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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #3
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 417
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

       buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
T he 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.
I was in the car on my way to a family party while reading the ending of Ruin and Rising and I had to wipe away some tears . . . I also blamed them on the air conditioning blowing in my face just to keep my family off my back. But I am pleased as to how the Grisha series ended, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Well, I would have . . . because I am head over heels for Nikolai, so that slightly sways my opinion of the ending, but I digress.

I can't say that I saw the big reveal coming, but I was skeptical about a few things leading up to the reveal and the hints that Bardugo leaves along the way, especially in Siege and Storm. One specific scene with Alina in the woods stood out to me, and the "something's fishy" signal blared in my head. Evidently, the slow build up around tracking the fire bird since book two ended up jam-packed with epic reveals, a harrowing last battle, and my feelings being ripped to smithereens.

It is always upsetting as a reader to close a book, especially a wonderfully crafted fictitious world like the Grisha. I know that Leigh Bardugo is continuing to use her Grisha realm in her next book titled The Dreggs, but I've invested myself in these wonderful characters and it pains me to leave them go. Even Alina, after three books, finally grew on me. And the Darkling, who made me shiver with delight and with fear throughout this series, I had shed a few tears for. His complex character was one of my favorites to read in a long time. Though I am sad to have ended this story, I am grateful that I gave it a second chance, because I was thoroughly impressed by the end of the series.

Final Summation: A riveting ending well deserved of this series. Ruin and Rising captured my heart, tore it to bits, and then placed a band-aid over it by the time I closed the back cover. I couldn't be happier with this series. This review truly was difficult to write while keeping everything spoiler free, but it is spoiler free none the less. I expect great things from Leigh Bardugo in her upcoming novels, and I will most certainly be picking up The Dreggs once it hits shelves.

 Five targets slayed! What an ending! The tears!