Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo is the thrilling conclusion to the Grisha trilogy and wow does it pack a punch. Ruin and Rising combined everything I’ve loved about this trilogy so far and added a whole lot of feels to the mix. If you haven’t started The Grisha trilogy yet and enjoy fantasy, you really just have to get on that ;-). There will be major spoilers below if you haven’t read Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm! I also have to warn you that this is going to be one of those reviews where I struggle to contain my enthusiasm a bit, haha.
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha #3)
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on June 17th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 432 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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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 overall delivers an epic and satisfying conclusion to this trilogy. After finishing in a day, I sat back and just had to soak it all in since I was that impressed.
- There are some questions that have been niggling in my mind throughout the first two books and they are finally answered in Ruin and Rising. I love a series that is able to make me happily go along with quirks and not even realize that they are strange until they become important to the larger story and Ruin and Rising does a great job of this.
- Ruin and Rising has a fair amount of romantic tension because of the situation that Alina and Mal are now in (i.e., any hope of a normal life is doomed), but I found that that tension was well-balanced with happy moments and other important elements (like this war thing). Therefore, I didn’t get sick of Alina and Mal, and instead just wanted everyone to be happy even though they can’t be because war is hard.
- The pacing of Ruin and Rising really impressed me. At first I was worried at how much plot needed to be fit in, but I never found myself feeling rushed or bored. I really did read this one in a day and enjoyed every minute of it. The action is once against well-balanced with calmer moments so that I didn’t feel stressed (action heavy books can stress me out >.>), yey!
- While I wouldn’t say that Ruin and Rising has a plot twist necessarily, it does have some awesomely unexpected developments. Despite the path for Alina being fairly well laid out at this point, things still don’t follow the plan by any stretch of the imagination, so I didn’t get bored :).
- I love the accuracy of the titles in the Grisha series and Ruin and Rising is no exception. Bardugo doesn’t shy away from the consequences of war, but that knowledge that horrible things can happen adds a delicious sense of realism and tension to Ruin and Rising. Just have the tissue box ready!
- This is one of those rare books where I struggled to come up with anything to put here. I decided to read Ruin and Rising without rereading the previous two books (which is my standard policy really) and did find myself struggling at times to remember events the characters were referencing (or even who certain characters are). Therefore, I think that if you are inclined to reread or brush up on events of previous books, you’ll have a better and deeper reading experience.
Ruin and Rising is a phenomenal conclusion to a truly superb YA fantasy series. It continues the fast pace and rich world that we’ve come to love, while still going in directions that I didn’t expect at all. Anyone who enjoys fantasy (adult or YA) really has to give the Grisha trilogy a try; it is just too much fun to pass up. And now forgive me while I squee :D.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
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