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Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo {5 Stars}

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 {5 Stars}

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.

5 Stars


  • 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.

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

© 2014 – 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I can’t wait to start this trilogy later this year! When I heard that the last book has just come out, I figured it’s time to start reading Shadow and Bone. I’m so glad you loved the last book, now I’m so excited to start this trilogy!
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  2. Alas, I haven’t started The Grisha trilogy yet, though I do enjoy fantasy. I suppose I better get on that…eventually. ;) Though it helps to know that the trilogy ends well.
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  3. A fantastic fantasy trilogy? I am sold. Take my money! I will have to find these, thank you!
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  4. Okay, so I didn’t read your review in full — kind of hastily skimmed it — because my copy is still on its way (seriously, TBD has to buck up on its shipping time), but I’M SO GLAD YOU GAVE IT FIVE STARS. I’m literally seeing five-star reviews EVERYWHERE and it’s making me crazy because the sad thing is that I haven’t read a finale to a series that fully satisfied me, except for HP and Percy Jackson. I’m so glad this one delivered, despite some weaknesses.

    I have high hopes! DON’T FAIL ME, LEIGH BARDUGO.

    (Sorry for all the CAPs. I’m going a bit mad with the wait, I hope you understand. :P)
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  5. I read it in 4 hours and promptly spent the next 2 crying and staring into space because WHAT IS LIFE NOW THAT THIS SERIES IS OVER?? But seriously, I already need a reread. I just thought it was so perfectly ended, with a great balance of happy endings but also the harsh realities of the war. I’m getting ready to keyboard smash because I’m all excited again so I’ll just stop right there ^_^

    • Yes, that exactly! I just had to sit back and process and I wish I could read it all over again for the first time. Haha, your keyboard thanks you ;-)

  6. Whoohoo! So happy we both loved this! I thought it was beautifully done and completely agree about rereading the series prior to this one. I had so much trouble remembering who people were and the events of the last book. I actually feel like I recall the first book more than the second. So much love for Leigh Bardugo!

  7. I’m so glad to hear you LOVED this, I’m really looking forward to picking it up and finding out the conclusion. I have pretty high hopes too.
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  8. YEAH!

    I am relistening to the first two before getting to this one. Good to know it is tied up really well :)
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  9. WANT!


    One of my favorite YA series, of this there is no doubt.
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