Title: Ruin and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Grisha Verse #3
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Henry Holt
Publication date: June 17th, 2014
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.
“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.”
Excuse me while I go and cry in a corner because this trilogy is finally over. But first, let me start by saying that this review will be containing spoilers, because not only it’s the conclusion of the trilogy, but also the mayor issues I had with this book that made me not love it as much as I hope I would are, in fact, spoilers. So bear with me.
Okay, now that we made that clear, I was so terrified of this book, because half of the reviews were negative and half were super positive, and me being me with finales, I went ahead as neutral as possible, crossing my fingers and hoping I would love it as much as the other two books. And, though I overall had a great time, I admit I had a few issues regarding the ending.
“Na razrusha’ya. I am not ruined. E’ya razrushost. I am ruination.”
I don’t know why but in this installment it took me a bit longer to focus in the story. It happened to me in the past two books, but I’m not quite positive if the reason why it took me longer to do it with this one was that I was in the middle of a reading slump and my mind wasn’t really in the right mood, or simply because those books are like that to me.
However, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Alina’s character development. At the beginning of the series she wasn’t a very unique heroine, but it’s true that she had one of the best character’s developments, and that I ended up really loving her character. In this particular installment, she was at the peak of the mountain; she was strong, intelligent, and so different from the girl she was in the past two books, whilst having the same morals and interests, which I loved. Also I ended up really adoring the side characters. Nikolai has become one of my favorite characters from the Grisha world, and I’m so happy to see my lil bean is going to have his own series.
Also, I was living for the friendships that were in this story. At the beginning they mostly were Alina and Mal alone, but throughout the story Alina made some really nice friends that I was so happy to see more scenes between them in this installment, because they were gold (especially her interactions with Zoya).
“In this moment he was just a boy; brilliant, blessed with too much power, burdened by eternity.”
But, unfortunately, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ending. Let me first start by saying that Mal wasn’t my favorite character in the book (nor my favorite male love interest). He didn’t really have a development throughout the story, and was mostly the same possessive dude at the beginning and at the end of the trilogy. But my problems were with how unrealistic the ending was. I didn’t understand it completely, and was a bit confused at first because they didn’t really tell us how he lived after his death, or why. I don’t know, it was a bit odd and anticlimactic.
Also, even though I knew after I started Shadow and Bone that The Darkling was going to die, I loathed the way they killed him. It was done in such a mundane way that it didn’t make sense to how the Darkling was described throughout the whole trilogy. And though I admit I cried a little, I still think he could have died in a very different way.
Overall, even though I had a few problems with the ending and with a certain character, I still think it was a solid book, and despite being sad that this series is over, I’m so glad to have read the trilogy, not only because I ended up loving some of these characters, but because it’s another book set in the Grisha Verse.
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