Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

After the cliffhanger that was Siege and Storm‘s ending, return to Ravka for the epic conclusion of the Grisha Trilogy. (Read in TV Show Host Voice) Join us for more Angst, Mal being less irritating, the Darkling being amazing despite being a horrible person, and Alina being tired of being locked in a cave.

This review may contain mild spoilers for this book and other books in the Grisha Trilogy (What I consider spoilers might not be what you consider spoilers but I thought that I’d put it out there just in case). READERS YE BE WARNED!

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.

Rating: 4/5

WOW! What an amazing conclusion for the Grisha Trilogy. I must admit that I was again quite dubious going into this book. Shadow and Bone wasn’t a super favourite of mine and while Siege and Storm was better, there was still time for this series to slip back to a two or three star rating. As with the other books in this series I found parts that I loved, parts that I didn’t really like, and parts that made me want to set something in fire.

A break in trend happened while reading this book. Shockingly, I didn’t hate Mal quite as much as I did in the first two books. He was much much much less irritating. There was minimal sulking, less selfishness; I won’t ever be his biggest fan but I didn’t find myself cringing every time he was in a scene like I used to. In saying that, it was kind of an abrupt change from his attitude in Siege and Storm and I felt like the jump from old Mal to new Mal may have been a bit out of character.

Even at the end of Siege and Storm, and the beginning of this book, I was still rooting for Alina to save the Darkling even though he’s a crazy mass murderer (The Darkling is so beautiful! Why can’t he be redeemed?!?!?). I understand that he definitely deserved everything that was given to him but do you think that makes a difference to my heart? NOPE! I  still bloody love him, he is villain GOALS! The Darkling will probably always be my favourite character from this series just because he’s so interesting and dark and #Dalina4Lyfe (is that even the ship name???).

We all knew that Nikolai would return at some point (definitely in a dramatic fashion) and THANK GOD HE DID! In my opinion, I thought that the book didn’t really pick up until Nikolai showed up. The first part of the story was spent following Alina as she did saintly type stuff and talked with the crazy priest and it just didn’t really grab me. The second section of the book and ending however, were amazing (if a bit of a tear jerker).

The Grisha Trilogy, while not my favourite series, is still an absolutely awesome one. The series didn’t really end how I wanted it to but I do applaud Ms Bardugo for wrapping it up so nicely. The combination of magic and a kind of steampunky science in the world makes it possibly one of a kind (not to mention the lovely RUSSIANNESS!!!).

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