Ruin and Rising

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 is the thrilling final installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.


Reviewed: 2018-05-07
Alina and her army have escaped the Darkling as they hide out in underground tunnels and the Darkling rules Ravka. She wants nothing more than to go and find the firebird, the last amplifier but the Darkling will be tracking her every move. This was the worst book in the series by far! I’ve been told by several people that with each book, this series gets better but I can’t agree on that. The final battle was within the last 50 pages and the build up was too weak. The book dragged for almost the entirety and most of the time I was dreading picking the book up to read. I couldn’t wait for it to be all over. I am also so confused as to why so many people adore Leigh Bardugo and claim her to be one of the greatest YA writers. While, I didn’t have any problems with her writing, I also don’t see it to be anything amazing. Mal finally redeemed himself in this book because he didn’t complain about Alina being around other guys. Maybe he can grow as a character. I still don’t love him but he definitely was less annoying this time around. Nikolai is still just as great! I’ve been told he is getting his own book and that is something I would definitely read. There’s a pretty major plot twist that occurs and I didn’t see it coming from a mile away. But when it happened I just didn’t care because by the time it occurred I was already in the last 75 pages and I was just ready for the book to be done. The entire story seemed to be a repeat of Alina and her army hiding and the Darkling finding them and then they go into hiding again and I just got bored. The final battle was over in done in what felt like 10 pages and I couldn’t believe that we had this 350 page story leading up to the battle and it was all over so fast. I’m sorry to all of you who love this story but it didn’t live up to the hype for me. I was looking forward to reading Six of Crows but now I’m truly terrified that I’m not going to like the duology but I’m still going to give it a chance.
Reviewed: 2017-12-07

Full review originally posted on The Book Addict's Guide: I put off writing this review for a while. The Grisha Trilogy has been one of my favorites for the past few years and it's hard to come to terms with it coming to an end. The Grisha Trilogy really became the first series in at least five years that I really felt such a connection to and that I was really enamored with. Leigh Bardugo was the one of the first authors I ever met at my very first author event back in 2012 after I had just started my blog, so I always had this deeper connection to the series because it also was an early part of my blogging career that I've grown to love so much.

I started RUIN AND RISING with trepidation -- the kind where you just aren't ready to let go of a story -- but I knew that Leigh Bardugo would end the series the way it should be ended and whatever that grand finale was, I trusted her to take the story where it needed to go. Not that I had any doubt but I was definitely not disappointed. RUIN AND RISING was sheer perfection in my eyes and I felt everything was left with finality and a sense of closure as well as a perfect ending.

My favorite thing about RUIN AND RISING was all of the plot development and all of the series-long questions that finally get answered. I've developed several theories over the years and it was really interesting to see how that all panned out. Some were close and some were in the right realm but still totally off -- which also makes me glad that I wasn't even able to possibly guess the answers to everything. There were many shocking moments that made me wonder how things could possibly get any better... but I always trusted that the character would end up where they needed to be and I never felt betrayed in that.

Leigh Bardugo is fantastic at incorporating new characters into the mix as well. Readers fell in love with Sturmhond in SIEGE AND STORM and in RUIN AND RISING I really loved the addition of the other Grisha members who work their way into the forefront and developed a new favorite duo in Harshaw and Oncat. Oncat is in fact a cat and somehow Leigh Bardugo managed to make a cat one of my favorite new characters of the bunch. The dynamic between Harshaw and his cat was hilarious and I just loved every scene between them. I always love the banter between all of these characters and it's so wonderful to have that bit of comic relief -- even if it's gallows humor (which I enjoy anyway!) -- when it seems like the world is ending and indeed, the fate of the world is resting on Alina's shoulders.

The ending of RUIN AND RISING is absolutely epic. The whole book really was, actually, but the second half really pushed the book forward into what I felt was the perfect ending for this trilogy. I was surprised, happy, shocked, angry, sad, overjoyed, and amazed. This book -- and this whole series really -- brought me through such an array of emotions. I never knew what to expect and I was always grateful for the constant surprises -- both the happy and the sad -- because they always brought a sense of reality to this fantasy world and really showed that the good guys can get a happy ending but it's not always an easy road to get there and some sacrifices will indeed have to be made.

The Grisha Trilogy has absolutely been one of my favorites and having finished all of the books -- including novellas and short stories -- I can honestly say that it will stay one of my favorite series of all time. I hope that these books continue to stay relevant within the book lovers and reading community and that new readers will constantly be discovering these books. This is a series I hope to be timeless. I know it always will be for me.
Reviewed: 2015-08-26
I love this series so much and completely understand the hype.

That ending! I thought it was perfect!
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