Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #3
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co on June 17th 2014
Genre(s): Fantasy (YA)
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 third and final book in the Grisha Trilogy, this review may contain spoilers for the previous books.
After nearly dying trying to stop the Darkling, Alina is trapped underground with the Apparat and her worshipers. The ones convinced that Alina is a Saint and deserves to be worshipped. The Apparat cannot be trusted, he wants to control Alina and her powers.
Once they are freed from his grasp, they realize how badly they need the Firebird, the third Amplifier, the only thing to make her stronger than the Darkling. However it could be the one thing that completely destroys her. While the Darkling has taken claim to the throne and continues to threaten Ravka, Alina and her misfit gang seek out their only hope.
I don’t even know how to review this book. I’m unimpressed but I’m unimpressed with things that will spoil the series. I expected something darker. I wanted something darker. The topic of merzost, the magic of dabbling in darkness and death, is brought up every few pages but it comes to nothing. This whole series comes to nothing in my personal opinion.
This book’s saving grace is its secondary characters. Actually the whole series is full of wonderful side characters that learn and grow. Genya and Zoya are two of my favorites. Their bickering kept me smiling. Nickolai was my #1 favorite and I’m quite unhappy with how he was treated in his book.
Mal, still hate Mal. Annoying, wanna-be martyr Mal. My own humble opinion was that, though hinted at through the whole series, his reveal was absolute crap and made no real sense. He has no real depth to him, just that he’s a gift tracker. And charming but Nickolai is also charming, and so is the Darkling so I don’t really feel like that’s something special to Mal’s personality. He’s more like Alina’s obnoxious little brother than her lover.
I never really warmed to Alina either, I always felt like she wasn’t a fully fleshed out character. The Darkling and like 90% of the other characters were way more interesting to me. I think series had been about the war between the Darkling and Nickolai, I would have enjoyed it so much more.
However the ending, that’s what makes me the most upset. With a title like Ruin and Rising I expected a bit more Ruin. Ruin and Darkness are running themes through the series but the ending was all fairytale happily ever after.
Overall, I don’t get the hype for this series. It was alright I supposed but meh, I’d say get it from the library and don’t force it if the first book doesn’t suck you in.