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.
First line: “I stood on a carved stone balcony, arms spread, shivering in my cheap robes, and tried to put on a good show.”
Title: Ruin and Rising
Series: Book 3, Grisha Trilogy
Author: Leigh Bardugo
My edition: A hardcover published by Henry Holt & Company in 2014, with 422 pages.
Age: Young Adult (16+)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Finally I’d come to the part where Bardugo were going to narrow this whole mess to some kind of ending. I was terrified. I’d shipped the Darkling and Alina since book 1, and then book 2 was and Nicolai came into the picture, and suddenly I really liked Mal, and I was SO NOT READY for a decision. And then I read this book and I realized that I knew exactly what needed to happen. I knew who it had to be, and I knew that it was going to be easy if my assumptions were wrong or right. (Let me just say, I had it right, but I was seriously a nerve-wreck a lot of the time).
This plot shows us what happened to Alina after she came to the Apparat, and what happens when she “breaks free” and goes out to find the third amplifier (the firebird), and what’s going to happen to her and all of her friends. It’s such an amazing and strong plot, and I was left astonished when I finished this book. She wrapped it all so perfectly, so neatly, I was not ready and totally ready at the same time to end this journey.
Leigh Bardugo has this amazing ability to draw you into the story and not let you go. I was loving every damn second of this book; never bored, never confused, she just writes perfectly; at least for me. I also love how Bardugo can just write a story and make it feel alive, you can smell and touch and see everything – and I think that is just so extraordinary!
Alina goes through a huge change from the first book to this last one. She changes so much, grows up; becomes the woman she’s supposed to be. Her powers grow, her cockiness grows, and her character grows; and it happens in perfect alignment to the story. She becomes everything that we hoped she would be. She’s not the girl who’ll let anyone stamp all over her, she won’t back down; she’s one of the strongest characters I’ve ever read about, and she’s gotten a very special place in my heart.
Mal also grows to become this guy that I liked more and more. I saw his side of the story clearer in this book; and I suddenly realized that his side is so heartbreaking. He’s practically nothing in the eyes of the Grisha, but he’s everything at the same time. I LOVED the backstory that is introduced in this book – and it made Mal more perfect than ever.
Nicolai to me was never really in the run for Alina, not really, but I did think of him as a solution. I was like; he’s cool, I like him, but in this bookish world we live in we kind of take on the MC’s character, so no, I was not going to settle with Nicolai. It had to be the Darkling or Mal.
The Darkling grew more in this book too. I LOVED him even more here. Suddenly his backstory starts to enfold, and we realize there’s so much more to this “evil” man than we knew in the first place. He’s perfect. Absolutely perfect.
Genya grows even more, David is just adorable, Zoya becomes more likable, Baghra is more likable, Tolya and Tamar are less awesome, Sergei becomes more hated, and overall the characters just become more and more important really. I loved all of the characters, and I loved all the depth they were given in this book.
The book is a worthy finale for the trilogy. It didn’t have the ending I wanted from the beginning of Shadow and Bone, but it was not a shitty ending. I loved the ending nevertheless, because it was just meant to be. The writing is forever awesome, and the world is just unbelievably good. I want to travel back to the Grisha verse sometime soon, and I’m really looking forward to Six of Crows!
February 4, 2017
Page 57: I’ve missed my Grisha
Page 74: omg yesyesyes
February 7, 2017
Page 179: How is this going to end
February 12, 2017
Page 232: I don’t want it to end
Page 259: “How could he be so cruel and still so human?”
Page 270: “We didn’t quite fit together. We had edges so jagged we cut each other sometimes”
Page 362: “You are all I’ve ever wanted. You are the whole of my heart.”
If you like fantasy, or even if you’re a fan of for example V. Schwab, I absolutely want you to pick this trilogy up!