Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Ruin and Rising
Series: Grisha Trilogy Book #3
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: June 17, 2014 by Henry Holt (Macmillan)
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Synopsis: 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 is the thrilling final installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

This review attempts to be spoiler free but Ruin and Rising is the last book in the Grisha Trilogy so it will more than likely contain spoilers for the first two books, Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm. If you have not read these books yet stop reading this review and start reading them! I’m not kidding, go read them... IMMEDIATELY!

The Grisha trilogy is a phenomenal Young Adult High Fantasy series and I was blown away by so much in the first two books. I was nervous and excited to read the final book for many reasons. I had a bunch or crazy theories and I was really worried about how it all was going to end. But when the dust had settled and the last page had been read I was incredibly satisfied with not only this book but the way the series concluded.

Shadow and Bone was incredibly action-packed while Siege and Storm was much more character-driven, meanwhile Ruin and Rising was a bit of both. There is lots and lots of action in this book. There were thrilling battle scenes, daring sword-fights, incredible use of magical powers, and death galore (you have been warned). But it also focused a lot on Alina, our protagonist and MC, and her personal development. As the tagline reminds us she’s gone from soldier, to summoner, and now to saint. She’s had quite the character arc and hero’s journey so now we get to see her in action as a leader. I just loved Alina in this book. She is walking that fine line between good and evil as her power takes hold and she struggles to know what to do with it. She was tough but compassionate and an amazing warrior who knows when not to fight. She’s smart, aggressive, and incredibly powerful. It was a pleasure seeing her learn and grow throughout these books.

But Alina isn’t the only brilliant character in this book. What Leigh Bardugo does so well is create complex and interesting characters who aren't perfectly good or perfectly bad (although in this book there is far less middle ground). They make you suspicious, but you can’t help but root for them at the same time. And the banter between them all was top notch! A few of my favorites include Genya who had an amazing arc throughout the series and had a great badass moment in this book, Baghra who had a great redemptive arc in this book but never changed her aggressive and snarky attitude, and Sturmhond who consistently made me laugh and had a gut-wrenching storyline! And then of course there was the Darkling. We got to learn so much more about this devious villain of this story and he was quite diabolical in this book, it was fantastic! But I would be remised if I didn’t mention my favorite character, Mal. He’s just so swoonworthy! He’s a fantastic male lead and so a tough but also sweet and caring. He's an amazing warrior but when it comes down to it all he wants is for Alina to succeed. There are few words to explain how I feel about Mal.

 What makes this book all the more enjoyable is the world-building. The world of Ravka is one of the most compelling in Young Adult literature to me. From the Russian illusions, to the magical system, to the historical back story, to its ominous creatures and geography I love it all. In Ruin and Rising the world continued to thrill me and there were so many more parts of this world and its history explained throughout the book . While it is often annoying to continue to build a world when you’re wrapping up the story in Ruin and Rising everything felt very important and beneficial to the plot.

And what an incredible plot it was! From beginning to end I was curious and enthralled by the mysterious and interesting plot of this book. Everything continued to develop into a thrilling conclusion and things that had been building since book one were resolved and explained. I had so many crazy and harebrained theories that I was interested to see resolved (if you want to hear any of them contact me on twitter) and more than a few twists caught me by complete surprise. There were some weird loopholes that weren’t completely explained but I’m going to call it magic and not think too much about how they are illogical. Besides they were all fantastic and interesting twists that added to an interesting and compelling book and series.

Prepare yourself, those twists lead to so many feels! This book took me through a complete range of emotions. I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I was shock, I was confused, I was enthralled. When the book was over I had no words, only feels. Seriously I’m surprised I could even write this review (and it's long)! If you haven’t read the book beware of feels. You have been warned, you will need tissues. Or a stiff drink. Bring out the kvas! Let's all raise a glass to Leigh Bardugo and the stellar Grisha trilogy!

I give Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo 10 out of 10

It was brilliant and basically perfect! If you enjoy fantasy check out this series. Even if you don’t check out this series. Just read it, it’s brilliant, trust me, would I lie?

If you’ve read Ruin and Rising leave me a comment with your thoughts! Seriously, let's talk it out! I love chatting about interesting plot twists both good and bad! I may even tell you my harebrained theories if you ask nicely! If you want to talk about more spoilery points and feels send me a message on twitter. Seriously… I want to talk all about it! If you haven’t read this book then I cannot wait for you to read it! Enjoy and HAPPY READING!

1 comment:

  1. Love the review! I can't believe I haven't started this series yet but I was waiting for this one to come out before I got committed lol. I guess I'll have to read it this summer.
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages