Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

August 20, 2015 Review 30 ★★★★½

Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Macmillan
Source: Purchased
Pages: 432
Release Date: June 17th 2014
Series: The Grisha #3
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, General, Monsters, Young Adult
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.

aliseThis review is spoiler free!

It took me an entire year to work up the courage to finish one of my favorite series. I thought I was finally emotionally prepared, but I was not.

The feels, I swear.

I fell in love again with characters I had forgotten about (hey, it’s been a year, cut me some slack) and I was reminded how great even the secondary characters in this series are. Not a single one feels similar to another, and I love how unique they all are.

As for our main players, there was some truly great character development, especially in Mal, who I began to dislike in the second book. Although there was some angst I liked how he and Alina were willing and ready to do whatever was necessary to end all this.

I wish some characters NIKOLAI had better treatment I but in regards to The Darkling: View Spoiler » I love how Bardugo wrote his character and wow, FEELS. Especially if you read his prequel story The Demon in the Wood directly after.

Guys, the quotes in this one! They were so amazing!

“Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to
keep the truth of loneliness at bay.”

There was some slow pacing towards the beginning but once things started to get going around page forty of fifty, it was great and fast paced from then on out.

Did I mention the feels yet?

Even though I had some small issues with it and it’s not the “perfect” conclusion I wished for, it’s one that fits this series excellently, in my opinion. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.


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Rating Report
Overall: 4.4

30 Responses to “Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo”

    • Alise

      It’s a really great series, you have a lot to look forward to :) So many revelations and new characters! Thank you!

  1. Sarah J.

    I love the Grisha trilogy. I think it’s fabulous and this book destroyed me, but was also a perfect wrap up of the trilogy for me. No Face gifs slay my soul every time.:D I also love your new blog design! It’s beautiful.
    Sarah J. recently posted…Aesthetically Reading #4

    • Alise

      Mal always got on my nerves so I had to forcefully put aside my feelings for him as the series continued, haha. Nikolai was great! I hope we see him in the spin-off at some point. Thank you :DD I do that all the time, I think I did something but it turns out I only dreamed it o.O

    • Alise

      I had to read the Recaptains stuff before I dove into this one as well, definitely thankful those were there!

  2. Charnell @ Reviews from a Bookworm

    Wonderful review! I am so happy you loved this and thought it was a great conclusion. I did read it but wasn’t completely happy with it as an ending and think it might be my least favourite of the three. The Darkling was a hard character for me to deal with, I didn’t like him and was just waiting for him to get what he deserved. But I liked that he was a more complex villain, with actual motivations for doing the things he does.
    Charnell @ Reviews from a Bookworm recently posted…Paper Towns by John Green: I Just Don’t Get It!

    • Alise

      Thank you :) Yeah, if you didn’t like the Darkling I can see how that would bring down the book as he is definitely a big presence. For sure, really well developed!

    • Alise

      Yeah! I actually didn’t imagine this ending but I’m really happy with it and can’t imagine it going any other way. Hope you enjoy! Thanks :D and sure!

    • Alise

      I know what you mean, it’s sometimes hard to put all your time towards one thing. I hope you enjoy the series when you get around to reading it :)

    • Alise

      It’s kind of a sad novella, haha. Especially knowing the end :c Same here, I was thinking that too! Really hope he shows up again sometime.

    • Alise

      I always had a soft spot for him despite my better judgement, haha. His story and background-GAH. Great villain.

    • Alise

      Yay, it sounds like you are enjoying it then! :D Siege and Storm had a bit of a different feel than Shadow and Bone did but this one reminded me a lot of the first, which I also loved.

  3. Emma @ Never Judge a Book

    This is one of my favourite fantasy reads. After reading Shadow and Bone a couple years of release I couldn’t wait to finish this series so I read them all in one go and even read S&B twice lol. It truly is a book of feels. Lovely review.

    P.S When did you redesign, I love the colours it’s gorgeous. Have I really not been around that much! lol
    Emma @ Never Judge a Book recently posted…REVIEW – AM I NORMAL YET? by Holly Bourne

    • Alise

      Same here! Although it did take me awhile to get to this one, I wish I hadn’t. Ah well, there is always rereads!

      Thank you so much :D Oh, nah, we just changed it a few days ago!

  4. Ju @ Fictional Skylines


    I loved the development of the secondary characters in this series too! BUT MY PRECIOUS PIRATE TROLL NIKOLAI THOUGH I’M TEARING UP JUST THINKING ABOUT HIM. I feel like The Darkling deserved more but then I loved him too much than is probably healthy, he was an extremely problematic favorite. Alina made her choices and she did it with strength but I would have loved to see her as a /SPOILER/ conquering badass queen too.
    Ju @ Fictional Skylines recently posted…I’m Finally Back?!

    • Alise


      Man, the Nikolai scenes really got me too, we need to see more from him! The things I would do for a Bloodlines-esque spinoff with him and a new female character. I really liked the Darkling too, it took multiple interventions from my friends before I realized OKAY FINE HE’S A BAD GUY.

  5. Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

    At first I hated this book, but as time went by after I finished it, I slowly liked it a bit more and more. The conclusion in the end was amazing and wonderful, I just didn’t like the “adventure” it took to get there. The character development was amazing, the Darkling’s backstory was tragic. Overall this one was an acquired taste to me that I eventually liked, and I’m glad you did too! :)
    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books recently posted…APCB Adds #1

    • Alise

      I know what you mean-I’ve had that experience with some books as well! I’m glad you ended up liking it in the end, that conclusion just killed me-gah!

  6. Faye la Patata

    I still need to reread from the very start before I get to this one. I literally forgot about EVERYTHING here! But it’s nice to see that Mal has some character development, though~ I remember, at the very least, disliking him in the first book because his personality was being overshadowed by the Darkling and he sounded like wimp. Haha.
    Faye la Patata recently posted…Review: Shadows by Paula Weston

    • Alise

      I thought I was going to have to do the same but Recaptains has really great recaps if you want to check them out! Man, I feel you. Mal got even more frustrating in the second book for me but thankfully he was a little bit better in this one. The Darkling probably plays the largest role in the first book, and there are some new characters in Siege and Storm that become important as well :D

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