Title: Ruin and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
No. of pages: Paperback; 480
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date: June 2017 (Originally published Jun. 17, 2014)
Date Read: May 28, 2018
Third book in the Shadow and Bone Trilogy
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. (Goodreads)
I honestly don’t know how I’ve slept on so many series. It definitely could be the fact that when these were first published, I was beginning my college career, but it’s whatever. This series was by far one of the most interesting, fast-paced, action packed, character/plot twist set of book I’ve ever read. And I loved every minute of it and read them all within 2 days because I couldn’t put them down.
For this review, I’ll just be talking about Ruin and Rising.
When we catch back up with Alina in Ruin and Rising, we find that she’s essentially being held hostage and in isolation by the priest who is parading her as a saint who has come back from the dead. After the small group that survived the fight in the chapel help her overpower the priest and his guards, they’re back to trying to meet up with Nicholas and then search for the last amplifier. As the gang finds themselves in trouble, Nikoli/Sturmhond rescues them and takes them to a secure mountain hideaway where they assume they’ll be safe. The Darkling finds them once again and then it’s back to running for Alina and the gang. As their search for the Firebird continues, Alina and Mal begin to understand that their connection goes way beyond the fact that they happened to meet each other in an orphanage and kept each other safe all these years. As the end comes, Alina and Mal make some choices that impact the future that they had hoped for all these years.
I absolutely loved how this book continued the series. Again, Bardugo creates these characters that stay with you long after you’ve finished the book. The twists and turns that this story goes through are so well written. The changes and growth that these characters have are so great. Alina grows from this frail girl to this girl who owns the power that she can wield. Mal grows from this boy who treated Alina as someone to take for granted to becoming her most loyal friend/person. The Darkling (yes, even him) grew from someone who kept himself secluded and power hungry to still being power hungry, but he opened himself up to those that he thought would understand him. The addition of these secondary characters such as Nikolai, Tolya, Tamar, Genya, and David brought such a greater depth to this story than just having the focus on the main characters. The secondary characters meant just as much and were just as involved. I ended loving them just as much, and sometimes even more, than the main characters.
I was incredibly sad to see this part of the story end. I really hope that at some point we’ll see some these characters again in the Grishaverse. As I’ve already read the Six of Crows duology, you can bet that I’ll be reading ALL of these again sometime soon in the future. I know that we’ll be seeing Nikolai next year in King of Scars and I can’t wait to see this ‘Grishaverse’ grow and expand. Leigh Bardugo is one heck of a storyteller and I’m so glad I finally got to pick up the series that started it all.