen, because it will. The story was a little slow at first with Alina stuck with the Apparat, but the action quickly picked up and it was non stop from there. This was a great ending to the series, and I’m really sad to let it go because it really did grow on me. But luckily, Six of Crows comes out in the end of September. This is a new series by Leigh Bardugo which is set in the same world and set some time after the events of Ruin and Rising. People have been talking about this book non stop so I really can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

If you haven’t read this series yet, please do! Its a great story with fantastic world building. If you’ve only read the first book, please continue! It gets much better!

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