Ruin and Rising
by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #3
Published: June 17, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover (417 pages)
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.
Spoiler free even if you haven’t read the first book in this series.
I’m once again left with the task of writing a book review that I took no notes on whatsoever. That’s usually a good sign since it means I got sucked into the story and I forgot to take notes. So I’m going to do my best.
The theme I loved the most in Ruin and Rising was that life doesn’t always go the way you think it should. No matter how grand your designs, you can almost always count on them going wrong. It’s a quest that doesn’t go the way it should because that’s life.
After reading a few of Leigh Bardugo’s short stories, I really enjoyed how she tied mythology and legend into the plot.
Ruin and Rising made me ask some great questions. Can you do the right thing no matter how hard? What are you willing to give up? Power? Love?
I came across this quote as I was skimming it, trying to write this review.
“I would never know if it was greed or selflessness that moved my hand.”
– Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising pg 377
Now THAT’S a question I had never asked myself. Are greed and selflessness so similar that they are hard to tell apart?
Mal became unexpectedly important. I liked Mal, but he always felt like just a love interest until this book. If you love Mal, this book will make you love him even more.
What a beautiful, happy but also bittersweet ending. Just enough of the bitter to keep me from gagging on the adorably sweet stuff. Like I said, nothing in life ever works out perfectly and there were still consequences that the characters had to deal with. But man I loved that ending.
Overall, it was a great ending to one of my favorite YA fantasy series.
Content Rating: Medium, for some violence and a few make-out scenes.
This post contains affiliate links and I receive a small percentage of sales made through these links.