Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo
Publication: June 17th, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy
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.
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Ruin and Rising was written better than books one and two. I don’t know what Bardugo did but clearly, this was the point where her writing was becoming more what I am used to. Don’t get me wrong I still find Alina & Mal to be one of the worst ships and Alina one of the worst main characters but they got 45% less annoying than in the other books. Also, the plot for Ruin & Rising was more action-packed and overall just had more excitement in it. Book one was just showing her off and book two was just war talk but, finally, we got the action. The pacing was much better than how it was done in the other books. I still wish we had more of the Darkling or had his point of view because we didn’t get much that helped me understand him as a villain. Also, his was all powerful but we hardly got to see that. The death scene was underwhelming and so was Alina’s ending. Two of the most powerful people and one dies and the other winds up teaching…it felt so unsatisfying for me. There were so many ways the story could have gone but alas. The book was still too wordy for my liking. I had to skim a lot because it was getting boring.
Nikolai is still my favorite character. I love that towards the end we see his character shift a bit because of what the Darkling did to him. I am excited to see that explored in King of Scars. I enjoyed the side characters most in this whole trilogy. While Alina was much less annoying in this book she still is at the bottom for main characters for me. I just expected so much more for someone so powerful and she just had an aggravating personality. But, I liked that we saw more of her power here. She deserved a better love story as well.
I explained this in the book review for Seige and Storm. So, I won’t get into it here but the romance was also not as annoying here. I liked that the love story was put towards the back and the plot was more focused on saving Ravka. That was my issue with the other two. We got Mal & Alina being too whiny but here they are more focused on what needs to be done. The moments that they did have weren’t filled with unnecessary pinning. I still don’t understand the DarklingxAlina ship. Nothing happens between them at all besides in book one really but if that is your thing ok I guess. Personally, I hated both and think they could’ve been done better and the ending for both ships was boring and underwhelming.
“How did you know I’d be able to summon?” I asked under my breath. He glanced at me, and a faint grin touched his lips. “Faith.”
“You might make me a better man.” “And you might make me a monster.”
“What did you whisper?” I asked quietly. “To the King…Na razrusha’ya. E’ya razrushost.” I am not ruined. I am ruination.
“He watches her the way Harshaw watches fire. Like he’ll never have enough of her. Like he’s trying to capture what he can before she’s gone.”
“I will strip away all that you know, all that you love, until you have no shelter but me.”